U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced this week that it would continue to follow COVID-related guidance that allows some international students to take more online classes than normal.

Key Points:

  • ICE extended its guidance, originally issued in March 2020, without modification. ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will continue to follow the guidance for the 2022-23 academic year.
  • Under the guidance, continuing F and M nonimmigrant students may remain in the U.S. and take a fully online program of study if they have not otherwise violated the terms of their nonimmigrant status.
  • Students in new or initial status who are outside the U.S. may not enter the country if their program of study is 100% online. To be eligible to enter the U.S. in initial status, the student’s program of study must be an in-person program or a hybrid program that includes some in-person learning.

Background: ICE put the guidance in place in March 2020 as universities and colleges moved classes online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ICE extended the policy last year and again this week. More information is available in this FAQ.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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