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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has agreed to rescind a proposed rule that would have required international students on F-1 and M-1 visas to either attend in-person classes at U.S. colleges and universities or face having to leave the United States. Under the proposed rule, students enrolled in universities offering online-only courses would have been required to transfer to a school offering in-person classes or leave the country. The proposed rule met immediate opposition and sparked a number of lawsuits by states and universities across the country.

Moving Forward

Following a short hearing in a case filed by several prominent universities, ICE agreed to abandon the proposed rule and to continue to honor its prior guidance, issued in March 2020, which allows students in F-1 and M-1 status to take more than the regulatory limit of one online course while remaining inside the United States

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will monitor developments with respect to these and other policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog and in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar programs.

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