NBC News – U.S. says foreign students may have to leave if their school goes online-only

200706-harvard-university-coronavirusThe government announced Monday that international students will not be allowed to stay in the country if the institution in which they’re enrolled is holding online-only courses this fall, and those failing to comply with the rules will risk deportation.

Students on F-1 and M-1 visas who face such a situation “must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status,” the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said in a news release.

Those who violate the rules “may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings,” the agency said.

The news comes as some colleges and universities, including Harvard, have announced they plan to hold online-only courses this fall as the United States struggles to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.

The new rules are a blow to many international students who will be forced to either leave the country or scramble to transfer to a new school to keep their legal status. Some who exit the country will face hurdles to learning online, such as varying time zones.

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