International students will no longer be forced to leave the country if they are unable to take in-person classes.
The Trump administration rescinded its policy that would bar international students who only take online courses from staying in the U.S. It was previously announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that foreign students would not be able to take all online courses in the fall despite universities moving to online courses due to the coronavirus pandemic. International students taking all online classes would need to either leave the U.S. or transfer schools.
The proposal received a lot of pushback and criticism, with many claiming the decision was poorly thought out and executed.
U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said that the administration will return to the previous policy effective in March, which called for students enrolled in schools to switch to remote learning because of the pandemic.
The move comes as a relief to thousands of foreign students who felt they were at risk of being deported from the country. It also comes as a relief to many universities that scrambled to reassess and adjust their plans for the coming fall semester in light of the Trump administration’s former policy.
In addition to the rescinded policy, ICE will suspend limits around online education for foreign students.