This policy, caused by the Covid19 pandemic, will be valid for the fall semester, from September to December 2020.
The temporary exceptions for the fall semester 2020:
- A non-immigrant student F-1 and M-1 that are attending a school that is offering 100% online classes are not allowed to remain in the USA. The USA is also not granting any VISA to any upcoming students who are also considering attending schools offering 100% online classes. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not grant any students entry to the USA. Students that are currently in the USA and attending a school that is offering 100% online classes should exit the USA or switch to a school that does not offer 100% online classes. Students that do not abide by this policy can get in trouble with immigration and be deported.
- Non-immigrant student F-1 that are attending a school that does offer conventional personal classes fall under the existing federal rules and are exempted from the modifications in the Student Exchange Visitors Program. Qualifying students with an F-1 VISA can take up to 1 class or 3 credit hours online. Students who have 1 lesson in class for the fall semester and the rest online, retain their VISA or qualify for the VISA.
- Non-Immigrant F-1 students attending a hybrid model school, a mixture of conventional and online classes, can attend more than one class or 3 credit hours online.
These schools should be certified as SEVP with the I-20 form, Certificate of
Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, certifying that the school is not and that students are attending at-least 1 class in person. This rule does not apply for students who are attending an English Language Program or for M-1 Students that are pursuing a vocational program not offering online classes.
In the event a student changes the program and has only access exclusively to online classes, she or she should abandon the USA as well.