Back to Top skip to main content
GandS U.S. Immigration Logo
Jul 27, 2020

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program Announces that New Foreign Students Can Not Take Online-Only Courses and Reside in the United States

Emily M. Cohen

On Friday July, 24 the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) once again made an announcement regarding the temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the Fall 2020 semester. The March guidelines remain in place for nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on or prior to March 9, 2020. However, nonimmigrant students in new or initial status after March 9th will not be able to enter the United States or enroll in a U.S. school for the fall term if the full course of study is 100% online.

  • School officials may not issue Form I-20 to an international student in new or initial status who is outside of the U.S. and plans to take a fully online course load.
  • Students enrolled in programs that are 100% online may take classes from their home country
  • In an FAQ document ICE states that newly enrolled international students who are already in the U.S. may stay in the countryand follow the guidelines for F and M students set forth by their school.
  • Deferment is as an alternative for new students who cannot travel to the U.S. due to modified school operations.

The Chronicle for Higher Education states that about 12% of the 1,250 colleges they are tracking are planning for online-only classes compared to 50% planning to operate in person. While we hope that the impact of this latest news is minimal on international students looking to come the United States for their education, we understand that this is a very stressful and confusing time. Should you have any questions or concerns about this latest announcement please do not hesitate toreach out to our Office for further guidance and support.

Related Team

E Cohen Team Page

Emily M. Cohen

267.930.6411

267.930.6411

email Emily

Philadelphia (Walnut Street)

Full Biography

Emily M. Cohen

Recent Blogs

Apr 21, 2021

DHS Has Announced an Additional 22,000 Visas for the H-2B Visa Program

After considerable pressure from small business owners and H-2B industry supporters, DHS has agreed to release an additional 22,000 H-2B visas, with 6,000 of those visas being earmarked for workers from Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala). According to DHS, employers wishing to obtain workers through this visa release will have to conduct additional advertising, and explain how their businesses will suffer without these workers. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 13, 2021

F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online

On April 12. 2021 USCIS announced that F-1 students can now file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization online when applying for Pre-Completion OPT, Post-Completion OPT, or a 24-month OPT STEM extension. Learn more in this blog.

Apr 07, 2021

H, L, J-Visa Holders No Longer Suspended from Entry into the United States but Most Noncitizens Remain Subject to Travel Restrictions

Presidential Proclamation 10052, suspending H-1B, H-2B, J and L admissions, expired March 31, 2021. Ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) public health travel restrictions remain in place requiring travelers from certain areas to qualify for national interest exceptions. U.S. Consulates are still operating at reduced levels and will have to work through backlogs as the pandemic ends. Learn more in this blog.