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Key Points 
  • ICE will continue allowing international students to continue taking courses online in 2021 and 2022
  • Students with new or initial status may not enter the US if their studies are 100% online
  • For students with new or initial status, a hybrid in-person and online program, or in person only program, is required to enter the US
  • Individuals who are in the US with F-1 or M-1 status can stay in the US through 2022, even with 100% online studies
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that it will continue to allow international students to take more courses online during the 2021 and 2022 academic years.
What are the Changes? 
ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will continue following guidance for the 2021 – 2022 academic year that was first issued in March 2020. The guidance allows international students to take courses online rather than attend classes in person due to COVID-19. The SEVP guidance states that students in new or initial status who are not already in the US may not enter the country if their studies will be 100% online. To enter the US in initial status, students must be enrolled in a hybrid learning program with a combination of online and in-person learning.
What Should Stakeholders Know? 
ICE’s guidance will be extended through 2022 without modifications.  Students who are in the US already with F-1 or M-1 status can remain in the country, even if their studies will be 100% online during 2021 and 2022.
Looking Ahead 
Stakeholders should monitor the website for updates.
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