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Foreign students studying in the United States will not be allowed to stay in the country, if they are seeking online classes this fall, announced US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Nonimmigrant students within the United States are not permitted to take a full course of study through online classes. If students find themselves in this situation, they must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave,” said ICE in a statement.

The US offers two types of student visas for foreign students i.e. F-1, for most high school, college, and other academic programs, and M-1 for vocational or non-academic studies, and in order to get a visa, foreign students must be accepted into a school approved by The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

However, after the announcement, international students only have two options i.e. attend in-person classes or take them online from another country.

“The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings,” the statement added.