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Breaking News: ICE Guidance Overturned

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COVID-19 International Students Town Hall: Fall 2020 Academic Issues

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Students with Globe
Tuesday, July 14th

Rutgers Global announced today that the controversial guidance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of July 6 has been cancelled by the federal government. The news was announced at the start of the hearing of a Harvard/M.I.T-led lawsuit filed against the ICE guidance.

This announcement overturned the week-old ICE guidance that barred international students in F-1 status from pursuing a fully online course load while staying in the US and maintaining their legal F-1 status. The government has agreed that this policy will not be implemented and that they will return to the guidance that was issued on March 9, 2020 and March 13, 2020.

What this means for international students in F-1 status currently:

  • If you are a returning/continuing student outside the country taking a full course-load of online credits offered by Rutgers, you can maintain your legal F-1 status while abroad.
  • If you are a returning/continuing student in the US taking a full course load of online credits offered by Rutgers, you can stay in the US and maintain your legal status.
  • If you are a new student outside the country who does not have F-1 status, you will be permitted to take a full course load of online credits offered by Rutgers. Your F-1 status will be activated when you come to the US.
  • If you are a new student in the US (transferring your SEVIS record to Rutgers or changing your status to F-1 for the fall) taking a full course load of online credits offered by Rutgers, you can maintain your legal F-1 status. 

Vice President for Global Affairs, Dr. Eric Garfunkel remarked: “This is a huge relief for our international students and for the university community. We join you in celebrating this decision and commend all the efforts undertaken by students, faculty, and administrators to stop this policy from going into effect. We are also very grateful for the incredible outpouring of support for our international students over the past week. For our international students - please know that we continue to stand with you and our entire international community.”

For more news and updates, please visit the Rutgers Global Alerts webpage. 

Here are some additional links for further information: 

Association of International Educators: SEVP COVID-19 Guidance for Fall 2020

The New York TimesGovernment Rescinds Plan to Strip Visas From Foreign Students in Online Classes

The Wall Street JournalWhite House Rescinds Rules on Foreign Students Studying Online

BloombergU.S. Backs Down in Fight With Harvard, MIT Over Student Visas

Associated Press (picked by local/regional broadcast)Trump administration rescinds rule about foreign students taking classes online