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ICE extends guidance on online classes through 2022-23 school year

Published: 04/20/2022

Source: ice.gov

Clarifying Questions for the 2022-23 Academic Year Based on March
2020 Guidance


1. Did ICE make any changes to its March 2020 guidance for the 2022-23 academic
year?

A. No. SEVP will continue to abide by guidance originally issued in March 2020 for the
2022-23 academic year and did not make any changes to the March 2020 guidance.
Stakeholders should continue to refer to existing resources at ICE.gov/Coronavirus
for information about the original March 2020 guidance.

2. Can F or M students outside the United States obtain a visa to study in the United
States if their program of study will be fully online for the 2022-23 academic
yea
r?
A. Whether an individual is eligible to receive an F or M visa is a decision that must be made by the U.S. Department of State and is not made by SEVP. Consistent with the SEVP Broadcast Message dated March 9, 2020, DSOs should not issue a Form I-20,

“Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” for a student in new or
Initial status who is outside of the United States and plans to take classes at an
SEVP-certified educational institution that is operating fully online. A new student
may be issued a visa to study inside the United States if their program of study is a
hybrid program with some in-person learning requirement.

As a result, new or Initial nonimmigrant students who were not previously enrolled
in a program of study on March 9, 2020 and intend to pursue a full course of study
that will be conducted completely online should not be granted an F-1 or M-1 visa. If
a nonimmigrant student was enrolled in a course of study in the United States on
March 9, 2020, but subsequently left the country, that student remains eligible for a
visa since the March 2020 guidance permitted a full online course of study from
inside or outside the United States.

The March 2020 guidance applies to nonimmigrant students who were actively
enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and otherwise complying with the terms
of their nonimmigrant status.

3. Can students apply for a visa to enter the United States for a hybrid program of
study with online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)?

A. Whether an individual is eligible to apply for an F or M visa is a decision that must
be made by the U.S. Department of State and is not made by SEVP. However,
consistent with the March 2020 guidance and for the 2022-23 academic year, DSOs
may issue Forms I-20 to nonimmigrant students seeking to enroll in a program of
study inside the United States that includes in-person and online components
beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G). This includes new or Initial
students

4. Can students continue to remain in the United States if they are engaged in a fully online program of study?
A. Yes. Consistent with the March 2020 guidance, for the 2022-23 academic year
nonimmigrant students may remain in the United States to engage in a fully online
program of study if they have not otherwise violated the terms of their
nonimmigrant status. Students will be able to maintain their nonimmigrant status
and not be subject to initiation of removal proceedings based on their online studies
If a student violates other U.S. laws or regulations that impact their immigration
status, they could be subject to removal.

5. Can students remain in the United States if their school switches from traditional
in-person or hybrid instruction to fully online instruction?

A. Nonimmigrant students pursuing studies in the United States for the 2022-23
academic year may remain in the United States even if their educational institution
switches to a hybrid program or to fully online instruction. The students will
maintain their nonimmigrant status in this scenario and would not be subject to
initiation of removal proceedings based on their online studies. If a student violates
U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially be subject to removal.

6. Can students remain in the United States in a hybrid program of study with online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)?
A. For the 2022-23 academic year, nonimmigrant students may remain in the United
States in a hybrid program of study, which consists of both in-person and online
components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G). Students will not face
enforcement action or loss of their nonimmigrant status based on engaging in
hybrid programs. If a student violates U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially
be subject to removal

Read More: ice.gov

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