ICE Releases New Guidelines That May Require International Students to Leave U.S

Those students account for about 5.5% of the total student community in the country

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday that international students who are pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if the universities switch to online-only courses.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday that international students who are pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if the universities switch to online-only courses. 

The Institute of International Education reported that the United States had more than one million international students doing various graduate and undergraduate programs in 2018-2019.

Those students account for about 5.5% of the total student community in the country. 

Universities nationwide are mapping out plans for the return to campus and beginning to make the decision to transition to fully online courses due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The University of Central Florida, the second-largest university in the nation with more than 2,000 international students from more than 150 countries, has recently decided to implement a new guidance that requires some face-to-face instruction for all international students this fall. UCF recently stated in a message to students that their “strength comes from our diversity. Our international students, faculty and staff help shape our community. Their experiences make us smarter together, and this diversity is one of the hallmarks of a leading metropolitan research university.”

In a news release Monday, ICE said that students who fall under certain visa “may not take a full online course load and remain the United States. 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.” 

A report by EducationData.org found that in 2018 the total contribution to the United States economy by international students was estimated to be over 45 billion dollars. 

The agency has advised students to possibly transfer to another institution that offers more in-person classes or enroll in universities with a mixed-mode setting of in-person and online.

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