States sues Trump administration over new international student visa guidelines

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Seventeen states and Washington, DC have recently filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s new students policy that would prevent international students who are taking online courses from remaining in the US.

ICE’s guidelines, announced on July 6th, stated that in order to remain in the country for the fall 2020 semester, international students must be enrolled in in-person classes at their schools or be subject to immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal procedures.

Meanwhile, students who remain in their own countries would only be permitted to take remote classes and maintain their Active status if their school will only be offering remote classes.

Under the previous policy, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) allowed international students to take online classes without risking their visa status due to the unusual circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the July 6th announcement, there was no indication that the fall 2020 semester would not be subject to the same policy.