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US bans foreign students from staying if all classes go online

Thousands of students and people attend a political rally at Kasetsart University (Thailand) on Saturday, demanding a rewriting of the Constitution and promising more protests to make their case. Photo: The Nation. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WASHINGTON D.C., Jul 7, 2020, Yonhap. The United States will not allow foreign students to stay in the country if all of their classes are moved online for the fall semester, the federal immigration authority said Monday (Jul 6), Yonhap News Agency reported.

The move is expected to impact South Korean students who are currently studying or plan to study in the U.S., where many classes have gone online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,” the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

“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,” it said.

Students who are currently in the U.S. and enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction, according to the guidance.

“If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings,” it said.

The news comes as U.S. colleges and universities have been announcing plans for the fall semester.

Harvard University said Monday it will allow up to 40 percent of undergraduates to return to campus for the fall semester while conducting classes online.

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