The United States announced on Friday that it would not admit new overseas students who only want to study online after lifting a hotly contested order to expel students already here and preparing for the pandemic.
The policy change was announced in a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
President Donald Trump has made a strict immigration policy a cornerstone of his message, and has suspended various types of visa for foreigners during the coronavirus crisis.
The original policy change to withdraw visas from overseas students whose classes go online in the fall has been brought to justice by top universities such as Harvard and MIT, teacher unions and at least 18 states.
And on July 14, the administration reversed the course and overturned the decision.
The move was seen by Trump as a step in putting pressure on educational institutions that are taking a cautious approach to reopening in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump is committed to re-opening schools at all levels with personal instruction to restore normality, while fighting a tough struggle for re-election in November.
He urges it, although the virus has gotten out of control in some states. The US death toll reaches a world high of more than 144,000.
His government largely leaves it up to the states themselves to figure out how to safely open schools.
According to the Institute of International Education, there were more than a million international students in the U.S. in the 2018-19 academic year.
Many schools are heavily dependent on the tuition fees of these students.
Most U.S. colleges and universities have not yet announced their plans for the fall semester, but Harvard has announced that all classes for the 2020-21 academic year will be conducted "with rare exceptions" online.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)