The United States said Monday that foreign students would not be allowed to stay in the country if all of their classes were brought online in the fall due to the coronavirus crisis.
"Non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 students who attend schools that are fully online may not take the full online course load and may remain in the United States," said a U.S. statement. Immigration and Customs Service.
"Active students in the U.S. who are currently participating in such programs must leave the country or take other measures, such as moving to a one-to-one school to remain legal," said ICE.
"If not, they can face immigration consequences, including but not limited to initiating relocation procedures."
ICE said the State Department would "not issue student visas to students enrolled in schools and / or programs that are fully online for the fall semester, nor will US customs and border guards allow these students to enter the United States."
F-1 students complete academic study achievements and M-1 students complete "professional study achievements" according to the ICE.
Most U.S. colleges and universities have yet to announce their plans for the fall semester.
A number of schools are dealing with a hybrid model of personal and online teaching, but some, including Harvard University, have indicated that all classes are held online.
Harvard said 40 percent of the students could return to campus, but their classes would be online.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), there were more than a million international students in the United States in the 2018-19 academic year.
This represented 5.5 percent of the total U.S. university population, according to IIE, and international students contributed $ 44.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018.
Most international students came from China, followed by India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.