New U.S. guidelines require exchange students to take in-person classes this fall

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, announced July 6 a list of rules and exemptions for foreign exchange students who are located in the United States and planning to take classes in the country during the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

According to a news release from ICE, individuals in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program cannot take a fully online course load in the fall and are required to take in-person classes to remain in the U.S. or be permitted into the country.

Eligible students enrolled in primary or post-secondary schools that are holding in-person classes will be permitted to take one class, or three credit hours, of online work, but other course work must be done in person, according to the news release.

Those at schools with a hybrid model of online and in-person programs can take more than one online course if the school can “clarify that the program is not entirely online,” according to the news release.

Students in the program are not allowed to maintain their eligibility while only taking online courses, and those enrolled at schools only offering online options will either not be issued visas to enter the country or be required to leave the U.S. if currently present, according to ICE.


“If students find themselves in this situation, they must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave,” the release states.

Students can also choose to transfer into a different, eligible school that is offering in-person classes to maintain their eligibility, the release states.

More information about the Student and Exchange Visitor Program can be found here.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


MOST RECENT

Founders Day 2019 included a live wedding to honor Dripping Springs as the wedding capital of Texas. (Courtesy Al Gawlick Photography)
Drippings Springs cancels Founders Day festival for the second year in a row

Traditionally, Founders Day celebrates the 1850 founding of Dripping Springs.

Save Austin Now wants to overturn a city policy that allows public camping. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Aiming to reinstate camping ban, group guarantees it has enough signatures to put controversial policy on ballot

If validated, the controversial decision to lift the public camping ban could be up to voters in May.

The Austin-based eatery's menu is inspired by Nashville hot chicken; offerings include chicken bites, jumbo tenders, chicken sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and homemade pies. (Courtesy Tumble 22)
Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant coming to Round Rock and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

Screen shot of a web meeting
COVID-19 rates in Travis County starting to improve, but vaccine distribution remains complicated

Austin Public Health and other local distributors still lack enough supply to provide all qualified residents with an initial dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The 87th Texas Legislature convened Jan. 12. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
State bills target Austin’s police cuts, forced closure of businesses during pandemic

Legislative bills are still being drafted, but even in the session's very beginning, a handful of proposals have drawn the attention of local officials.

A new bus platform at Dean Keeton Street and Guadalupe Street allows Capital Metro buses to pick up and drop off passengers without pulling out of traffic. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin transportation news: A new bus stop on the Drag, a barge on Lady Bird Lake and tolls on US 183

The barge is taking soil samples as part of the environmental review process for the forthcoming Blue Line, and the bus stop is part of a six-month pilot program.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

Corgan Architects presented potential schematic designs for the district's fifth elementary school last year. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
Dripping Springs ISD prepares to vote for name, principal of new elementary school

The DSISD board of trustees will vote on Jan. 25. The top name in contention is "Cypress Springs Elementary."

Tesla will continue construction of its southeast Travis County manufacturing plant through 2021. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Story to watch in 2021: Tesla’s gigafactory set for completion by year’s end

Tesla is already hiring a number of manufacturing positions for the factory as well as engineers.

Abby Jane Bakeshop held a soft opening Jan. 16-17 in Dripping Springs. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
From pastries to pizza, Abby Jane Bakeshop bringing treats to Dripping Springs

The new bakeshop is set to open Jan. 21 off Fitzhugh Road.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.