Trump Administration Rescinds Rule on Foreign National Students and Online Courses

On Tuesday, the Trump administration stepped back from a policy position introduced on July 6 that would have put foreign national students studying in the US at risk of losing their visas if their coursework was online only.

The outcome of such a policy would have forced thousands of students to leave the US.

Shortly following the policy announcement last week, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) filed a suit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

At the start of the hearing on Tuesday, US District Judge Allison Burroughs announced the federal authorities had pulled the directive to “return to the status quo.”

Foreign national students enrolled at US colleges and universities will be able to continue their planned studies in the US under the more relaxed directive introduced in March, which removed the typical limits for online education in light of the coronavirus pandemic.