International students who earn degrees in the United States will have to leave the country if their universities move to full online teaching. About that announced Monday, July 6, on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
Universities across the country are beginning to make the decision to move to online education, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. For example, in Harvard, all courses will be offered online, including for students living on campus. International students will be sent back to their home countries for this reason.
Students at institutions using the "hybrid model," which includes a mix of online and offline classes, will take one class or three credit hours online. These institutions of higher education must certify in the Undergraduate and Exchange Programs that the student is not taking an entire online-only course during the Fall 2020 semester and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes necessary to make normal progress in their respective degree program.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced its plan for temporary changes to F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visa requirements for the fall 2020 semester. They will allow a combination of both face-to-face and some online courses to meet the requirements for non-immigrant student status.
International students will still be required to obtain the appropriate visa and may still be subject to other visa or travel restrictions in connection with COVID-19. Students should contact their local U.S. embassy or consulate for information relevant to their country.
According to Institute of International Education, international students make up 5.5% of the U.S. college-educated population, nearly 1.1 million in the 2018-2019 academic year.