ICE Extends COVID-19 Guidance for International Students Through 2021-22 Academic Year

May 5, 2021 Ian Love

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that it will continue to allow international students to take more courses online during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Overview

ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will continue following guidance first issued in March 2020 for the 2021-22 academic year. The guidance allows international students to take courses online rather than in-person due to COVID-19.

The SEVP guidance also states that students in new or initial status who were not already in the U.S. as of March 9, 2020 may not be issued F-1 or M-1 visas if their studies will be 100% online. To enter the U.S. in initial status, students must be enrolled in a fully in-person educational program or in a hybrid learning program with a combination of online and in-person learning.

What Should Stakeholders Know?

ICE’s guidance will be extended through the 2021-22 academic year without modifications. Students who were already in the U.S. as of March 9, 2020 in F-1 or M-1 status can remain in the country, even if their studies will be 100% online during the 2021-22 academic year.

Looking Ahead

Envoy Global and Global Immigration Associates (GIA) will continue to provide updates to this story as they become available. Stakeholders can also monitor the ICE website for more information. 

 Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional. 

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