NAICU Washington Update

Federal Guidance for International Students Remains Unchanged

December 09, 2020

A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said that existing guidance for international students studying at U.S. institutions will remain in place for the 2021 spring semester. The original guidance, announced in March, was issued as the pandemic was bearing down on the U.S.

International students who were already enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities prior to March 9, 2020, can enter the U.S. to continue their classes either fully online or in a hybrid model.  New international students as of March 9, 2020, must remain in their home country if their course work is fully online, but may enter the U.S. if their course work is hybrid.

NAICU joined others in the higher education community in sending a letter to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asking for maximum flexibility in further guidance on international students.  Citing the decline in international students studying in the U.S., the community was hoping that new international students would be permitted to enter the U.S. to study fully online.

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