Trump Administration Rescinds Visa Rule for International Students

July 14, 2020 | United States of America

On July 14, 2020, the Trump Administration rescinded a previous rule that banned visas for international students enrolled in online-only courses for the fall 2020 semester.

The Administration rescinded its policy following extensive litigation, including a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last week. Several other schools followed suit, including Stanford University, public colleges across California, and a coalition of 17 states.

The Trump Administration’s decision followed an announcement made by Judge Allision Burroughs, a federal district judge in Boston. Judge Burroughs announced that the parties reached a resolution. Their decision cancels a move made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 8, 2020 that would deny student visas for international students enrolled in online education only for the upcoming fall semester. The rule would have forced international students currently in the United States to either enroll in in-person classes to avoid deportation or return to their home countries. The agency’s decision sparked outrage among universities nationwide over the ongoing risk of COVID-19 and the impact that exposure through in-person classes or travel would have on their staff, students, faculty, and surrounding communities.