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Changing Course, U.S. Allows Visas for Online Students


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MIT students waiting to cross the road

Credit: Getty Images

In a swift immigration policy reversal, the Trump administration on Tuesday (July 14) bowed to snowballing opposition from universities, Silicon Valley, and 20 states and abandoned a plan to strip international college students of their visas if they did not attend at least some classes in person.

The policy, which would have subjected foreign students to deportation if they did not show up for class on campus, had thrown the higher education world into turmoil at a time when universities are grappling with whether to reopen campuses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The loss of international students could have cost universities millions of dollars in tuition and jeopardized the ability of U.S. companies to hire the highly skilled workers who often start their careers with an American education.

On Tuesday, minutes before a federal judge in Boston was to hear Harvard and MIT's legal challenge to the ban, the judge announced that the administration had agreed to rescind the policy and allow international students to remain in the country even if they are taking all their classes online.

From The New York Times
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