US says foreign students whose classes move online cannot stay

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The United States said Monday it would not allow foreign students to remain in the country if all of their classes are moved online in the fall over the coronavirus crisis.

"Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States," US Immigration and Custom Enforcement said in a statement.

"Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status," ICE said.

"If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings."

F-1 students pursue academic coursework and M-1 students pursue "vocational coursework," according to ICE.

Most US colleges and universities have not yet announced their plans for the fall semester.

A number of schools are looking at a hybrid model of in-person and online instruction, but some, including Harvard University, have said all classes will be conducted online.

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