On July 6, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which is part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gave guidance to schools that stated In-person classes are must for F-1 and M students and they cannot be fully enrolled in online only classes. If the schools do not offer in-person or hybrid classes, then such students must leave US. Also, F-1 and M Visas would be issued for such schools by the US Department of State (DOS) nor would such students be allowed to enter the US if the school is offering an only online course of study. Challenging this ruling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University sued Trump administration’s DHS and ICE on July 8th.
Schools can now be allowed to stay online, if they choose. Schools will not need to issue new I-20s to annotate that students will be attending a hybrid school. F-1 and M visas will be issued by DOS. All this means is that processing should return to the status quo as they were established by the March 9, 2020 policy directive and the addendum issued on March 13, 2020.