ICE rule puts foreign students in limbo

A rule change from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will affect foreign students in the United States. (File Photo)
A rule change from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will affect foreign students in the United States. (File Photo)(KY3)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 3:41 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A rule change announced Monday, July 6, 2020, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could force some non immigrant F-1 visa students to leave the country.

Under the rule, if a university only offers online classes, foreign students enrolled at that school must either transfer to another university or leave the country.

If a student attends a university offering a hybrid mix of online and in-person classes, the foreign students enrolled at the university will be allowed to remain in the U.S.

The University of Nevada Reno is currently operating under Phase 2 policies, which includes a hybrid online and in-person instruction with maximum gatherings of 50 people and six feet of social distancing.

The University has also submitted a Phase 3 plan that is under review with the Nevada System of Higher Education.

University of Nevada Draft Summary of Phase 3 Plan:

· As a matter of course, and as approved by NSHE, faculty and students will be required to wear face coverings in the classroom and maintain appropriate social distancing.

· Requests for accommodations concerning face-coverings must be submitted through the normal ADA process for faculty, or DRC process for students.

· Classes with enrollments of more than 200 will be taught completely online.

· Classes with enrollments of 200 or less will be taught in a “HyFlex” or alternative mode of instruction that would limit the number of students to no more than 50% of classroom capacity.

· Students not physically attending lecture as part of a HyFlex class will participate via Zoom on their alternate days.

· Some classes with small enrollments, labs, clinical experiences, studios, graduate seminars, etc. may be able to meet entirely in person. These may be allowed if the faculty member can provide assurance that appropriate social distancing and safety measures can be observed.

University of Nevada Reno

A complication will arise if the state goes backwards to Phase 1, requiring the University of Nevada to hold online only courses.

The University says it does not have numbers yet of foreign students for the Fall 2020 semester. For the Fall 2019 semester, the University enrolled 536 degree seeking F-1 students and 149 Academic Training F-1 students.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) had given foreign students a temporary exemption, allowing them to take online only courses for the 2019 spring and summer semesters.

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