In a surprise turn of events, the Trump Administration has agreed to ‘withdraw‘ the immigration rule restricting international students from staying in the US if they take only online classes.
Earlier on July 6, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued new guidelines pressing international students to take at least one in-person class to stay in the US.
With this new policy, the students are at risk of deportation if they did not transfer schools or leave the country voluntarily. And visas will not be issued to students at schools providing all classes online.
However, the new announcement was met with an immediate backlash.
The prestigious Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sued the American Government in the US District Court in Massachusetts, seeking an injunction to stop the entire rule from going into effect.
As many as 17 US states, District of Colombia and over 200 universities have filed their own lawsuits supporting the challenge by Harvard and MIT.
Even the major US technology companies and other businesses, including the US Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, joined the legal fray.
During a court hearing on Tuesday, District Judge Allison D. Burroughs announced that ICE would revert to the new guidance that allows international students to take online courses to reside in the US on F-1 visas, and it will rescind any implementation of the policy.
“The Court was informed by the parties that they have come to a resolution to the combined temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction motions,” read the court docket. “The Government has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 Policy Directive and the July 7, 2020 FAQ, and has also agreed to rescind their implementation.”
The announcement comes as a big relief to international students, including Nepalis.
The US has remained one of the most preferred destinations for further higher education for Nepali students. Currently, over 14,000 Nepali students are pursuing education in various universities across the US.
Every year, over 2,000 Nepali students enrol in various universities across the US.
According to the US Government records, Nepal ranked 12th in terms of the number of undergraduate and graduate students studying in the US, with a total of 13,229 students.
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