Online Studies Policy to Resume for Foreign Students as COVID-19 Flexibility Ends
With the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency in the United States, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has reinstated its preexisting policy regarding online classes.
Accordingly, for the 2023-24 academic year (starting fall 2023), students will have to comply with the SEVP’s pre-COVID-19 restrictions. Students will be able to complete the 2022-23 academic year under the COVID-19 flexibilities – including through any summer session.
For F-1 students, per 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G), this means:
No more than the equivalent of one class or three credits per session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter may be counted toward the full course of study requirement if the class is taken on-line or through distance education and does not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class …. If the F-1 student’s course of study is in a language study program, no on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward a student’s full course of study requirement.
For M-1 students, per 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v), this means:
No on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward an M-1 student’s full course of study requirement if such classes do not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class.
The SEVP always intended its COVID-19 flexibilities to be temporary measures meant to allow students to continue their studies with as little disruption as possible during a time of significant and changing travel restrictions, as well as substantial shifts in teaching methods.
This is just one of a number of COVID-19 flexibilities and restrictions that have terminated with the end of COVID-19 National Emergency, including I-9 flexibility and COVID-19 travel restrictions.