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Government and Universities Agree to Settlement to International Students

The federal government and various U.S. universities recently reached a settlement whereby the federal government (ICE) would agree to rescind the recent order pertaining to foreign students. That order would have rescinded recent guidance allowing international students to take online courses only. The order was intended to require foreign students to take at least some in-person courses or else they would be subject to removal from the United States. Universities protested the order, claiming that they should be the arbiters based on local conditions on when it was safe to resume in-person classes. The lawsuit was intended to force the government to back down from the recent pronouncement which would have severely impacted the universities to continue to host foreign students which, among other things, is a major source of revenue for these institutions. After the recent settlement, it is not clear how it will impact foreign students who are already in the United States but rather applying for the first time for a U.S. visa for universities not offering in-person courses at the start of the semester. Therefore, the impact of today’s order will mainly affect those international students already in the United States. More guidance should be provided in the near future as to international students applying from abroad for a student visa.

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