A general view of Harvard University campus is seen on April 22, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Maddie Meyer | Getty Images
The Trump administration has rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer schools or leave the country if their colleges hold classes entirely online this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the decision as a court hearing was getting underway on a challenge to the rule by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Under the earlier rule, international students in the U.S. would have been forbidden from taking all of their courses online this fall. New visas would not have been issued to students at schools planning to provide all classes online, which includes Harvard. Students already in the U.S. would have faced deportation if they didn’t transfer schools or leave the country voluntarily.
The rule created a dilemma for thousands of foreign students who stayed in the U.S. after their colleges shifted to remote learning last spring.
As part of the policy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had told colleges to notify the agency no later than Wednesday if they plan to hold all classes online this fall.