For Immediate Release

Washington, July 6, 2020 – Today, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced modifications to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online classes due to the pandemic for the fall 2020 semester, banning Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online from remaining in the US while taking a full online course load. The following is a statement by Dr. Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators:

“Today’s guidance issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is harmful to international students and puts their health and well-being and that of the entire higher education community at risk. The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States remains unpredictable and institutions should be trusted and be given the authority to make decisions that are right for their campuses based on their local circumstances. With a global competition for talent, we must ensure that students feel safe and can attain the best education and experience possible here in the United States. Unfortunately, this administration continues to enact policies which only increase the barriers to studying here, and that’s a serious concern. At a time when new international student enrollment is in decline, our nation risks losing global talent with new policies that hurt us academically and economically.”


About NAFSA: Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at