This page was updated 7/25/20.
On March 9, 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigrations and Customs (ICE) announced that it would relax the rules governing the number of online classes that an international student with an F-1 visa could take, permitting international students to take all their classes online.
On July 6,2020, ICE rescinded this, requiring international students with an F-1 visa to take at least one class in person.
On July 14, 2020, ICE rescinded the July 6 announcement and returned to the rule it had announced on March 9, 2020.
On July 15, 2020, ICE issued an updated FAQ, based on the March 9 rules, summarizing its current approach for international students with an F-1 visa in light of COVID-19. These FAQs are based on the March 9 rules and the July 15, 2020, FAQs. We will update these FAQs if ICE issues new rules or guidance.
On July 24, 2020, ICE issued clarifications for initial/incoming international students. These clarifications do NOT affect or pertain to continuing international students. See new guidance shared with all 2020 incoming international students on July 25, 2020.
Response to September 24, 2020 Message from Homeland Security
On September 24, the Department of Homeland Security issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would change the current policy–which allows F and J visa holders to stay in the United States until the completion of their degree (duration of status)–to a “fixed duration,” which would require visa holders to petition for an extension after certain periods of time. This proposed rule may also affect our recent graduates on F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training.
This is a proposal and there will be a 30-day period for comments followed by a mandatory review before the final rule is implemented. To reiterate, this is a proposed rule, and it is not yet in effect.
Duke is firmly committed to our international students and opposed to the proposed rule. The Office of Government Relations is working closely with Duke Visa Services on the university’s response.
For questions and guidance with regard to the proposed rule, please contact:
Duke Visa Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
For other questions or concerns, please contact: