Students in the U.S. on student visas will not be able to enter or remain in the country if their courses are online only, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Monday.
None of the UNC System’s 17 campuses plans to begin the Fall semester online-only. UNC-Chapel Hill is reserving spaces in its Carolina Away online program for foreign students who can’t procure visas. But the change in policy could mean that such students already in the U.S. whose semester begins on campus would have to leave the country if, as happened last semester, the universities close to in-person teaching because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With North Carolina still experiencing record COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, many of the system’s students, faculty and administration consider a return to online-only education before the end of the semester a strong possibility.