Government Rescinds July 6 Directive on Student Visa Rules

Online-only and hybrid students' visa status safe (at least for now)

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The federal government's July 6 Directive announcing a change to student visa rules, which imperiled the status of online-only and hybrid international students, is being rescinded after much protest and multiple lawsuits by universities and states. The news was announced a few minutes ago at a hearing for the lawsuit by Harvard and MIT, which had been followed by lawsuits initiated by California and seventeen other states. This moots the TRO motion by Harvard/MIT and should conclude these various proceedings.

I do not have any further information at this time as to what led to the government's decision, so we are left to speculate about whether public pressure and/or the likelihood of another judicial defeat for the Trump Administration motivated it. In any case, it was the right call and hopefully puts the issue to rest for some time--ideally until COVID-19 is no longer a danger to public health.