The United States has said that it will not take in any new foreign students seeking online-only study from any of its institutions.
This development comes after the US backtracked on a hotly contested order to expel those already in the US and preparing for online study because of the pandemic.
The new policy change was announced in a statement by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
President Donald Trump had suspended several kinds of visas for foreigners during the coronavirus crisis.
The president’s initial policy change of revoking the visas of foreign students whose classes will move online in the autumn was dragged to court by top universities including Harvard and MIT, teachers unions and at least 18 states. On July 14 the Trump reversed the decision.
The Trump administration policy was seen as a move to put pressure on educational institutions that are adopting a cautious approach to reopening amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump has been calling on schools at all levels to reopen with in-person classes as a sign of a return to normality.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemicMost US colleges and universities have not yet announced their plans for the fall semester but Harvard has announced that all its classes for the 2020-21 academic year will be conducted online, “with rare exceptions.”