The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded a policy that would have stripped visas from international students whose courses move exclusively online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The move comes after the policy announcement last week sparked a flurry of litigation, beginning with a suit brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by California’s public colleges and later a coalition of 17 states, among other challenges.
Judge Allison Burroughs, a federal district judge in Boston who was expected to preside over oral arguments in the Harvard-MIT case, made the surprise announcement at the beginning of the court proceedings Tuesday.
“I have been informed by the parties that they have come to a resolution,” Burroughs said, adding, “They will return to the status quo.”
The latest development cancels a move U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week that international students whose courses move entirely online would be required to depart the country or transfer schools and reinstates an earlier plan to grant exemptions to student visa holders.