Students from the British Virgin Islands who are studying in the United States will no longer be forced to leave America if their universities switch to online-only courses due to COVID-19.
This is according to international media reports which confirmed that the President Donald Trump administration had rescinded its July 6 immigration policy that sought to bar nonimmigrant international students who take online-only courses from staying in the US.
The repeal of the policy was declared by US District Judge Allison Burroughs in Massachusetts on Tuesday after Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had brought a lawsuit against the US government over the plan.
Following the announcement, MIT President L Rafael Reif said: “This case also made abundantly clear that real lives are at stake in these matters, with the potential for real harm.”
“We need to approach policymaking, especially now, with more humanity, more decency not less,” he added.
Reverted to March policy
The policy, which received large-scale backlash from several universities and colleges across the US, will now be replaced by a previous policy which was implemented back in March.
That March policy allows international students to attend their classes virtually, if necessary, and remain legally in the country on student visas.
Days before the US government rescinded the plan which would have affected roughly a million international tertiary students in the country, the H Lavity Stoutt Community College said it was offering auxiliary services to accommodate local students who would have been affected.
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