International students pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses.

This was announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday.

The move may affect thousands of foreign students who come to the United States to attend universities or participate in training programs, as well as non-academic or vocational studies.

Many universities have already begun making decisions to transition to online courses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Harvard, all course instruction will be delivered online, including for students living on campus. For international students, that opens the door to them being forced to leave the US.

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