The US government has agreed to revoke a policy that would bar all foreign students taking online-only, rather than in-person programmes, from residing in the country.

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The country’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had earlier announced that all foreign students might have to leave or get deported if varsities switch to an online-only form of lecture delivery.

Following the policy, which also held that visas won’t be issued to those enrolled fully online, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University had swiftly filed a lawsuit.

On Tuesday, Allison Burroughs, a federal judge, said the department of homeland security and the ICE have agreed to rescind the policy after a hearing.

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According to the Harvard Crimson, the ICE will, as a result, revert back to the guidance it issued in March that allows students taking online courses to reside in the United States on their F-1 visas.

After the policy first came to light, it had caused disturbance among international students in the US, with multiple varsities and student unions backing Harvard and MIT against the government.

“Immediately after the fourth of July weekend, ICE threw Harvard and MIT—indeed, virtually all of higher education in the US—into chaos,” Harvard’s court papers seen by TheCable Lifestyle read.

“It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to health and safety.”

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