A new announcement was made by ICE today, which intends to remove international students from the US whose universities have gone completely online.
For universities like mine, which are following a mix of online and offline classes, the following announcement has been made:
Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online. These schools must certify to SEVP, through the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” certifying that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program. The above exemptions do not apply to F-1 students in English language training programs or M-1 students pursing vocational degrees, who are not permitted to enroll in any online courses
I am a PhD student who has completed his comprehensive exam, and does not have course requirements anymore. Will I be required to take in-person courses in order to maintain my status? My department allows post-comprehensive exam PhD students to take a maximum of two courses for the rest of their stay in grad school, and that is also subject to availability of funds.