UI international students will not be required to leave the U.S. during virtual-only instruction

Over 2,000 UI international students will no longer have to leave the U.S. after Thanksgiving when the university moves to virtual-only instruction.

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Thomas A. Stewart

Over 100 flags are on display on the Iowa Memorial Union Pedestrian Bridge to recognize the international students on campus.

Lillian Poulsen, News Reporter


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement rescinded a plan that would force international students taking online-only classes to leave the country or transfer to an in-person institution. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs shared the decision for reversal during a televised hearing on Tuesday.

The decision comes after Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit against the agencies responsible for the order.

Since the plan has been withdrawn, UI international students will not be required to leave the U.S. after Thanksgiving break when the university switches to an all-online format. More than 2,225 international students are affected by this decision, as previously reported by The Daily Iowan. 

On Monday, Iowa City joined other cities and counties to file an amicus brief that supported the lawsuit filed by these two universities. The brief argued that requiring in-person classes may harm the health of international students.

Additionally, the presidents of Iowa’s three regent universities signed a letter urging for the immediate rescission of the ICE guidance.

The UI issued a statement on the ruling on its Twitter account.

“Earlier this week we, along with other university presidents across the nation, shared our deep concerns about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) new guidance regarding the visa status of international students enrolled at U.S. institutions of higher education,” the tweet read. “Today we are gratified this guidance by ICE has been rescinded.”

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