Effective May 11, 2023, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) ended its Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance, consistent with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, following the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency on April 10, 2023.
While the SEVP’s COVID-19 guidance is terminated as of May 11, 2023, Active F and M nonimmigrant students will be able to complete the 2022-23 academic year under the COVID-19 flexibilities through the 2023 summer semester. However, Active F and M nonimmigrant students will not be permitted to count online classes toward a full course of study in excess of the regulatory limits stated in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G) and 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v) for the 2023-24 academic year.
Initial or re-entering students must enroll in programs complying with the regulatory limits for distance learning as stated in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G). Designated school officials should not issue Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” for students in new or Initial status who are outside of the United States and plan to take classes at an educational institution certified by SEVP for a program of study that contains online components in excess of the regulatory limits.
For schools, while all previously submitted procedural change plans are voided as of May 11, 2023, Active F and M nonimmigrant students will be able to complete the 2022-23 academic year under the flexibilities through the 2023 summer session. With the beginning of the fall 2023 session, schools must comply with all regulatory limits in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f), 8 C.F.R. 214.2(m), 8 C.F.R. 214.3 and 8 C.F.R. 214.4.
SEVP originally published its COVID-19 flexibilities to accommodate the national emergencies as they pertained to SEVP-certified schools and nonimmigrant students, including restrictions and disruptions to travel and changes in teaching methods at the time. The flexibilities were always intended as a temporary measure to allow nonimmigrant students to continue their studies with the least disruptions as possible and did not signify or result in a permanent change to the regulations.
For further information, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders About COVID-19.