Updated 7/17/17 – The Trump administration has agreed to rescind rules it issued last week barring international students from being in the U.S. if they were taking classes only online, a rare reversal by the government on immigration policy.

This past week the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) issued a “modification” to F-1 Visa status that could have a huge impact on international student-athletes (and their coaches and teams).

Effective for the Fall 2020 semester, “non-immigrant students” who are taking their college courses through an entirely online delivery method will not be permitted to remain in the US.

According to Monday’s press release from ICE, “Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status.”

As most of you know from our previous communications with you as a client or as a newsletter subscriber, while the ICE statement seems to read as if “transferring is easy – no big deal”, that’s obviously not the case!!

An international student-athlete transferring on short notice will find it extremely difficult to find another college that has scholarship money available for an unexpected transfer.

This decision by ICE will have very serious implications for those international student-athletes who are currently here in the US, or plan to arrive in the US, and then possibly learn that their university will only be providing instruction via online courses.

We can’t predict whether the NCAA will provide a special waiver for international student-athletes who will be impacted by this decision. But we can discuss options that international student-athletes can consider and how those options will impact their future athletic eligibility.

Schedule a confidential Eligibility Issues consultation online, or send an email to rick@informedathlete.com.