International students who hold F-1 and I-20 visas, and are taking spring courses remotely in the US will be able to maintain their active status even if they are not in the US, according to the temporary decision of the Department of Homeland Security.

On regular bases, international students are ineligible to maintain their active status under F-1 and I-20 visas through remote classes, which are the most common international student visas, but the latest decision came in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), VisaGuide.World reports.

In order to keep their active status and legally remain in the US, international students must enrol for three consecutive terms at Dartmouth, according to associate director of the Dartmouth office of visa and immigration services Marcia Calloway.

“As long as the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place, students online classes can count as one of the necessary consecutive terms” the US government announced on March 23.

According to the latest decision of the Department of Homeland, Security students will be able to return to their homes, without worrying that will lose their active status.

Marco Cabrera Aguilar, a student who is currently at home in Costa Rica said that before the new provision was announced he had fled back to his home but under the new provision he can take his classes remotely.

“It’s a different world,” Aguilar said. “But it’s working … Within the realm of possibility, things are as fine as they can be. And I’m really, really grateful that it all worked out as it has,” he said.

Carolina Lago Pena Maia, a student from Brazil, has been eligible to return back to her home nation and take online classes without worrying about any visa complication.

Ronald Abramson, a lawyer at Shaheen & Gordon, offered advice to students regarding visa concerns.

According to Abramson, international students should “let the College know what their intentions are in terms of plans, in order to make sure everything is properly papered.”

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