SEVP Extends March 2020 Guidance for 2022-23 Academic Year

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has extended the guidance issued in March 2020 for the 2022-23 academic year. This guidance allows certain continuing F and M students to enroll in more distance learning (e.g., online classes) than normally allowed. This accommodation was made to assist qualifying foreign national students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Temporary Accommodations for Certain F-1 or M-1 Continuing Students

In particular, SEVP is allowing universities and colleges to temporarily have continuing F and M students enrolled exclusively in distance-learning (e.g., online classes). This guidance only applies to continuing students who were in valid F-1 or M-1 status as of March 9, 2020.

This is a stark change from the standard rule, which generally prohibits F-1 students from enrolling in more than one distance-learning course per semester. M-1 students normally are not permitted to count any distance-learning toward the full course of study requirement.


Widespread vaccination efforts and new treatments have, to a degree, reduced the risks posed by COVID-19. Yet, we still may have some way to go before the pandemic is behind us. Providing schools with the flexibility to reduce person-to-person contact should help to further reduce spread of this virus.


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