On July 6, 2020, the “Student and Exchange Visitor Program” (SEVP), has made certain modifications related to non-American citizens or non-residents who have a student visa or who wish to go to study in the United States during the fall of 2020.

The United States Department of Homeland Security has indicated that all non-immigrant students (holders of an F-1 or M-1 visa) who are currently in a full distance learning program (due to the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 exemptions established for the COVID-19 pandemic) must go back to the original F-1/M-1 enrollment requirements unless their school is certified as a provider of a hybrid model. As a consequence, students who are in a school that will not offer their respective program in such conditions (meaning they will maintain the full distance learning format) entering Fall 2020 will either have to:

  1. Change to a school/program that will offer the required conditions (max of 3 credit hours of distance learning for non-hybrid programs)
  2. Change to a school/program that will offer the hybrid model (allows for more than one class in distance learning)
  3. Leave the United States as they will be in violation of their immigration status

The State Department will not issue new visas to students seeking to enter a program in a school that continues to offer a said program in a full distance learning format.

Students holding an F visa can take a class or three credit hours online. Moreover, those students holding an F-1 visa who have both modalities (hybrid model) will be allowed to take more than one class or three hours of credit online. Therefore, the academic institution must certify to the SEVP that its program is not 100% online and that the student will study in person with the already established concessions.

It is important to mention that this new regulation does not apply to those students holding an F-1 visa in English language training programs or M-1 students who choose to obtain vocational degrees.

The Goy Gentile Abogados is an international law firm that wants to offer its support to those students affected by these new measures in the United States. We would gladly offer our services to those who wish to continue their academic endeavors here in Spain.   


Lucía Goy Mastromiechele


+34 91 435 45 19

Annie Palacios


+34 91 435 45 19