ICE Rescinds Restrictions for International Students

U.S. government rescinds order requiring international students to attend on-campus or hybrid classes in Fall 2020. 

Dear members of the Columbia Law School community,

A short time ago, the United States Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rescinded the guidance issued on July 6, which would have required international students to enroll in in-person or hybrid classes in order to enter or remain in the country this fall. As a result of today’s resolution, international students requiring student visas remain subject to the provisional COVID-19-related policy enacted in March, which allows them to remain in the country and maintain their immigration status even while taking a greater number of online courses than ordinarily permitted.

Along with President Lee Bollinger, I spoke out to express Columbia’s strong disapproval of the guidance issued on July 6, and the University joined in an amicus curiae brief supporting a legal challenge to these restrictions. Today’s news comes as a welcome relief not only for our international students, but also for our broader community as we reaffirm the importance of fostering a truly global exchange of ideas and the pursuit of knowledge.

We look forward to welcoming our international students to Columbia Law School this fall, whether online or on campus, and will continue to do all we can to provide a rich educational experience.


Gillian Lester
Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law