Japanese nationals studying in the United States were put at ease Wednesday after the U.S. immigration agency recanted a directive that would have forced thousands of international students to leave the country or transfer to different institutions if their schools only offered courses online this fall.

The stunning turnaround was announced at the beginning of a court session Tuesday in Boston, in which Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the federal government over the decree, AP reported. More than 200 universities rallied around the two institutions by signing court briefs.

The news was a huge relief for Japanese students in the U.S. like Hikaru Yamagishi, a 30-year-old from Tokyo studying for a Ph.D. in political science at Yale University.