The USA has announced on 6th July that it would not allow international students to remain in the country if their classes are conducted online in the fall because of the coronavirus crisis. The administration of Donald Trump has asked the international students studying in the USA, whose institution have shifted to online teaching, to shift to the institutions that have in-person classes or leave the country.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said “Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,”
What is it’s major impacts?
Non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 students studying in the schools in which entirely online classes are conducted will not be allowed to take a full online course load and stay in the USA.
The USA will also not issue visas to students whose colleges will offer fully online courses from later this year nor will USA Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.
International students currently studying in the USA who are admitted in such online programs must leave the country or take other steps, such as shifting to an institution which has in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may have to face immigration consequences.
Non-immigrant F-1 students studying in the schools in which classes are conducted under in-person classes are bound by existing federal regulations. Eligible F students are allowed to take a maximum of one class or 3 credit hours if online.
Non-immigrant F-1 students who are attending schools following a hybrid model which is, a combination of both in-person classes and online classes, will be permitted to take more than one class or 3 credit hours online. These schools must prove that the program is not totally online, that the student is not taking the full online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to progress normally in their program, with the help of Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status,” to SEVP
The above exemptions do not include for M-1 students pursuing vocational degrees or F-1 students in English language training programs who are not allowed to admission in any online courses.
Non-immigrant students are not allowed to take a full course of study through online classes who are within the USA. If students do not have any other option then they must leave the country or take steps accordingly to maintain their non-immigrant status such as a reduce the course load or a valid medical leave.
After the news of Temporary suspension of H1B visa, this news is making things difficult for internationals. to know more visit here How will the temporary US H1B visa suspension affect Indian students and employees?
Most of the colleges and universities in USA have not yet updated their plans for the fall semester. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), in the academic year of 2018-19, there were more than one million international students studying in the USA, which is about 5.5% of the total USA higher education student population. The international students contributed $44.7 billion to the USA economy in 2018. The largest number of international students come to USA from the county, China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
To know more Visit International students in USA 2020: Statistics and Trends
India sent over 2 lakh students to the USA in the fiscal year of 2019, the largest after China. ICE has threatened that foreign students who don’t go along with the new rules of finding an institution that offers in-person teaching could be forced to leave the country. This is a move that potentially would affect thousands of Indian students in studying in USA.