On Monday, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that Foreign students must leave the US if their school’s classes this fall will be taught completely online or transfer to another school with in-person instruction.
However, until now it is not clear how many visa holders will be affected by this announcement. Moreover, foreign students are the major source of revenue for US universities as they often pay full tuition fees.
ICE said that it would not permit the foreigners to remain in the US if their school turns online classes for the fall. As per the announcement, such students will have to leave or transfer from the country.
Colleges and universities have begun to announce plans for the fall 2020 semester amid the continued coronavirus pandemic. Harvard University on Monday announced it would conduct course instruction online for the 2020-2021 academic year.
F-1 and M-1 visas will be affected by the announcement made by the ICE. In 2019, the State Department issued 388,839 F visas and 9,518 M visas, according to the agency’s data.
However, this announcement will not affect students who take classes in person. Additionally, the announcement also does not affect F-1 students who take partial online course-load, as long as their university certifies the student’s instruction is not completely digital. However, students of M-1 vocational program and English language training program students of F-1 will be restricted from taking any classes online.
Several new instructions have been imposed by the US’ President Donald Trump in recent months on legal and illegal immigration due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The administration suspended work visas in June for huge nonimmigrant workers claiming the US citizens jobs. Further, the administration also terminated the entry of asylum seekers at the southern border with Mexico. In justification, the administration stated the pandemic as the reason.