In a move that would adversely impact thousands of Indian students studying in the United States, the federal immigration has announced that foreign students pursuing education in America will have to leave the country if their respective universities switch to online class during the fall semester.
In a press release on Monday, the immigration and customs enforcement said that for the fall semester, foreign students pursuing education in America can stay in the country if their universities do not switch to fully online classes. The press release said,
“The United States Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will United States customs and border protection permit these students to enter the United States.”
The agency suggested the students switch to other schools which has in-person instructions. This includes international students who have come to the United States to pursue education on an F-1 visa and on an M-1 visa. According to the latest data of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program report of 2017 and 2018, India has sent the largest number of students with 251,290 after China with 478,732. From 2017 to 2018, the number of students sent from India has increased with 4,157.
The immigration further said,
“The students must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status or potentially face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”
This comes because of the growing situation of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States which is likely to go into the lockdown again if the condition worsens. There has also been an international travel restriction in place because of the pandemic. With this restriction, it is still uncertain for students outside America if they are going to ever join their courses in their universities.
The number of cases in the United States has crossed the 3 million mark. The total number of deaths in the country is around 132,000. There are over 1.3 million patients who are successfully recovered from the disease that has left 1.5 million cases active in the country.
Source: The Times of India