As per the new US visa rule, the Donald Trump administration has asked foreign students in the country whose colleges have shifted to online methods of learning to shift to schools that have in-person classes or leave the country. This move could potentially affect thousands of Indian students in America.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, July 7, 2020, stated that non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools which are now operating online may not take a full online course load and remain in the US. The country will also not issue visas to students whose colleges will offer full online courses.
Further, as per the New US visa rule, non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online also may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. For students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester will not be permitted to enter the country.
Students in the US enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status.
Meanwhile, as part of the New US visa rule, non-immigrant F-1 students attending schools operating under normal in-person classes are bound by existing federal regulations and eligible F students may take a maximum of one class or three credit hours online.
Non-immigrant F-1 students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online.
Schools should update their information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) within 10 days of the change if they begin the fall semester with in-person classes. Although, later, they are required to switch to only online classes or a non-immigrant student changes their course selections for which they might end up taking an entirely online course load.
Non-immigrant students within the United States are not permitted to take a full course of study through online classes. If students find themselves in this situation, they must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their non-immigrant status such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave.
A release from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program said, “Active students currently in the US enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”
About 23 percent of colleges plan to offer a hybrid model which includes Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and Northwestern. The ICE guidance has given them a short deadline of 1 August to come out with their plans
Source: Economic Times
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