- The US has announced students will have to head back to their own countries
- ICE has said the State Department “will not issues visas to students,”
On Monday, the United State of America said it would not allow the overseas students to remain in the country if all of their classes have been moved online in the fall given the COVID-19 outbreak.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 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,” in a statement.
The ICE added, “Active students currently in the United States 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,”.
The ICE also said that “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”
The Immigration and Customs Department said that the State Department “will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”
The F-1 students pursue academic coursework whole the M-1 students pursue “vocational coursework,” said the ICE.
As of now the majority of Universities and the Colleges in the US have not announced their plans for the fall semester.
Currently, many schools are looking for a hybrid model which would include both in-person and online classes and instruction, however, some universities including the prestigious and Ivy league member Harvard University have confirmed to conduct all the classes online.
Harvard University has said that 40% of the undergraduates enrolled would be allowed to return to the campus however, their instructions will be online.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), in the academic year of 2018-19, there were more than 1 million or 10 lakh international students in the United States of America. These 1 million overseas students accounted for 5.5% of the total US higher education population added IIE.
IIE also said that the international students, in the US, contributed $ 44.7 billion to the economy in 2018 alone. The largest number of overseas students in the United States of America came from China which is followed by India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.