US To Withdraw Visas For Foreign Students Whose Classes Move Online Due To Covid Crisis

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Washington: The United States has announced that it would not allow foreign students to remain in the country if all of their classes are moved online in the fall because of the coronavirus crisis.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said people could face deportation if they do not comply with the rules.

Many universities are moving classes online due to coronavirus pandemic.

It is not clear how many students will be affected.

“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,” US Immigration and Custom Enforcement said in a statement.

“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,” ICE said.

ICE said 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.”

F-1 students pursue academic coursework and M-1 students pursue “vocational coursework,” according to ICE.

Harvard said 40 percent of undergraduates would be allowed to return to campus but their instruction would be online.

There were more than one million international students in the United States for the 2018-19 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).

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