US will not permit new college students into nation for online-only lessons

Washington, July 25

The United States won’t permit the entry of recent worldwide college students for the upcoming fall semester if their programs are solely on-line, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mentioned.

In a launch, the ICE on Friday mentioned “F and M students in new or initial status after March 9, 2020, will not be able to enter the United States to enrol in a US school as a non-immigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online,” Xinhua information company reported.

It additionally mentioned college officers mustn’t concern a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status,” for a pupil in new or preliminary standing who’s outdoors of the United States and plans to take lessons at an licensed instructional establishment totally on-line.

A steering issued on March 9, 2020 by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which the ICE makes use of to handle overseas college students and trade guests within the United States, has allowed faculties and college students to interact in distance studying in extra of regulatory limits as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

The ICE mentioned on Friday that the steering applies to persevering with F and M non-immigrant college students who have been in legitimate F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant standing on March 9, 2020, together with these beforehand enrolled in solely on-line lessons who’re outdoors of the United States and in search of to re-enter the nation this fall.

“Students actively enrolled at a US school on March 9, 2020, who subsequently took courses online while outside of the country can re-enter the United States, even if their school is engaged solely in distance learning,” it added.

The announcement got here lower than two weeks after the ICE rescinded a brand new directive that might have denied worldwide college students their keep within the United States in the event that they solely attend on-line programs on this yr’s fall semester.

The directive, which got here because the White House was pushing for the reopening of colleges regardless of the pandemic, had met robust backlash from each house and overseas in addition to lawsuits supported by greater than 200 universities and 18 states.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge within the United States, many universities have introduced plans to carry most or all lessons on-line this fall to guard the well being and security of their college students and college.

Rakesh Khurana, Danoff Dean of Harvard College, mentioned in a letter to college students that “any incoming student who received a Form I-20 to begin their studies this fall will be unable to enter the US in F-1 status as course instruction is fully remote.”

“We abhor any policies that seek to force us to choose between our community’s health and the education of our international students. The University is working closely with members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to extend the online exemption to newly admitted students and ensure that this flexibility remains in place for the duration of the public health emergency,” Khurana mentioned. “Unfortunately, we don’t anticipate any change to the policy in time for the fall semester.” IANS

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