Foreign students must leave the United States if the fall of this year, their classes will be held online or go to another University with full-time training, announced Immigration customs enforcement (ICE). About it writes Reuters.
It is not clear how many holders of student visas will be affected by this innovation, but foreign students are a key source of income for many universities in the U.S., because they often pay full tuition.
ICE has said it will not allow holders of student visas to remain in the country if their universities will hold classes online this fall. According to the statement, these students must leave the country or they may face removal proceedings.
Colleges and universities have begun to announce plans for the semester of autumn 2020 on the background of the ongoing pandemic. Monday, 6 July, Harvard University announced that in the 2020-2021 academic year, it will work online.
The new ICE rule apply to holders of visas F-1 and M-1, is designed for students in academic and vocational schools. The state Department has issued 388 839 visas F-1 and 518 9 million visas M-1 in fiscal 2019.
Innovation does not affect students who are unable personally to attend full-time classes. It also does not affect holders of visa F-1, which are partly trained in the online mode.
The administration of U.S. President Donald trump in recent months introduced a number of new restrictions on legal and illegal immigration to the pandemic coronavirus.
In June, the administration has stopped issuing work visas to a wide range of non-immigrant workers who, according to her statement, competing with U.S. citizens for jobs. The administration also has suspended the reception of asylum-seekers on the southern border with Mexico, citing health risks associated with the coronavirus.
Brad Farnsworth, Vice President of the American Council on education, said that the announcement of this innovation caught him and many others by surprise, writes CNN.
“We think this will lead to even more confusion and uncertainty,” said Farnsworth, whose organization represents about 1,800 colleges and universities.
Farnsworth said that one of the problems associated with the new rule is what happens if in the autumn the situation with public health will deteriorate, and the universities are now planning to open, they would think that they need to go into online mode to be safe.
Visa requirements for students has always been strict, and the arrival in the United States for the completion of online courses was banned.
“The main problem is that in some of these countries there are restrictions on entry, and students can’t go home, so what do they do then? said Theresa Cardinal brown, Director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Is a mystery to many students.”
The President of Harvard University Larry Bacow said “we are deeply concerned that the guidance issued by ICE, forcing a universal approach to a complex problem, which gives international students few options but to leave the country or transferred “to other universities”.
Innovation, continued Bako, “undermines a thoughtful approach adopted on behalf of the students of many educational institutions, including Harvard, planning to continue academic programs at the same time balancing the issues of health and safety during a global pandemic”.
“We will work closely with other colleges and universities across the country that something can change,” he said.
According to the migration policy Institute, a research center located in Washington (district of Columbia) as of March 2018, nearly 1.2 million students, were international students that fall under the new rule.
“It will create, I think, more anxiety on the part of foreign students, and those who still do not know what will happen in the fall, I think it might push them to go “study at universities in another country,” said Farnsworth.
Although students may be able to transfer to a College or University offering full-time courses, it may be difficult, due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus. Some universities have announced plans to bring students back, but to shorten the semesters, and to cancel almost all sessions during the semester.