U.S. to force out foreign students taking classes fully online
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[July 07, 2020]
By Mimi Dwyer
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Foreign students must
leave the United States if their school's classes this fall will be
taught completely online or transfer to another school with in-person
instruction, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency
announced on Monday.
It was not immediately clear how many student visa holders would be
affected by the move, but foreign students are a key source of revenue
for many U.S. universities as they often pay full tuition.
ICE said it would not allow holders of student visas to remain in the
country if their school was fully online for the fall. Those students
must transfer or leave the country, or they potentially face deportation
proceedings, according to the announcement.
Colleges and universities have begun to announce plans for the fall 2020
semester amid the continued coronavirus pandemic. Harvard University on
Monday announced it would conduct course instruction online for the
2020-2021 academic year.
The ICE guidance applies to holders of F-1 and M-1 visas, which are for
academic and vocational students. The State Department issued 388,839 F
visas and 9,518 M visas in fiscal 2019, according to the agency's data.
The guidance does not affect students taking classes in person. It also
does not affect F-1 students taking a partial online course-load, as
long as their university certifies the student's instruction is not
completely digital. M-1 vocational program students and F-1 English
language training program students will not be allowed to take any
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Students and pedestrians walk through the Yard at Harvard
University, after the school asked its students not to return to
campus after Spring Break and said it would move to virtual
instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes, in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo
President Donald Trumpís administration has imposed a number of new
restrictions to legal and illegal immigration in recent months as a
result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, the administration suspended work visas for a wide swath of
nonimmigrant workers that it argued compete with U.S. citizens for
jobs. The administration has also effectively suspended the
admission of asylum seekers at the southern border with Mexico,
citing coronavirus-related health risks as justification.
(Reporting by Mimi Dwyer, editing by Ross Colvin and Dan Grebler)
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