New York: In a major blow to foreign students in the United States, including Indians, the US state department will not be issuing visas to students enrolled in schools that are fully online in the fall semester.
The shocking announcement was made by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, which says that students with active F1 and M1 non-immigrant visas will not be allowed in the US and those in the US may be asked to depart if they are not receiving a minimum amount of in person instruction.
“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 asserted.
The immigration department furthered that if such students choose not to depart, they may face immigration proceedings.
The new rules would be in force during the fall semester which goes on from August to December.
The F-1 students pursue academic coursework and M-1 non-immigrant students attend vocational courses in the United States.
Richard N Haass, president, council on foreign relations said on twitter, “Having foreign students on US campuses is a great way to make non-Americans pro-American. It is also a great way to introduce them to our ideals & persuade them to stay or take those ideals home. We seem now to be intent on turning them away & against us.”
The US government has justified the move stating that recent exemptions due to COVID-19 were allowing non-immigrant students to take more online classes than permitted under federal regulations.