No visa for new students of online-only courses in fall: US

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency asks varsities not to issue Form 1-20s – vital to apply for student visa – to newly-enrolled students of online classes

Several courses across universities have moved online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo for representational purpose only: iStock

The Trump-led government on Friday (July 24) announced that the United States will not take any new foreign students seeking online-only study in the upcoming fall semester starting September.

“Non-immigrant students in new or initial status after March 9 will not be able to enter the US to enroll in a US school as a non-immigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100% online,” said the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in a statement.

According to reports the agency has asked universities not to issue Form 1-20s – vital to apply for student visa – to newly-enrolled students if their classes are to be conducted online.

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The US government’s policy of revoking visas of foreign students whose classes moved online in the fall semester was opposed by several universities including Harvard and MIT, which took the matter to court. Following this, the US government rescinded the decision on July 14.

A Hindustan Times report said as many as 2,70,000 new foreign students have enrolled in graduate, under-graduate and non-degree courses for the academic session starting September 2019. India accounts for almost 2 lakh of the 10 lakh foreign students in the US.

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