In International Students

With so many twists and turns happening in 2020, mainly due to COVID-19, we could never have imagined this one?! International Students that are in programs at schools and universities in the United States are going to have to leave the US if their program moves to an online schedule. If they do not leave they will face orders of deportation.

When COVID-19 first took effect during the Spring semester, the Department of Homeland Security had to act quickly along with SEVP and allow foreign students to continue their studies in the US even though their classes drastically went from in-person to online only, but now all that is going to change at the start of the Fall semester. F-1 and M-1 students will not be allowed to take a full online course load at universities that are transforming to online only courses beginning in the Fall semester. In order to stay compliant with their visa requirements, students will need to make sure that their course work consists of mainly in-person classes, which may require them to consider transferring schools. Visas will not be issued, and entry to the US will not be permitted, to any foreign student with a complete online course load during the Fall semester. Students will also be barred from entering the US if the school they will attend announced that they will not reopen for Fall semester. If a foreign student already in the US fails to meet the new requirements for in-person classes then they will be forced to depart the US and complete their full online course load from their home country, unless of course they transfer to a school that provides in-person classes.

Foreign students who are attending a school putting in place a hybrid program, which provides both in-person and online classes, will be allowed to take more than one online class, but will need to make sure that they are taking the minimum amount of online classes in order to remain in the US. Students who are attending schools that will continue with normal in-person operations will still follow existing federal guidelines.

With the Fall semester quickly approaching, students have a hard decision to make. If they want to stay in the US that could mean giving up their dreams forcing students to leave their lives here in the US to go back to their home country with the hope that possibly they can return the following semester. Not only will foreign students be affected by this change, but universities will suffer as well by losing millions of dollars in tuition causing school programs to possibly be cancelled. US citizen students will also suffer by losing the priceless opportunity to sit side by side with young adults from all over the world learning and growing from perspectives they would never know without them.

We will continue to provide you with the latest immigration news. Make sure to check out our other blogs HERE and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel where Andrea provides immigration updates on a weekly basis.

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