The Donald Trump administration on Monday asked foreign students to leave the country if their schools have moved lectures online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency gave students two options: 1) Leave the country if their school’s classes in fall would be completely taught online. 2) Transfer to another school with in-person instruction.
If the conditions are not met ICE has threatened deportation.
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.
Over a million foreign students go to the United States for studies. The foreign student community is a big revenue to many United States Universities. International students contributed US$ 44.7 billion to the U.S. economy for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Its unclear as to how many students would be affected by this new move.
However, many U.S. universities are likely to move to online medium of instruction for the 2020-2021 academic year. Schools are also seeking a hybrid model of both in-person and online tutoring.
President Donald Trump has imposed a series of new restrictions for people seeking to enter the States. Just in June, Trump suspended the admission of asylum seekers at the southern border with Mexico and also suspended work visas for foreigners.