US student visa restrictions may be eased slightly to help foreign non-immigrant students

Representative imageSP Jain School of Global Management

  • The US Department of Homeland Security is planning to introduce temporary modifications to F-1 & M-1 nonimmigrant visas.
  • The development will allow universities and institutions to provide a blended learning experience — both in-person and online — so as to meet the requirements for nonimmigrant student status.
  • This will let the foreign students continue their education in the United States, ANI reported.
  • The international students can apply for two types of student visas to study in the US — M-1 nonimmigrant visa and F-1 nonimmigrant visa.
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In a bid to provide flexibility to non-immigrant students, the US Department of Homeland Security is planning to introduce temporary modifications to F-1 & M-1 nonimmigrant visas — which are granted to foreign students pursuing academic or vocational studies in the US — for this fall semester.

The development will allow universities and institutions to provide a blended learning experience — both in-person and online — so as to meet the requirements for nonimmigrant student status. This will let the foreign students continue their education in the United States, ANI reported.

However, students will still be required to have a visa and may face travel or other visa restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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In a recent tweet, US President Donald Trump said that schools must open in the fall. The government added that social distancing measures should be strictly enforced across the operating campuses in the country.

This comes on the backdrop of the latest amendments introduced by the US government for students as campuses shift to a remote learning model. On July 7, The Trump administration announced that the international college students who are taking classes online will not be permitted to stay in the US on a student visa.

"Nonimmigrant students within the United States are not permitted to take a full course of study through online classes. If students find themselves in this situation, they must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave,” the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement earlier said.
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The international students can apply for two types of student visas to study in the US — M-1 nonimmigrant visa and F-1 nonimmigrant visa. The M-1 nonimmigrant visa is extended to those applying vocational or non-academic studies. While the M-1 nonimmigrant visa is granted to students pursuing language courses or other academic training in the country.

In the meantime, the Trump administration is also cracking down on the work visas granted to the international employees working in the US — calling them a ‘threat’ to American jobs. This was after the unemployment rate in the US surged to a new high.

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