U.S. students must take classes online entirely

U.S. students must take classes online entirely

Whether foreign students are taught their classes entirely online or transferred to another school with in-person tuition, the U.S. Department of Education does not. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency made the announcement Monday.

It is not immediately clear how many student visa holders will be affected by this move, but foreign students are an important source of income for many US universities because they often pay full tuition.

ICE says student visas will not be allowed to stay in the country if their school is completely online for the fall. Those students must either move or leave the country as announced, or they may face deportation.

Colleges and universities are beginning to announce plans for the 2020 semester amid a persistent coronavirus pandemic. Harvard University announced Monday that it will be offering course instruction online for the 2020-2021 school year.

ICE guidance applies to those who have F-1 and M-1 visas for academic and business students. According to agency statistics, the Foreign Ministry issued 388,839 F visas and 9,518 M visas in the fiscal year 2019.

Mentoring does not affect students who take classes individually. It also does not affect F-1 students who take partial online course-loads, and their university affirms that students' instruction is not entirely digital. M-1 Vocational Program students and F-1 English Language Training Program students are not allowed to take any classes online.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump's administration has imposed several new sanctions on legal and illegal immigration in recent months.

In June, the administration suspended a comprehensive work-visa for non-immigrant workers, arguing that there was competition with American citizens for jobs. The administration has effectively stopped the entry of refugees on the southern border with Mexico, citing justifications for coronavirus-related health risks.

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