'International students are welcome,' says US a day after announcing withdrawal of visas
Washington/IBNS: The United States on Tuesday said all international students seeking educational courses can visit the country, a day after announcing the White House may withdraw visas for foreign students if their classes get shifted to the online medium.
The US Department of State spokesperson issued a statement saying, "The United States has long been the destination of choice for international students, and we are pleased that many international students who had planned to study this fall in the United States may still have the opportunity to do so.
"The Department of Homeland Security has announced its plan for temporary modifications to F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visa requirements for the fall 2020 semester. This will allow a mixture of both in-person and some online coursework to meet the requirements for nonimmigrant student status.
"This temporary accommodation provides greater flexibility for nonimmigrant students to continue their education in the United States, while also allowing for proper social distancing on open and operating campuses across America."
"International students will still have to obtain the appropriate visa and may still be subject to other visa processing or travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Students should check with the local U.S. embassy or consulate for information specific to their country," it further added.
Amid Covid-19 crisis, the US government on Monday said it would not allow foreign students to remain in the country in case their classes have been shifted online.
"Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States," the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement said in a statement.
"The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.
"Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status," the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement said in a statement.
"If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings," it said.