International students on F-1 and M-1 student visas must leave the country or risk getting deported if all their fall classes are online, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Monday(Jul 6).
“ 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. If not, they may face immigration.” the announcement read.
International students were previously allowed flexibility when campuses closed and learning went online in the spring and summer semesters due to COVID-19.
The international students in universities that have announced adoption of hybrid learning model will be however be permitted to stay. Hybrid learning is a mix of in-person and online classes, and many universities are adopting this type of learning this fall.
Thousands of professors at American colleges and universities have said they are unwilling to resume in-person classes because of the pandemic.
Adding to this, several college towns have witnessed major outbreaks of coronavirus pandemic as a result of house parties and sports practices, as lockdowns were eased in several states.
International students comprise 5% of higher education enrollment in the United States, according to a study done by the Brookings Institution, and revenue from tuition and fees totals $2.5 billion. International students serve as huge revenue stream for many colleges and universities.
Recent H1-B visa restrictions is likely to cause further fall in the number of students seeking international education in the United States.
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