COVID-19: Foreign students to be deported in US as classes move online

The US said on Monday, that International students who are pursuing degrees in the country will have to leave the country or face the possibility of  deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses, because of the coronavirus crisis.

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In a statement by the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement “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,”

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,” ICE said.

If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.

ICE said the State Department “will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.

M-1 students pursue vocational coursework, and F-1 students pursue academic coursework according to ICE.

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Universities with a hybrid system of in-person and online classes will have to show that foreign students are taking as many in-person classes as possible, to maintain their status.