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New US visa rule puts students  in  a  corner

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

New US visa rule puts students  in  a  corner

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued a new directive barring international students from continuing their higher education in the country unless they meet specific quotas of in-person classes. 

Who will be affected?

Students participating in university programmes that rely entirely on online courses now risk deportation if they do not leave the country, or transfer to schools with “in-person instruction.”

The order directly relates to those students on F-1 and M-1 visas.

  1. F-1 visa holders are those pursuing undergraduate, post-graduate or doctoral studies at tertiary education institutions.
  2. M-1 holders are those engaged in vocational courses.

Overall impact:

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.

  • Those whose colleges and universities were moving to an online only model would therefore have to leave the country or find another way to stay in status.
  • Other measures include such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status.

How will this order affect the Indian students?

International students, reportedly, make up 5.5 per cent of the US’ higher education population, numbering just short of 1.1 million.

The Indian student cohort is second only to the Chinese, representing 18 per cent of all foreign students in the US, according to 2017-2018 ICE data.

  • The announcement comes weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump suspended H1-B highly skilled worker visas through the end of the year. Most of these visas go to Indian citizens each year.


Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between H1B, F1 and M1 Visas.
  2. Difference between an NRI and an OCI cardholder.
  3. When OCI and PIO were merged?
  4. The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 grants citizenship to?
  5. Constitutional provisions related to citizenship in India.

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of recent changes in US visa rules on Indian students in the US.

Sources: the Hindu.