Changes to student visa rules temporary, US says after India raises matter | Mint
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Business News/ News / India/  Changes to student visa rules temporary, US says after India raises matter
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Changes to student visa rules temporary, US says after India raises matter

The US state department said it acknowledged the US had long been the destination of choice for international students
  • Students should check with the local US embassy or consulate for information specific to their country, the statement said
  • While US is home to some 202,000 Indian students, there are almost 369,000 Chinese students pursuing education in the US institutions, according to US government data. Photo: BloombergPremium
    While US is home to some 202,000 Indian students, there are almost 369,000 Chinese students pursuing education in the US institutions, according to US government data. Photo: Bloomberg

    NEW DELHI: The US on Tuesday said the modifications to student visa rules were temporary and aimed at ensuring greater flexibility for non-immigrant students to continue their studies while allowing for proper social distancing on campuses due to the novel coronavirus infections.

    The US state department said in a statement it acknowledged the US had long been the destination of choice for international students.

    “The Department of Homeland Security has announced its plan for temporary modifications to F-1 and M-1 non-immigrant 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," the statement said.

    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 US embassy or consulate for information specific to their country, the statement said.

    The state department statement comes after India raised the matter during foreign office consultations between India and the US on Tuesday. The online meeting took place between Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale. During the meeting, the US side took note of Indian concerns on the matter. The US also conveyed that it will keep the best interests of the students in mind, Mint has learnt.

    Detailed implementation guidelines on the visa rule changes are yet to be publicly notified but it has triggered widespread concern among parents and their wards studying in the US. India and China comprise a lion’s share of foreign students in the US. While US is home to some 202,000 Indian students, there are almost 369,000 Chinese students pursuing education in the US institutions, according to US government data.

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    Published: 08 Jul 2020, 09:30 AM IST
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