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ICE to deport international students at colleges and universities that have gone online for COVID

Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 19938 replies164 threads Senior Member
ICE announced today that no international students can get visas to attend US universities and take online courses there; an international student must take all classes online except one. International students who are here already and whose colleges have gone online, or whose next classes are online, must leave, or they are eligible for deportation.

International students who start their classes online at their college while waiting for a visa to US, because US embassies are closed in their countries or because US embassies have backlogs, are not eligible for visas to come to the US to continue their education at that college.

Colleges that depend on international students and their full-pay tuition are in a world of hurt. STEM graduate programs are also in a world of hurt.
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Replies to: ICE to deport international students at colleges and universities that have gone online for COVID

  • alhalh 8917 replies49 threads Senior Member
    edited July 6
    Could someone knowledgeable please give a clear explanation of all the foreseeable repercussions, short term and long term.
    edited July 6
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  • twokids2gotwokids2go 115 replies5 threads Junior Member
    This is just horrible. I guess I should be unsurprised with the isolationist tendencies of the current administration. I feel so sorry for the kids and the colleges. My daughter will be online this fall as the country her university is located in (China) is not allowing any foreigners to enter. While I could see them beginning to allow visas from countries where COVID-19 is fairly contained, I doubt they will be allowing anyone in from the US (and who can blame them since the virus is out of control). We are just assuming she'll be online this entire year and hoping a change in our executive branch may lead to more leadership in getting the virus under control.

    As to ICE, if their plan is to pressure colleges/universities to open up with f2f classes when it is unsafe, that is dangerous. If students cannot take online classes as it would risk their visa, I certainly hope colleges and universities will allow for deferrals/gap semesters or years to prevent that issue. So terrible for the students though.
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 685 replies18 threads Member
    edited July 6
    If a student lives abroad and is completely online they can still take classes. The ones really hurt are those already living in the US. Don’t understand the rationale in making them leave.

    Given our Covid status many foreign students may elect to go elsewhere in any event. And American students studying in the EU may not be able to return to their schools because of the current ban on Americans entering those countries.
    edited July 6
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1240 replies31 threads Senior Member
    *If a student lives abroad and is completely online they can still take classes. *

    But according to these guidelines, would then not get the chance to convert to taking face to face classes with a visa later on. If, post-Covid, the university drops online for classes essential for that student's major, and these regulations continue, they cannot finish their degree.
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 685 replies18 threads Member
    edited July 6
    Why can’t they apply for a visa once the school class format goes to face to face ?

    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 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.

    This only applies to the 2020 fall semester.
    edited July 6
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3501 replies80 threads Senior Member
    I am not clear.... is this a NEW rule, or an old one (designed to prevent people from getting a workaround visa for the price of a class at the University of Phoenix or something) with unforseen consequences?

    Colleges who are going completely online can get around this by allowing their international students to take one class each semester in-person at a nearby college or university (maybe even facilitate transportation) OR by opening up a single lab class at their own school. For sure this messes things up, but there would appear to be fairly simple work-arounds for colleges interested in holding on to their international students.
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 685 replies18 threads Member
    edited July 6
    It’s a modification of an existing rule. If you’re a foreign student you have to take in person classes to study in the US. No online classes. They modified that for spring and summer 2020 to allow online classes when the schools closed. Now they’re modifying it again.
    edited July 6
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  • hokupaahokupaa 31 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I wonder if colleges will find clever or creative ways of getting around this. What does "online" or "in person" mean, anyway? You could have international students housed on campus in dorms interacting with their professors from computer screens in their dorm rooms. Does that count as "online" or "in person" ? What if you have the class in the university's stadium or arena or theater or gym, everyone keeping social distancing while the prof lectures from a stage in center field, with TV screens, etc?

    Maybe, they could offer classes like Outdoor Photography, Underwater Basket Weaving, Intro to American Pop Culture that are all ostensibly "in person"? How long does that class have to be? How long does the professor need to be there? What if the class in NOT online, but NOT in-person either?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB1X4o-MV6o

    I can foresee wrangling over definitions, technicalities and all sorts of minutiae.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 2232 replies18 threads Senior Member
    Would be very tough for colleges to get around these rules as housing will be an issue. Also foreign parents are just like us, if things get too crazy and the value isn’t there, they will make decisions based on what’s best for their kids.
    The US demand for college is huge so I don’t think it will have long term impact but I do think it could be a rough year or two.
    Will also force the issue of using international students as the full pay mainstay for some of these schools.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5505 replies93 threads Senior Member
    I don't think many people saw this policy coming.

    We may see many international students transfer to EU or UK schools now. Rising juniors and seniors are in the most precarious situation.

    Although these students could live at home and take all of their US based classes online, the time difference can be really challenging.

    Perhaps if the students knew this would only be a one year situation they would try online classes from home, but if this goes on for multiple years, it might not make sense for many international students to pay full price for an online degree from a US college.

    I also expect we will see legal challenges to these rules filed ASAP.
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  • boudersbouders 2722 replies188 threads Senior Member
    Harvard has done a quick turnaround as a result of this new development. They'll now let up to 40% of its undergrads on campus in the fall. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/07/harvard-to-bring-up-to-40-of-undergrads-to-campus-this-fall/
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 685 replies18 threads Member
    edited July 6
    Harvard is allowing kids on campus but classes are all online. Doesn’t help the international students.

    Also depends if classes are asynchronous or via zoom/video conferencing .... the latter will be challenging for a portion of the at home students so I wonder if most of the lectures will simply be taped for viewing on demand.
    edited July 6
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  • alhalh 8917 replies49 threads Senior Member
    The full pay international students will have other options.

    US colleges and universities don't have other options to make up that revenue.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2064 replies25 threads Senior Member
    @bouders I believe that H is just going to have students live on campus but take classes online. International students would not be able to do this.
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  • boudersbouders 2722 replies188 threads Senior Member
    @Eeyore123 I think it's still an evolving situation at Harvard. I'd wager money that they'll offer some in person course, even if it's to take @AlmostThere2018 's suggestion.
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