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Vietnamese concerned about new US visa policy for students

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has announced changes in the visa policy applied to international students planning to attend online courses for the 2020 autumn semester in the US.

Students of online-only training courses will have to leave the US or face deportation.

If they want to stay in the US, they will have to consider other measures.

 

 

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(Photo Business Insider)

 

 

The US Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division suggested students transfer to schools with in-person instruction or hybrid classes.

Giang Nguyen, a student at Bryn Mawr College, said the students who have returned to Vietnam will have two choices, either to return to the US and face the risks from COVID-19 or stay in Vietnam and follow online classes.

The students who are trapped in the US during Covid-19 and following online courses for the autumn semester will be forced to return to Vietnam.

A Vietnamese student in Tennessee said for the students at schools using a mix of online and in-person classes, returning to the US is a must to maintain an F-1 visa. If they do not, their names will be eliminated from the list of students.

However, commercial flights between the two countries have not resumed. If they cannot return to Vietnam, the students will be considered as illegally residing in the US and forced to leave the US.


Some students are considering the ‘gap year’ solution to cope with the new visa policy. However, Giang said that the students choosing the gap-year solution may see financial support cut for the next academic year.

A Vietnamese student in Tennessee said for the students at schools using a mix of online and in-person classes, returning to the US is a must to maintain an F-1 visa. If they do not, their names will be eliminated from the list of students.

The student fears that once international students return to the US, this will lead to higher risks of getting infected with Covid-19.

All Harvard University students will learn remotely this autumn. Many other universities in the US also have announced the cancellation of in-person classes and are holding only online classes for the autumn semester.

However, according to Business Insider, only 8 percent of schools are organizing online classes only, while 60 percent are drawing up plans for in-person classes, and many others are considering a mix.

Cao Bao Anh, a Vietnamese student at Harvard University, on July 7 told Tuoi Tre newspaper that he was not too worried about the new policy, because he belives that each school will have its own plan for its students.

He believes that Harvard University and other schools will make adjustments to cope with the new visa policy. 

Le Huyen

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