The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster ride; thus, this news is surely a positive one. As per the latest development, international students can attend their classes online (from home) if necessary and still remain in the US as F-1 visa students.
Last week, the Trump administration had declared the deportation of international students in the US. As per that policy, international students, who couldn’t switch to in-person tuition, were to go back to their home country. Also, those who had returned to their home country when the term ended in March– were told they would not be allowed to return to the US if their classes had since moved online.
Given the exorbitant numbers of international students studying in the US every year, which is a significant source of revenue for international universities, universities are striving to leave no stone unturned in extending the best possible comfort to international students. In the 2018-2019 academic year, there were over 10 lacs of international students in the US. According to the US Commerce Department, international students contributed $45bn (£36bn) to the country’s economy in 2018.
Elite universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University strongly opposed the deportation move and thus, in a bid to support its international students, were compelled to sue the government. A week post the policy announcement, today’s development has been a dramatic U-turn.
Both the parties (the Government and the above universities) have now arrived at a settlement which favours international students in the US, even those whose course has moved online. This means, no deportation for international students in the US!