As the Covid-19 situation gets less severe with the rollout of vaccination drives all over the world, many rules surrounding the F-1 Visa are changing. Potential international students who want to study further in the United States must know what’s waiting for them.
What Do You Need to Know About F-1 Visas?
The main thing that all international students especially during this pandemic are that they can not engage in 100% online learning. Last year, certain temporary modifications and exemptions were introduced by the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) for nonimmigrant students taking online classes for fall 2020 due to the pandemic.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that the SEVP will continue to abide by these guidelines for the 2021-22 academic year. The guidelines restrict the F-1 Student Visa and the M-1 Visa - Vocational or Technical Studies for students to take their full course load online and remain in the US.
Meaning that eligible F-1 students may take only 1 out 3 credit hours online. Also, F-1 students who have adopted a hybrid model of attending both online and offline classes will be allowed to take more than 1 of 3 credit hours online.
These guidelines also prevent initial or new F-1 nonimmigrant students enrolled in a program of study on March 9, 2020, to enter the US for the 2021-22 academic year if 100% of their study program will be conducted online.