The United States government said it would not grant visas to international students enrolled in a school whose programme is fully online for the Fall semester.

It said students in the country on an F-1 or M nonimmigrant visa would be asked to leave the country if they are unable to switch to another school where they can take physical classes.

The Coronavirus pandemic had forced some US universities to convert in-person classes to online.

“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 Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) said on Monday. The State Department Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The SEVP announced this as part of its changes to the ‘temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online classes due to the pandemic for the fall 2020 semester.

It predicted deportation as the most likely outcome for students on F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visas.

“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.

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