Minot State International Program reacts to Visa rule changes
MINOT, N.D. - Universities across the country that educate international students are figuring out their plans for fall, after a major change to Visa policies.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that starting in the fall semester international students with F1 and M1 Visas must be attending some in person classes at their universities to stay within guidelines.
Changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program allowed students to take only online classes in the Spring due to COVID-19. But moving forward those protections will no longer be in effect.
As staff at Minot State University continue to develop plans for their Fall 2020 classes, more than 200 international students may not be able to return to or stay in the country if classes remain fully online.
Minot State students have been taking online-only courses for the Spring and summer semesters. But moving forward, Students with an F-1 will need more.
“Student Visa regulations require students to be in a minimum of nine credits face to face and then three credits of online or remote learning could be counted towards their full time enrollment requirement,” said Libby Claerbout, International Program Director at Minot State.
The guidelines indicate that if a student’s university does decide to go fully online they will have to either leave the country or transfer to a university offering in person classes.
“Minot State currently doesn’t have plans to go completely remote or online. And we’re proceeding as normal,” said Claerbout.
The University is working on plans to welcome back international students. Under current guidelines all visitors from outside of the country will have to be quarantined for two weeks. While staff said they are planning to return to classes with a hybrid model, no official plans have been announced yet.
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