Washington (USA) | Jagran News Desk: In what could impact lakhs of candidates across the world, the Trump administration has announced it will not allow foreign students planning to enrol in the online-only study from entering the United States.

In a statement, the Trump administration announced that nonimmigrant students in new or initial status after March 9 will not be able to enter the US to enrol in a US school as a nonimmigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 per cent online.

"Additionally, designated school officials should not issue a Form I-20 to a nonimmigrant student in new or initial status who is outside of the US and plans to take classes at a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program)-certified educational institution fully online," the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.  

The massive setback comes just days after the Trump administration withdrew its decision to send back all international students “if their universities offer classes entirely online”. The Trump administration had withdrawn its decision after facing a backlash from students and universities. Several states had also filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration's international student ban.

Meanwhile, the US President is eager for schools at all levels to reopen with in-person classes as a sign of a return to normality as he fights an uphill battle for re-election in November.

Trump is pushing for this even though the virus is out of control in some states, with the US death figures a world-high of more than 1,44,000. The Trump administration is leaving it largely up to states themselves to figure out how to open schools safely.

There were more than one million international students in the US for the 2018-19 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education. Many schools depend heavily on the tuition paid by those students.

(With AFP inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma