New Immigration Order - Fears Grow for Foreign Students

In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, recent graduates in the US who applied for temporary work visas are worried that their paperwork will not be processed in time for them to start new jobs.
With Trump recently announcing that most immigration would be suspended but not providing a great deal of additional information in regards to which types of applicants would be affected, foreign students are now confused and worried about what this means to their hopes of staying in the US.
Journalism student Athiyah Azeem from Singapore was recently interviewed by VOA News and she shared her concerns about the situation:
“I get the news alert the email alert that Trump's going to come up with an executive order to temporarily ban immigration and I'm just like ‘what do I do?, can I stay?”
She applied for an optional practical training program that allows participants to work in their field of study for up to three years. She added:
“When I apply for jobs I put in my cover letter that you don't have to sponsor me, I have worked and I say that I have work authorization that should kick in kick in June 1st, because I'm banking on it.”

One month since government stopped processing non-immigrant visas

Just over a month ago, the US government stopped processing non-immigrant visas, when most consular services at American embassies were suspended. Also, the impact COVID-19 has had on international air travel is another barrier for many foreign students that will struggle to get to their place of study now.
This has led to an influx of enquiries to universities regarding what the current position is for student due to start studying in Fall 2020. The truth is that like many countries around the world, everything is up in the air until there are more steps taken towards returning to the closest thing to normality in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Financial impact of decreased volumes of international students

There is also the worry about any expansion of President Trump's executive order restricting nonimmigrant visas, as this could have a huge financial impact on higher education. It is already estimated that there will be a 15% drop in overall student enrollment in the next academic year, according to research.
This reduction includes a 25% decline in international students, which equates to around $23billion loss in revenue for US colleges and universities. Universities have looked at different options to resolve the issue, including the concept of remote studying for students who cannot travel to US yet but this is not possible. Students taking classes remotely would not officially be enrolled, so this is not a valid workaround.
The next few months are very uncertain for foreign students who wish to study in the US, with limited options due to the suspension of most immigration, this cuts off several options that graduates would usually apply for, such as the training programs or the temporary work visa.
Hopefully for these people affected, there will be some good news on the horizon soon and they will know what their future holds, whether that is studying in the US, or looking at alternative options.








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