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Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

Foreign students in the U.S., including thousands of Indians, are left facing the possibility of falling out of valid immigration status following a Department of Homeland Security rule on attending online classes.


  • The rule says those F-1 and M-1 (non-academic and vocational students) visa holders planning to take online classes only will not be allowed to remain in the U.S.
  • Due to COVID-19, a number of universities are planning to shift all their classes online for the fall semester.
  • Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status.

U.S. and Indian Students as a revenue source

  • According to a 2019 report, there were over one million international students in the US in the academic year 2018-19.
  • India has the second largest share in number of international students in the US after China.
  • Chinese and Indian students account for more than half of international students in the US.
  • The number of Indian students in the US crossed 200,000 for the first time in 2018-19.
  • While India is an important source of international students in the US, the profile of Indian students is different from the rest of the international students in the US.
  • More than 80% of Indian students are enrolled in graduate programmes or Optional Practical Training, which allows student visa holders to work for a year.
  • Only 12 % of Indian students were enrolled in under graduate programmes in the US. This share is at least 45% for students from countries excluding India.
  • According to another report: International students brought $ 41 billion in revenue and supported more than 4 lakh jobs across various sectors in the US.

F-1 Visa

  • In the United States, the F visas are a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education (academic studies and/or language training programs) in the United States. F-1 students must maintain a full course of study.
  • F-1 visas are only issued in U.S. embassies and consulates outside the United States.
  • F-1 students must show that they are able to support themselves during their stay in the U.S., as their opportunities for legal employment are quite limited.

3 types of F Visas

  1. F-1 visas are for full-time students.
  2. F-2 visas are for spouses and children of F-1 visa holders — these are technically called “dependents.”
  3. F-3 visas are for “border commuters” who reside in their country of origin while attending school in the United States.

Recently in News: Click Here to read more about U.S. Pause on H1B Visas

-Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times

December 2023