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Breaking: Major Changes to F1 and M1 Student Visas

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– Hi, everybody In this video, I'm gonna talk about the changes to the F1 visa and the M1 visa

For those of you that don't know me, my name is Michael Ashoori, and I'm a US immigration lawyer based in Los Angeles, California At my law firm, we regularly post videos to keep you up to date with what's going on in immigration So if you haven't yet subscribed to our channel, go ahead and hit the subscribe button now Now let's get started So, today it was announced that there will be major updates and more strict rules for the F1 student visa and the M1 student visa

And in this video, I'm gonna talk all about those rules But first I wanna give you a quick background regarding why these changes are taking place So basically, when the COVID-19 pandemic took over and was sweeping the nation and the world, educational institutions such as universities, they modified their curriculums to go online And so, international students had no choice but to go online And the immigration regulations, there were some leniences that were put in place to allow international students to continue with their education online

And this took place for the spring semester of 2020, and the current summer session, as well Now, what happened was that today, rules were announced that essentially take away a lot of those leniencies going forward in the fall semester So basically, for fall of 2020, these leniencies are not necessarily gonna be in place And now I wanna talk about the specifics of these new rules that were announced today Basically the rules, they target three different categories

The first category is for institutions that are gonna be fully online in fall of 2020 The second category of rules is targeting schools that are going to be resuming in-person education And the third category that these rules are targeting are so-called hybrid institutions that are both in-person and online And we're gonna go through each of those one by one So, regarding the first institutions that are going to be fully online, the regulations are very severe

And basically what the regulations state is that for people that are planning on pursuing education on an F1 visa or an M1 visa in an institution or a program that's going to be fully online in fall of 2020, they may not remain in the United States So for example, if somebody has an F1 visa or somebody has an M1 visa right now, and they are in a program, and that program is going to be fully online in fall of 2020, they cannot remain in the United States under that program In addition, if somebody does not have a visa and they wanna apply for a visa, whether it be an F1 visa or an M1 visa, and they're applying for that visa to enter the United States to join a program that is fully online for fall of 2020, the consulate will not issue an F1 or an M1 visa for that program if it's fully online Also, if somebody's outside of the United States and they already have their F1 visa or their M1 visa, and they wanna seek entry to join a program that's going to be fully online in fall of 2020, CBP, Customs and Border Protection, will not allow them to enter to join that program So as you can see, this is very severe as it pertains to fully online programs

So, now that we've talked about that, so to give a little bit more further information on this, what these new rules are stating are that if somebody's in the United States on an F1 visa or an M1 visa and their program is fully online for fall of 2020, they have to decide, if their program is fully online, they have to determine, if they plan to remain in the United States, they have to essentially change their program to a program that is not fully online, or they have to come up with another solution Otherwise they essentially have to leave according to these new rules And if they don't leave, again, according to these rules, they're subject to removal proceedings Meaning that they can be put into immigration proceedings to have them removed from the United States So again, we're talking about some very serious stuff

Now, again, that was for the first set of rules that discuss fully online programs Now, again, the second set of rules are targeting programs that are in-person, so that they're gonna resume as normal in-person education And for these kind of programs that are going to resume in-person education in fall of 2020, the rules are that students, F1 students, international students, basically, they can attend one school, one class, I should say, online up to three units So that's pretty straightforward Again, that's for schools that are going to be resuming in-person education

Now, again, lastly, the last type of institutions and programs that the new rules today target are these sort of hybrid institutions that are gonna be both online and in-person So if the program that somebody is going to join is one of these hybrid institutions that's gonna be both online and in-person, the regulations have some leniency where they say that the student can attend more than one course online But in order to do this, the school has to make a lot of certifications So the school is going to have to certify that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking all of their courses online, and that the student is taking the minimum number of courses online to advance their degree So the school has to actually certify these three things

And yeah, so basically that's a big picture overview on the new rules that were announced today that are impacting F1 visas and M1 visas Now, again, this is a lot of major news, and I'm gonna tell you why this is so important And the reason that I feel that this is so important is that F1 visas and international students in general are a major part of the United States And just to give you some perspective on that, in the 2018, 2019 school year, there was about 1 million international students in the United States That's a tremendous amount of people

In addition, another reason why this is so important is that international students contribute substantially to the United States economy And I wanna give you guys some specific figures to put this into perspective So, in 2018, international students contributed $447 billion to the US economy In 2019, international students contributed $41 billion to the US economy

And it sounds really high, and the reason is, students are coming to the United States, they're paying very high tuition, and essentially that's going to US institutions So again, international students contribute quite a bit to the US economy And that's another reason why I think this is so major And what do I think is gonna happen now? So I think it's gonna be much more challenging for people to get student visas right now, because a lot of educational institutions are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, and they're doing their instruction online for fall of 2020 And a lot of students that were planning on coming to the United States on an F1 visa, for example, are going to, I believe, struggle to figure out what to do

So I think that this is going to have a chilling effect on student visas For example, Harvard has already announced that in fall of 2020, they're gonna be completely online So for an international student that was planning on attending Harvard, they now cannot go through with that course of study because Harvard is going to be fully online in fall of 2020 So that's just kind of a practical example of how things are going to be affected So I think it's going to have a chilling effect on student visas in general

What I wanna talk about now is what you should do And I wanna specifically speak to people that are in the United States, and they're here on an F1 visa or an M1 visa, and they know that their program is going to be fully online for fall of 2020 And here's the information that I wanna convey to you, is that you should be proactive With whatever it is that you decide to do, you should be proactive So, what do I mean by that? You need to determine first what it is that you wanna do

Do you wanna remain in the United States? Is it important for you to be in the United States? Or is it not so important and you're totally okay with returning to your home country? If the answer is that you do wanna remain in the United States, you should be proactive to figure out what it is that you're gonna do One option is to switch programs to another program that has in-person education That could be one potential solution Another potential solution could be to switch your status from F1 to some other kind of a status, for example, some kind of a work visa, or perhaps some sort of an investor visa or something along those lines So, coming up with an alternative and a game plan is going to be imperative

So, yeah, so that's kind of my suggestion and some information that I wanna convey to you So again, in this video, we talked about the new changes to the F1 visa and the M1 visa, the new rules that came out We talked about why this is so important and why this is so critical And again, we talked about some solutions and some pieces of information that you should take with you And I hope you guys found this very helpful

I hope you guys found this information very useful If you know anybody that could benefit from this, please go ahead and share this video Again, if you liked this video, please hit the thumbs up When you like the video, it really helps us out And if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below

This information is very, very, very new These new rules were just published today And the news is likely going to develop in the coming days and weeks ahead, and we're gonna closely monitor for any developments So as always, if you haven't yet done, so go ahead and subscribe to our channel It's the best way to stay up to date with our videos

Again, as always, thank you very much for tuning into this video, and I will see you on the next one

Source: Youtube

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