New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Dayanidhi Maran has urged Prime Minister’s diplomatic intervention over the US decision on students holding F1/M1 visa.
The US has decided not to grant visa to students of schools/universities that have online classes and those who are already in America may have to leave the country.
Writing on behalf of DMK chief M.K. Stalin, Maran requested the Prime Minister “to urgently activate diplomatic channels of communication to stress the importance of extending the exemption given to non-immigrant students, at least until the Covid-19 situation is brought under control”.
The USA issues F1 visa to non-immigrant students for academic and language training courses and M1 visa to those who want to do non-academic or vocational course.
Citing NAFSA data, the DMK leader said Indian students were contributing $40 billion to the US economy and supporting 400,000 jobs there.
The US Department of Immigration and Custom Enforcement said students whose classes were completely online would not be issued visas for the next semester nor would such students be allowed entry to the US.
The top US universities — Harvard and MIT — have even sued the US administration on the directive.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), there were over one million international students attending various graduate and undergraduate programmes in 2018-19. That’s about 5.5 per cent of the total student community in the country.
Of these, nearly three-quarters were from Asia – 48 per cent Chinese and 26 per cent Indians.