Students attending universities with non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas cannot afford all online courses and must stay in the United States. If this is the case, the student must leave the United States. If they do not do this, they may face deportation.
Zarmina Faizan is an international student from Pakistan, studying at Texas Tech University. She is studying for a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting. Like other students, she participates in sports events and enjoys the services provided by the city. However, now, she feels that her remaining college career is under threat.
“I think I have a lot of losses now,” Fazan said.
She said she felt that the rule change was unfair, especially because she had spent a lot of time, energy and money studying in the United States.
“This pandemic is not under our control. We did not cause it. Why do you punish us for things beyond our control,” Fazan said.
Faizan said that this has been her only thought since the new regulations were found, and that the possibility of being deported made her uneasy.
“I have lived in the United States for four years. In order to maintain my legal status, I work very hard.” Fazan said.
International student Anisha Navlekar said the news also surprised her.
Navlekar said: “Suddenly seeing news on Twitter or on social media is really frightening because we don’t know how it will directly affect us.”
Navlekar is pursuing a doctorate at Texas Tech. She has completed the course, so the change will not directly affect her. However, she still feels about other students.
Under the new policy, students can only take one class at most. For students attending mixed universities, students can take multiple online courses, but the school must provide documentation.
Navlekar said: “For those who are taking courses now, find those face-to-face courses-I can see that they are so confused about the work after this.”
Texas Tech has implemented a hybrid model, but Faizan is concerned that this situation may change.
“I want to believe that this won’t work for me, but who knows? It might work for me next month or next week,” Fazan said.
Faizan added that paying for the return ticket is very expensive. In addition, she has paid a lot of her living expenses in Labbock.
Texas Tech University sent the following message to the students:
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) was announced on Monday (July 6, 2020) to amend to avoid temporary exemption for non-immigrant students who take online courses due to the pandemic in the fall of 2020. The US Department of Homeland Security plans to publish these new procedures and responsibilities in the Federal Gazette as “Interim Final Rules.”
The purpose of this memo is to briefly explain how this rule may affect our international student population. Texas Tech University plans to resume face-to-face teaching in the fall semester of 2020, using a combination of face-to-face, hybrid (a combination of face-to-face teaching and online learning) and online methods. Our curriculum model will remain flexible, and about two-thirds of the curriculum will be taught through a degree of face-to-face guidance.
As long as international students who are not enrolled in an online degree program and do not participate in the full online course load in fall 2020, they can meet the requirements of this interim final rule and we will be able to maintain appropriate student records. This will allow international students to return or stay at Texas Tech University in the fall semester of 2020.