Washington, July 8: The United State Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday announced its plan to make temporary modifications to F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visa (non-academic and vocational students) requirements for fall 2020 semester. The decision was taken after the Donald Trump administration was criticised by several American academicians and lawmakers, calling the move as 'horrifying' and 'cruel'.

Informing about the latest development, the US Department of State said, as quoted by news agency ANI, "Dept of Homeland Security has announced its plan for temporary modifications to F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visa requirements for fall 2020 semester. This will allow a mixture of both in-person and some online coursework to meet requirements for nonimmigrant student status." India Raises F-1 Visa Issue During Bilateral Talks, US Says Will Try to Mitigate Impact of the New Rule: Sources.

Here's what Dept of Homeland Security said:

Adding more, the Donald Trump administration said that with this temporary accommodation, nonimmigrant students can continue their education in the United States. However, the Department of Homeland Security asked the international students to obtain the appropriate visa and check with the local US embassy or consulate for information specific to their country.

The Donald Trump administration said, "International students will still have to obtain the appropriate visa and may still be subject to other visa processing or travel restrictions due to #COVID19. Students should check with the local US embassy or consulate for information specific to their country."

Earlier on Monday, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) closed the doors for students with F-1 and M-1 visas if their universities move to online-only instruction during the Fall 2020 semester. With this new move in place, international enrolled in US universities will be barred from getting F-1 visas, stopped from entering the US on F-1 visas and will not be allowed to maintain F-1 status in the Fall semester. F1, M1 Visa Rules Changed: US Academicians, Lawmakers Call New Guidelines for Foreign Students 'Horrifying' and 'Cruel. 

The American Council on Education (ACE), which represents university presidents, had said the guidelines are 'horrifying' and will result in confusion as schools look for ways to reopen safely. As per reports, the Trump government's decision will adversely impact hundreds of thousands of Indian students in the US.

As fear and tension gripped the Indian students, India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla held virtual foreign office consultations with the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale on Tuesday. Reports claim that the US has told India that it will keep the best interests of the students in mind and try and mitigate the impact of of the new rule regarding the F-1 visa.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 08, 2020 08:51 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).