Comprehensive COVID-19 updates for Study Abroad | Supported by LEAP FINANCE

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Yocket Editorial Team

Updated on Apr 30, 2021

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Yocket and Leap Finance present a one-stop-shop for ALL the official updates on COVID-19’s impact on international education. Keep checking this page daily to get updates from all the stakeholders of the industry - Universities, Test organizations, Consulates, and Financial Institutions. If you have any updates, share in the comments.

We are doing all the hard work to bring the information under one roof so you don’t have to. And never forget. We are in this together! This article is put together, updated, and edited by Sangramjith Mukherjee, a Fall'20 student at Illinois Institute of Technology.

(Updated whenever huge news comes, by 10 pm IST) 

 

September 11th, 2020

UK's student route and chid student route starts from October 5th'2020

The UK had announced that there would be a change in the immigration route in the first half of 2021. Instead, aspirants applying for a visa for January intake also have to go through the point-based system as the changes have been preponed.

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August 28th, 2020

IRCC in Canada introduces new guidelines to make PSWP more flexible

The new rules for students in Canada are that if a student's program is 8-12 months long can complete the entire course online and still be eligible for a post-study work permit, a student's program if longer than that can take up online class till April 30, 2021, and complete at least 50% of their course in Canada will have no reduction in their PSWP's duration. Any student who has taken a course in between May-September 2020 can study online till 30th April'21 and who graduate from more than one eligible program can combine the length of the programs together when applying for PSWP.

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August 26th, 2020

Many vacant Research positions in universities with stipend and tuition fee waiver due to COVID 

Universities like University of Oklahoma has many vacancies in GA, RA, and TA due to COVID. Students are being offered stipend worth $28,000/year and a full tuition waiver.

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August 25th, 2020

More Ph.D. students funded in the UK?

UK has been trying to attract global talent from all around the world for a while now. Hence, UK Research and Innovation have come up with modified guidelines that will fund more postgraduate Ph.D. students from the academic year 2021-22. This will certainly boost their attractiveness to global talent.

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August 21st, 2020

UKCISA reaches out to the UK Govt. to improve the international sector

UKCISA had outlined 15 steps to make UK "the world’s most attractive destination for international students", for which it asked the UK Govt. for help. UKCISA requests the UK Govt. to review the fee status changes made for EU/EEA/Swiss sector, prioritize student visas as soon as VACs open, and delay the transition period towards the initial period of 2022.

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August 20th, 2020

Would Indian students be considered for the pilot scheme of Australia to bring back International students?

With many uncertainties hovering over our head, South Australian Govt. said that it will be based on Course requirements, study streams where face to face and practical learning or placements are necessary to be completed, and location of the International students when the Pandemic hit. It's not finalized where these shortlisted students will come from, India has the highest number of international students after China in Australia. 

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August 19th, 2020

Germany offers free COVID testing to returning students and travelers

Germany has started to offer free COVID testing at the airport for returning students and travelers. However, they still might have to quarantine themselves for 14 days. German Health Minister Jens Spahn said, traveler can avail it up to 3 days of their arrival.

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August 18th, 2020

75 US Senators and members of Congress signed a letter to allow the new online Overseas students to enter the US

A letter was signed by 75 US Senators and members of Congress to provide more room for the new International students. This letter was sent to the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf. This letter stated to revise the old ban posed on International Students whose coursework is 100% online wouldn't be able to enter the US. Thus, helping the new International Students of Fall'20.  

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Australia to welcome new 300 overseas students to South Australia

Australia's trade minister, Simon Birmingham announced that there will be a new pilot program to bring 300 International students in South Australia.

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August 17th, 2020

VFS Global offices open as visa services resume

Visa services for Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Germany, etc have started. Hence, vfs global offices open in India.

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August 14th, 2020

US Consulates in India will be processing student and academic exchange visitor visa applications

US Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata will function and process Student and Academic Exchange Visitor Visa applications on 17th August'20. This is not the start of routine services. However, emergency student and exchange visitor appointment requests received prior to August 12 will be processed. After which it will be open to public appointments.

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Trump Administration removes the H-1B visa ban with some requirements

On June 22nd, Trump Administration passed a proclamation to suspend entry to most of the non-immigrants on either H-1B, H-2B, J, or L1 visa. The ban is now lifted for H-1B as well as L1 visa holders if the visa holder is resuming work with the same employer. They can now return back to the United States. This includes their spouse and family as well.

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August 13th, 2020

Expedited Appointment for US F1 visas to start soon

Soon you will be able to apply for an expedited appointment for US F1 Visa. An applicant can have only 1 expedited application for F1 Visa and who qualifies the requirements for the same.

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VFS offices opening for France student visas from 17th August

Banglore and Hyderabad have confirmed that their VFS visa offices are opening for France student visas from 17th August and other cities will open soon as well. 

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August 12th, 2020

India has self-assured to be the largest study market soon

In 2019, there were 753,000 Indian students studying abroad according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. China has been the leading study market from where students are going abroad to study to date. But soon India will take over as the stats and numbers in the survey conducted by Janaka Pushpanathan, director South India at British Council, explains only rise or a constant number of students wanting to look for a destination to study beyond India. 

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August 10th, 2020

Canada considering to allow International students back on-campus from September

IRCC and Canadian Govt. explained they will be considering to allow international students back from September if their accommodation is secured safely and with all health protocols.

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August 7th, 2020

UK Autumn'20 Intake going ahead as planned

Universities in the UK are still moving ahead with the September/October intake with a mixture of online and on-campus courses (blended course) as it was scheduled earlier.

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New Zealand suspends issuance of Student Visas from 10th August'20

Due to the Pandemic, New Zealand has decided to temporarily suspend all temporary visas issuance including student visa for a 3 month period.

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August 6th, 2020

International Students were barred to travel to Canada by the airlines

Some days back Canada revised its rules to not allowing International students to come to Canada due to the Corona situation and only priority/special urgent cases are allowed. But many Indian International students bought flight tickets and were still barred from entering by the airlines.

Yocket's take: We request and urge the students to not fall for hearsay and keep a track of the new rules and its modifications coming into play. Remember it'll all be fine very soon, all of this is just because of the Pandemic and we all are in this together. We need to stay strong.

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August 5th, 2020

Many Universities are starting with their online classes this Fall'20

Finally, after so many twists and curls for the higher education sector, the month is here where most of the Universities have their orientation program and start their classes. Many Universities have confirmed and are starting their online classes either mid august or August-end.

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August 4th, 2020

Hong Kong creates transferrable credits for students who already have got admits from foreign Universities

Due to the Pandemic as students are not able to travel abroad for their education. Hong Kong launches the new 2020 Visiting Student Scheme to let the admitted Undergraduate students in foreign Universities study in Hong Kong and the credits obtained could be transferrable tp their admitted school, provided it follows the HKU's admission requirements.

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August 3rd, 2020

UK provides a month of visa extension for International Students in the country

Any foreign International student whose visa expired in between 24th January'20 - 31st July'20 has been given an extension till 31st August'20 to plan the travel to their home country or do the necessary formalities to stay back in the UK.

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July 31st, 2020

France gives free COVID test to students coming from 16 countries and plans to start the coming academic year as planned

France Govt. has announced that people coming in from 16 countries ( Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, India, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Madagascar, Panama, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America) will be asked to take the COVID test for free in all the airports across France. Some Universities are planning to reopen as planned for eg. HEC Paris (one of the top MBA schools) planning to have students as scheduled from 31st August'20 onwards.

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July 30th, 2020

Canada's updated rules back to not allowing International students to come to Canada 

Canada was allowing International students to enter the country who have a valid visa prior to March 10th. However, the updated rules suggest that anyone foreign national can't enter Canada if the purpose of travel is optional or discretionary. Studying in Canada comes under the category of optional or discretionary.

Yocket's Take: You need to wait what the IRCC has to offer next in the coming days. The information would be crucial, keep an eye on this blog and IRCC's official website.

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July 29th, 2020

Australia confirms that the new International Students taking online classes also satisfy the requirements for the post-study work permit

In the first half of July, Australia modified its rules wherein current International Students' duration studying in Australian Universities online will be counted towards Post-Study Work Permit. This rule now includes new International Students as well. If you're an International student taking the online option at any Australian University, your duration of online education will also be counted under the requirements of Post-Study Work Permit.

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July 28th, 2020

Texas International Education Consortium and Online Learning Consortium are going to evolve the online learning scene

TIEC - 31 Texas Universities is joining hands with OLC to bring about an advancement in the online learning scene to help students get world-class education amid the Pandemic. They are going to work with the foreign ministries of education and universities abroad to bring the best faculties onboard and train them.

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July 27th, 2020

International students in Canada can work for more than 20 hours till 31st August

The International students in Canada who are eligible to work off-campus, hold study-permit in an academic session, and providing an essential service (for eg. healthcare, supplying food, and other important goods) can work for more than 20 hours temporarily till 31st August. 

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July 24th, 2020

International Students coming for ELT Programs in the UK can come via Standard Visitor Visa

International Students whose programs are for 6 months or lesser in the English Language Teaching Centers can come to the UK with a Standard Visitor Visa.

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18 Virtual Exchange Programs funded by the US Department of State

The US Department of State has come up with a sponsored Stevens Initiative wherein 18 Virtual Exchange Programs are going to be funded. Students benefit from this by getting the cross-cultural experience without traveling all the way and just by an electronic device can take up the Exchange Programs. This program now has 41 country locations.  

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July 22nd, 2020

Former US Ambassadors request the reversal of the proclamation on J-1 Visas

The Former US Ambassadors have written a letter to the Trump Administration to reverse the proclamation for J-1 Visas because "exchange programs have helped our economy drastically and not to mention diplomatic and national security efforts as well" said the US government representatives abroad.

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July 21st, 2020

Australia to start processing visa for International Students and make Post-Study work permit requirements to your benefit

In a recent media release, Hon Alan Tudge MP announced to grant visas to International students very soon so as soon as the borders open students will be able to travel. The Govt. also allowing students who are currently studying online from their home country & are unable to travel, can count this duration for their PSWP requirement.  Also, Graduates who hold a student visa can apply for PSWP from their home country.

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July 20th, 2020

The US going to begin phased visa resumptions in some parts of the Schengen area, UK, and Ireland

Some countries like the UK, Ireland, and some in the Schengen area will see visa openings in a phased post to post manner soon. The faqs of travel docs also answered many questions related to this. 

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July 17th, 2020

Migrant Voice writes to UK Home Secretary to prepone the Post-Study Work Permit, making it available for 2020 Grads as well

The Migrant Voice, Priti Patel has written to the UK Home Secretary to consider 2020 Grads for Post-Study Work Permit as well. Allowing them to stay back in the UK and work for 2 years after graduation. This might also help the UK's economy to bounce back and recover.

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July 16th, 2020

Canada makes Post-Study Work Permit process easier for International students

To provide reassurance to Canadian Universities' aspirants about Post-Study Work Permit the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) have made certain temporary changes. The aspirants who are going to start their education from a Canadian University this Fall can apply for Post-Study Work Permit before 15th September and this will "include the time you apply for a study permit, rather than when you were approved for one, towards a future post-graduation work permit", IRCC tweeted. IRCC is approving the PSWP applications in two stages, eligibility and admissibility. The student should have an acceptance from a Canadian University, show sufficient finances, etc and for the second stage should have the necessary documents such as biometrics, an immigration medical exam, and a police certificate. In addition, IRCC is also prioritizing people who have completed the full application beforehand. 

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July 15th, 2020

Trump Administration takes the foot off the gas due to the lawsuit filed against them by MIT and Harvard

The modification that was passed has been revoked and International Students who are in the US can stay in the country while taking 100% online classes.

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July 14th, 2020

US Embassies in Thailand is resuming visa appointments

Starting 15th July US Embassies Bangkok is resuming limited Visa appointments for F, J, and M visas only. Moreover, if anyone has to travel within 3 weeks in Thailand to the US can apply for an expedited appointment request as well. The student visa appointments will be allowed provided their Institution provides a mixture of in-person courses and online courses for the Fall semester. 

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Travel - State Dept of the US tweets about a phased resumption of visa services

The US State Dept. of travel announces phased resumption of visa services and asks students to continuously monitor their country of residence's US embassy/consulate's website to be ready in case of phased resumption of visa services.

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UK Govt. discusses the work rights of PSW permit

The latest update on PSWP that was accepted by the UK Govt. going in-effect from 2021, UK Govt. says “In general dependants have near full access to the UK labour market and can work at any skill level”. This essentially means that students are free to change their career focus provided they fit the requirement and this means that students wouldn't have any barriers.

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USC Office of the Provost tweets no fee for an extra in-person course

After the recent modifications' announcements by the ICE, Universities started to take precautionary measures which made USC take this measure of imposing no additional fee if students had to take an in-person course to maintain their visa status.

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July 13th, 2020

More than 180 Universities file a petition against Trump student visa policy, requesting a restraining order

Earlier there were only 2 Universities who had filed a lawsuit against ICE, Harvard and MIT. But, the Presidents' Alliance made more than 180 Universities file a petition to request a temporary restraining order against Trump's administration to take action against International Students. 

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July 10th, 2020

Australia to be flexible with post-study work permit

Australia plans to help International students stranded as the international borders are closed. They are planning to give the International students post-study work permit flexibility and also removing the visa renewal fee.

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