US Gov’t to withdraw visas for foreign students whose classes moved online due to COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2020   •   158

USA — The United States (US) Government has made some modifications to its temporary exemptions for foreign or non-immigrant students whose classes will be moved online in the upcoming fall semester.

Under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), nonimmigrant students were allowed to take more online courses than normally permitted as temporary exemptions for both spring and summer semesters due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in order to maintain their nonimmigrant status.

The new modifications cover Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online.

They may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.

The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools or programs that are fully online.

Likewise, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not permit them to enter the United States.

Thus, students who are currently enrolled in these programs must depart the country or transfer to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status otherwise, they may face immigration consequences.

Schools, meanwhile, are given 10 days to inform the federal government of the change if they begin the fall semester with in-person classes but are later required to switch to only online classes.

The new policy does not permit nonimmigrant students within the United States to take a full course of study through online classes. 

They must reduce course load to stay otherwise, they must leave the country.

Full list of other modifications here.

‘No need to panic buy,’ Palace reminds public

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2020

Consumers in Metro Manila flocked to grocery stores after President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday night, approved the reversion of some areas to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in response to the medical frontliners’ plea for a two-week “timeout”.

This prompted Malacañang on Monday to remind the public not to panic buy amid the implementation of MECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Walang dahilan para mag-panic buying. Supplies are high, delivered in supermarkets in anticipation of bigger demand prior to MECQ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

The Palace official reiterated that only essential establishments will remain open including supermarkets, banks, and hospitals. He also said that the “time out” will be used to strengthen the government’s testing, tracing, and treatment of COVID-19.

“This is primarily to accede to the demand of the frontliners for a break. A ‘time out,'” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

PLM on 2-week lockdown over rise in COVID-19 cases among staff

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2020

The Pamantasang Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) will be placed under a two-week lockdown due to the high number of staff that tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“There are currently four confirmed cases, with two recovered patients and one fatality among employees. There are also three probable and one suspect cases,” PLM President Emmanuel Leyco said in a statement.

BREAKING: Mayor Isko approves two-week quarantine at PLM amid rising COVID-19 casesManila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko…

Posted by Manila Public Information Office on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has approved their request and the PLM management will be adopting a strict work-from-home arrangement for employees for the next two weeks.

“As a University which produces doctors, nurses and medical professionals, we believe it is necessary to respond to the public health crisis by listening to science and the inputs of medical experts,” Leyco said. AAC

Hoping to show off your newborn? Glass-enclosed mobile presentation cabins available in Mexico

UNTV News   •   August 3, 2020

A Monterrey-based advertising company in Mexico changed its set of operations and now offers local residents the opportunity to rent a glass-enclosed mobile cabin to present newborns to family amid the ongoing pandemic.

A glass-enclosed mobile cabin arrives at the venue and is deep cleaned before proud parents and newborn make their entrance, while relatives and friends drive past honking their horns to take a peek at the baby.

Only close relatives are then allowed to get down from their vehicles in order to get a closer look. Renting the cabin costs $900 pesos ($40 dollars) per hour.

Adman Ernesto Gonzalez, came up with the enterprise because his daughter was born in June and he was worried that his 95-year-old grandmother would be unable to meet her.

Mexico racked up a record number of new confirmed coronavirus infections on Saturday (August 1), registering more than 9,000 daily cases for the first time and passing the previous peak for the second day running, official data showed.

Mexico’s health ministry reported 9,556 new cases of coronavirus, surging past the record of 8,458 set on Friday. The ministry also logged 784 additional fatalities, bringing the total tally in the country to 434,193 cases and 47,472 deaths. (Reuters)

(Production: Daniel Becerril, Rodolfo Pena Roja, Geraldine Downer)

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