Indian Students In US Face Visa Risks Amid Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Tensions

Indian Students In US Face Visa Risks Amid Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Tensions

Their scholarship opportunities and visa status have been jeopardised due to their involvement in protests. Furthermore, the situation for these students has been made worse by campus lockdowns and the switch to online learning because of safety concerns.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 06:16 PM IST
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Growing tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have affected American campuses, causing anxiety and uncertainty among Indian students and their families in India regarding their plans to pursue higher education overseas. These students' visa status and academic futures are in jeopardy due to the fallout from protests and safety concerns, as reported by the Economic Times.

In recent weeks, Indian students in the US have grappled with a multitude of challenges. Their scholarship opportunities and visa status have been jeopardised due to their involvement in protests. Furthermore, the situation for these students has been made worse by campus lockdowns and the switch to online learning because of safety concerns.

As reported in the economic times, immigration and education experts have sounded the alarm regarding the potential ramifications on international students' visa status. According to Rajiv Khanna, Managing Attorney at Immigration.com, international students are obligated to adhere to a complex web of laws and policies at the federal, state, and institutional levels. Any violation could precipitate their removal from the United States.

If an international student on an F-1 visa is suspended or expelled from their university, the repercussions could be catastrophic. Poorvi Chothani, Managing Partner at LawQuest, underscores that such actions immediately imperil their F-1 visa status, compelling them to depart from the US without any grace period, as reported by economic times. Moreover, depending on how long the infraction went unpunished, an extended unlawful stay may result in bans that last anywhere from three to ten years.

The ramifications extend beyond the students themselves. Following the termination of the F-1 student's SEVIS record, dependents—spouses and children in F-2 status—also suffer repercussions and accrue unlawful presence.

Many US universities have experienced disruptions in their academic life as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including Columbia University, which has switched to online instruction. Universities with varying degrees of disruption have also been faced by institutions like New York University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, and University of Southern California.

Despite these obstacles, the total amount of money that Indian students send abroad for higher education is about $50 billion a year, most of which goes to universities in the Americas and Europe (University Living Indian Students Mobility Report 2023-24).

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