How will the new F1 Visa regulation affect existing and new students?

What will happen to my F1 visa_ When can I return to the US_

This blog is regarding the recent announcement by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about the continuation of F1 visas for students studying in the US and taking fully online classes for the fall 2020 semester due to the pandemic.

As per the regulation, students are not allowed to take fully online courses in the fall semester while in the US and they have to return to their home country before the semester begins. After returning, they can continue to pursue their semester online from their home country but they cannot return to the US until the university resumes in-person instruction. This does not mean that their F1 visa has been cancelled. It means that the embassy will not renew the F1 visa until the university resumes in-person instruction.

Students will not lose any credits earned in the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters. They will be required to take a break for only one semester, and again resume their studies in spring 2021. Also, this will not affect CPT or OPT in any manner.

The regulation also states that as an alternative, the student can either transfer to another school with in-person instruction or adopt a hybrid model with a maximum of one class or three credit hours online. This decision will not hamper the current visa process for students aspiring to join next year or those who have deferred their fall 2020 admissions to spring 2021.

New students, who have deferred their admission to spring 2021, can continue with their visa process since it is likely that in-person instruction will resume by January 2021. However, if the spring semester is also changed to online instruction, you will not be able to go to the US. In that case, you will have to defer your admission to fall 2021 and accordingly get your visas reissued for fall 2021.

How to get into the best US universities for MS

Making it to the best US universities (2)

Getting into the best US universities is a dream of every student who aspires to pursue a master’s in America. However, these top universities have higher academic and co-curricular requirements that one needs to keep in mind before starting the preparation and application process.

Following are the key requirements to make it to the top 25 US universities:

GRE score above 320: Topmost US universities require a high GRE score, usually more than 320, and a Quant score of 165+. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, our experienced faculty offer thorough guidance to make sure you score well. Two of our students scored 340/340, and two others scored 339/340, along with many others who scored more than 330.  Our GRE Online Coaching is as interactive as classroom coaching, and we already have more than 1000 students enrolled with us.

Good academic performance: A consistently good percentage (70% and above) or a GPA above 8.5 in your bachelor’s program is ideal for securing the best admits. If you are still in your third year and your GPA is not up to the mark, you have a good chance to amp it up.

Projects/internships: Projects and relevant internships contribute a lot to the selection process. Make sure that you have worked on good academic projects that demonstrate your technical skills. Internships show your practical experience and knowledge of the subject.

Paper presentations: Some of the best US universities often require students to publish research papers in nationally and internationally recognized seminars and reputed international publications. If you have enough time and you have not presented any paper yet, go for it. It is a great way to upscale your academic credentials and also stand out among the many applicants.

Work experience: Work experience is often an add-on to your other achievements. If you are not in a hurry to pursue MS right after graduation, we recommend you to work in your relevant field for at least one or two years and then apply for MS. This will give an edge to your application and also help you get a good job after your MS.

Strong SOP and LORs: A Statement of Purpose is a crucial document in the application process because it explains why you wish to join the university and the program. Your intent must come across strongly for the university to find you suitable for admission. At the academy, our SOP faculty helps you to draft appealing SOPs and LORs as per the university requirements.

Enroll for our online GRE batches
Enroll for our admission counseling services

Call us for more information: 91-020-67444222, 91-8007878495.

Amidst the pandemic, when do I take the GRE and start my application process?

Spring 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected education systems worldwide, and most US universities have moved to online coaching for the fall 2020 session. If you are planning to join an American university in the spring 2021 semester, be aware that this has a few downsides. So it would be a good idea to postpone your plans to the fall 2021.

Firstly, it will not be possible to give the GRE in July due to the ongoing lockdown, and the chances of giving it in August are also bleak. Therefore, it will be difficult to complete the application process before 31st August which is generally the deadline for spring 2021. Secondly, there is no guarantee that your visa will be processed in time or that you will be able to join for the spring semester.

A ‘GRE at Home’ option has been made available but it is not feasible: for one, the stringent equipment prerequisites are difficult to meet and further, questions are being raised about the fairness of online tests.

Considering this, it is safer and wiser to prepare for fall 2021, for which, you must take the GRE before mid-Jan 2021. Most universities also accept scores until March end so; you can plan to take the test accordingly. To help you kick start your preparation, we offer online coaching for GRE which is at par with classroom coaching. Our online classes are interactive, and over 1000 students have already enrolled with us. Check out our GRE online batches here: https://www.dilipoakacademy.com/gre-online.html

Meanwhile, you can proceed with your application process. Aim to finish it by March 2021, before the university deadlines. At Dilip Oak’s Academy, we also provide admission counselling and guide you through the entire application process. For details, visit: https://www.dilipoakacademy.com/study-in-usa.html

Lockdown dilemma: Go for Fall semester 2020 or defer to Spring 2021?

According to the recent update, many universities especially from California, New York, Pennsylvania, etc. have decided to offer online courses for the Fall 2020 semester. However, we do not recommend going for online courses for several reasons which we have explained in our earlier blog Go For Online Semester or Request a Deferral? dated April 23.

Of course, some universities from a few states are also planning to resume in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester but they will give a concrete decision in July after consulting the public health officials. In that case, it will be difficult for students to obtain visas at such short notice.

Also, the US consulate has been non-operational since March 16 and with the extension of the lockdown, they have temporarily suspended the visa interviews. The exact date for resuming the process has not been declared yet. There is a possibility that the consulate may reduce visa interview slots and a limited number of applicants will be allowed at the consulate at a given time due to social distancing norms.

Therefore, there is no guarantee that you will get your visa on time.

Moreover, there is no certainty on when international airlines will resume operations. As per the recent update by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights would continue until midnight on June 30. Though it implies that operations will resume in July, no official date has been declared yet.

Given the above-mentioned points, it will be wiser to defer your admission to Spring 2021 since in-person instructions are likely to begin from January 2021.

Of course, we recommend students to consider all these factors and make their own decision.