International students from several countries including China and the United Kingdom will be able to enter the United States for the fall semester.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. Department of State announced on Monday that foreign nationals from China, Iran Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen area of Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland will be allowed to enter the United States, under exemptions from previous travel bans implemented as a result of COVID-19. Students with proper visas and negative COVID-19 tests will be allowed to enter the country if their academic program begins on Aug. 1 or later, Axios reported. The Biden administration will not require proof of vaccination, although some colleges — including Penn — are requiring that students receive the vaccine.
The students will be permitted to enter the United States through a National Interest Exception, which signifies that an individual's entry into the United States is in the country's best interest. The Trump administration previously made similar exemptions for students from Europe, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, The Wall Street Journal reported.
International enrollment in U.S. colleges dropped last fall, as hundreds of thousands of students were unable to secure proper documentation to enter the United States for classes, The Wall Street Journal reported. The number of students on F-1 or M-1 visas, which include international students at colleges, vocational programs, and K-12 schools, fell by 18% to 1.25 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Among newly enrolled students, visa records fell by 72%.
Chinese students account for nearly one-third of all international students enrolled at U.S. schools, The Wall Street Journal reported. Brazil sends the ninth largest number of international students to the United States and Iran is No. 13 in sending international students to the United States.
Eleven percent of students in Penn's Class of 2025 and 14% of the Class of 2024 are international students, many of whom have not yet been to campus.
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