|Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc affirms the embassy and Vietnamese representative agencies in the US will try to protect Vietnamese students' interests there
The US Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division recently announced that “the US Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the US”.
The new policy, due to take effect this autumn, will directly affect students with F-1 visa i.e. international students who are attending an academic program and those with M-1 visa i.e. international students who are attending vocational and technical schools.
This decision prompted many international students, including thousands of Vietnamese students, not feel at ease in the context of the complicated COVID-19 pandemic in the US as well as its travel restrictions this time.
In a short interview with a Washington-based VOV correspondent, Vietnamese ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc said the embassy and Vietnamese representative agencies in the US have contacted relevant US agencies to better understand the new policy in an attempt to guarantee Vietnamese students’ legitimate interests there.
“I would like to recommend that our students stay calm and frequently contact the external affairs service of the schools where they are studying and researching.”
“In addition, you keep in regular contact with our embassy and representative agencies in the US. We have provided hotlines for you to contact and ask for more information.”
“You also can keep in touch with the Vietnamese Youth-Students Association in the US so we can continue to provide more information.”
According to the ambassador, the embassy has worked with the relevant US agencies and requested that they take measures to meet and ensure the rights of Vietnamese students during their study there.
“Currently, many schools have received feedback from students, and we have also raised the question with relevant US authorities,” said Ngoc. “We have collaborated with other ASEAN countries in the US to raise the concerns and put forward the proposal”.
Ngoc also noted that the embassy and Vietnamese representative agencies in the US have made a number of proposals to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in the US amid travel restrictions in the country.
“First, we have proposed increasing the frequency of Vietnam Airlines flights to bring our citizens back home.”
“Second, we can conduct codeshare flights with foreign airlines to bring our citizens back home.”
“Third, as far as I know the government has allowed the reopening of flight routes to Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei and Guangzhou on a trial basis. I recommend that our citizens return home through those transit locations.”