Ambassador advises Vietnamese students in US to remain calm amid new visa policy hinh anh 1Students participate in an activity near Royce Hall (background) at the campus of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles, California on March 11, 2020. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Washington (VNA) - Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc advised Vietnamese students studying in the US to stay calm and consult with their schools or universities regarding the US’s new foreign student visa policy.

Earlier this week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) announced that the US Department of State will neither issue visas to students nor permit them to enter the US if their universities switch to online-only courses, as a measure to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Ngoc recommended Vietnamese students in the US directly contact their schools or universities’ centres for international students to seek support and advice for the best option.

Students were also advised to stay in touch with the Vietnamese Embassy, Consulates General, and the association of Vietnamese youth and students in the US, for updates on the new policy.

Ngoc also voiced his concern over the policy, saying that the embassy and other Vietnamese representative offices in the US have contacted local authorities about the matter and relating procedures.

Ngoc said his embassy had asked local authorities to adopt measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese students in the US and has lobbied other ASEAN member states to together take action.

It had proposed the Vietnamese Government increase flights repatriating Vietnamese citizens, he added, operated by Vietnam Airlines or foreign carriers.

There will be more opportunities for Vietnamese people hoping to come home to do so, as the government is considering the pilot reopening of a limited number of air routes connecting Vietnam with destinations in Northeast Asia such as Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei and Guangzhou, he noted.

Those who are taking in-person classes and have a place to stay and a valid visa should carefully weigh flying home at this time, he suggested./.