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.

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