Headline, March 19 2019/ ''' '' CHINA -U.S.A.- CHIME '' ''' : STUDENTS

''' '' CHINA -U.S.A.- CHIME '' ''' :


FOR THE WHOLE WORLD, U.S visa halt puts jobs, students hopes and dreams at total risk.

STUDENT COURTNEY HUANG FELL IN LOVE WITH the US as a nursing student in Texas. She ended up staying 13 years and wants to become US citizens.

But Huang now finds her job, future, and dreams of citizenship on the line since the Trump administration barred entry last month to non-US students and residents flying in from China over the coronavirus outbreak.

With crucial deadlines looming, her plans look increasingly at risk. I'm really scared, Huang said. I have a lot there. If I don't go back, it's just going to be every difficult.

The US suspended visa processing in China on Feb3, citing limited staffing during the virus outbreak. No deadline extensions have been announced and its not known when the suspension will be lifted.

That's put hundreds of Chinese citizens applying for US work visas in limbo, fretting as their jobs look increasingly at risk.
Huang had returned to China to see her parents over the the Lunar New Year holiday late January. She had recently landed a new job in California and her work visa was on the verge of approval when the American Consulate in Shanghai announced it was returning everyone's passports.

After weeks of fretting and weighing her options at her parents home in eastern China, Huang flew to Thailand. She now plans to wait out a mandated 14-day self quarantine before seeing if she can get her visa from the US Embassy in Bangkok.
Though Huang was born and raised in China, her whole life is now in Oakland, California, where she has an apartment, var. friends and job. With her Christian faith and gregarious, outspoken manner, the US feels like home.

I feel like I fit in better there. Free speech, free religion, Huang said. Clean air, better career opportunities for women and a liberal social environment were also draws, she added.

Student Huang obtained a nursing degree in Texas, then a masters degree in bioengineering from UC Berkeley. She's on the verge of completing an MBA, with an eye toward settling permanently.

LIKE student Huang, Kevin Yang, a Chinese doctoral student researching immunology at an  American university, is also reconsidering his options. After moving to the US eight years ago, Yang has returned home each winter holiday and had his student visa renewed without a hitch.

This year, Yang became one of many Chinese citizens caught up in the brutal tussle between Beijing and Washington over trade and technology.

When Yang applied for a visa in December, the  state Department told him it was being delayed while they investigated his background for ties to the Chinese government.

American officials have in recent years grown alarmed over the alleged theft of  US technology by China, casting a cloud of suspicion.

Told the check would take four weeks, Yang changed his flights and prepared to stay longer.

Then in late January, the Chinese government began locking down whole cities to contain the virus. Soon after, Trump announced the U.S. travel ban. Yang got his passport back in the mail with no visa.

American officials told Yang's academic adviser that since Yang no longer had a visa, they could no longer pay his stipend or fund his research with federal grant money.

Hospital surveys that Yang said he spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours over two years to set up were now in peril, something he described as a crushing blow.

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