- United States
Indian students are being advised to act with due diligence while selecting U.S universities to pursue their prospective educational wants, in order to avoid any fraudulent universities sponsoring them. The immigration agencies in India are urging the local students to investigate their choice of Universities before traveling to the U.S, after hundreds of Indian students face deportation in the United States as a result of a fake University sponsoring them.
The U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently shut down a University, Herguan University in Sunnyvale, California, on charges of multiple immigration offenses. As result of this, 450 Indian students were given a deadline by the DHS to leave the United States, unless they are able to enroll themselves in any other legal University.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in America released a report earlier this season, accusing the U.S immigration and Customs Agency (ICE) of impotence on apprehending fraudulent Universities that lure foreign students to their Universities, tempting them with U.S study Visas.
“The U.S Immigration and Customs (ICE) implemented existing controls,” a part of the GAO report stated, “in accordance with internal control standards and fraud prevention practices, to verify schools’ legitimacy and eligibility either while applying to be allowed to admit foreign students, or at once they actually start admitting these students.”
The report also pinpointed the discrepancies the U.S immigration department had in its policies towards engaging such cases. The discrepancies included lack of proper documentation of records of those academic institutes which are authorized to sponsor foreign students. In cases where records of these schools were actually found, the report said majority of them were incomplete. The report also noted that such deficiencies incapacitate the department’s ability to verify credentials of all Universities allowed to sponsor foreign students.
The GAO report warned the U.S Congress of a possible increase in exploitation of such mismanagement by scammers and sub-standard schools if the ICE officials persist their present attitude.
U.S based Universities and institutions are a major destination for majority of Indian students. More than a 100,000 Indian students traveled to the U.S last year.
Students were advised in the report to verify the legal status and affiliation of the Universities that they choose. Accredited universities have a lesser chance of fraud and are much safer than unaccredited Universities. Still, only being accredited is not enough as they have to apply to the ICE to get authorization to invite international students to come to the U.S.
A similar case had occurred last year when the California based Tri-Valley University was shut down and its president arrested on similar multiple charges of immigration offenses. One of these charges was the submitting fake letters from accredited Universities to the ICE. In doing so the university had covered up this discrepancy and as a result more than 1,000 Indian students had to return to India empty handed, after spending thousands of U.S dollars on their tuition fees and living expenses in the U.S.
To avoid this from happening again, the GAO report also released some guidelines for potential immigrant students to follow while choosing a university in the U.S.
These types of problems are possible in everyone’s case. The ICE and the DHS must take necessary measures to control this situation or the U.S Education Department might experience a decline in its education export market.
Tags: Foreign Students, Government Accountability Office (GAO), ICE, immigrant students, India, Study abroad, study in USA, United States, US Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration, US Immigration and Customs Enforcements