New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The enrolment of 306 Indian students in a US university — created as part of the US Homeland Security Investigation’s (HSI) enforcement action — has been terminated on charges of visa fraud, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh said on Wednesday.
He said the US authorities have arrested from across the United States 22 brokers, recruiters and employers — some of whom are their own nationals — who allegedly conspired with foreign nationals to fraudulently obtain student and foreign workers’ visas for the latter through a “pay to stay” New Jersey college viz. University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ).
“This ‘college’ was created and operated as part of the US Homeland Security Investigation’s enforcement action in this matter,” the minister said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
“As per the US government, during the investigation, HSI special agents identified 1,076 foreign nationals who previously entered the US on F-1 non-immigrant student visas to attend other accredited schools and were found to have knowingly participated in visa fraud by enrolling at UNNJ for the sole purpose of illegally obtaining and/or maintaining their F-1 non-immigrant status,” he said.
“Three hundred and six of these students are Indian nationals. It is understood that the US authorities have terminated the enrolment of all these students.”
According to the minister, the US authorities have also stated that any student thus terminated, who chose not to file for reinstatement or has his/her reinstatement application denied, must leave the country immediately.
“The government is in touch with the US government and has emphasised to the US government that due process must be followed and there should be no harassment and injustice,” he said.