Students part of Tri-Valley conspiracy

HYDERABAD: Are Indian students of the Tri-Valley University (TVU) innocent? It appears that if TVU sought to make money, some of the students tried to take advantage of the loopholes in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the official database that is critical for foreign students seeking admission to US universities also known as Certificate of Eligibility, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Parents of the students, however, maintain that the university had lured their children by making false claims about its courses. A case in point is that of Hyderabad-based Deepthi (name changed) who has been radio tagged last week.

She went to TVU eight months ago to pursue an MS course. When Deepthi asked about the nitty-gritty of the course, the TVU authorities informed her that it was an online course.. it sounded like a correspondence course. She was taken aback but since there was little that she could do, she decided to continue at TVU for a few months and later, move on to any other university, Karthikeya, brother of Deepthi, told Express. When she sought to know what was her crime, the US authorities told her that since she was part of TVU, she was part of the conspiracy. What mistake has she committed? She first got the I20, the admission letter, given by TVU and later, she applied for the visa. The US consulate authorities gave her the visa after going through the papers submitted by her. Where is the question of she committing the fraud?, Karthikeya wondered.

But these questions right now have no answers. Mohan Nannapaneni, secretary, Telugu Association of North America, pointed out: All the students affected are not really qualified under F-1 visa rules. In fact, many of them tried to take advantage of the loopholes in SEVIS, knowingly or unknowingly.

For the TVU, though, the business was lucrative. Each student had to shell out as much as Rs 1.6 lakh per semester for the courses (which are mostly online). Each foreign national receiving F-1 status at TVU was charged up to $ 2,700 per semester to maintain their F-1 status, stated the Complaint for Forfeiture papers presented in court by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (a copy of which is with Express). The university received $4,198,500 as tuition fees between February, 2009 and September, 2010.

Meanwhile, students facing removal proceedings after being let off from detention and others, who have not been able to furnish the hefty surety which ranges from $5,000 to $ 22,000 continue to languish in detention centres.

Those out from the centres have had to bear with the radio tags despite protests from the Indian government. But sounding optimistic, Nannapaneni said: Since so many parties are involved, the case has not made any great progress. But things are looking up. The Indian Embassy has already contacted the US Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Source : Indian Express

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.