Indian students in US fear another crackdown

T Krishna, a software professional from Atlanta, said there are quite a few universities that target foreign students by offering flexible schedule with CPT benefits from Day One.

Published: 18th February 2019 09:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2019 09:06 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: In the wake of 145 Indians enrolled with a fake university in the United States being detained, other Indian students live in fear of falling foul with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities for joining “pay to stay” universities and committing immigration fraud.

Team Aid founder Mohan Nannapaneni told Express at least 60,000 Indian students across the US have enrolled for a second Master’s degree with colleges offering curricular practical training (CPT) facility. “Both universities and students are not following the rules and if one day the government or investigation agencies decide to launch a crackdown, then the students will meet a fate similar to those who had enrolled in University of Farmington,” he said.

“Nearly 2 lakh Indian students are currently pursuing Master’s courses in the US. We hear that a few more for-profit-universities functioning along similar lines are targeting gullible Indian students. We are trying to identify such universities and reach out to Telugu students to help them avert immigration violations,” said Bheemreddy. 

T Krishna, a software professional from Atlanta, said there are quite a few universities that target foreign students by offering flexible schedule with CPT benefits from Day One.

T Krishna, a software professional from Atlanta, said there are quite a few universities that target foreign students by offering flexible schedule with CPT benefits from Day One.

“In the 13 years that I have stayed here, I have seen so many of my peers getting degrees from such universities. There is a likelihood that  immigration officials may crack the whip on a few more such universities. Many Indians will be affected if that happens. The Indian student community here is tense,” he said.

Meanwhile, soon after the University of Farmington sting came to light, different Telugu  association have counselled students and tried to figure out ways to help them move out of such fake universities before they get into trouble.

Nannapaneni said students should be aware of what danger they were getting into when they join fake universities. “It’s not just students, even universities flout rules. T0 be able to offer CPT, universities have to follow certain rules. For example, CPT can be offered only in cases of exception, not all students.

The university has to enter into a contract with the employer to ensure that the work is aligned to its curriculum and the School Designated Officer  (SDO) has to approve the CPT. Finally, classes have to be conducted either weekly or monthly, but there are universities that do not conduct classes even for six months,” he said.

Farmington University scam

On January 30, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 146 of the 600 students enrolled with University of Farmington — all but one were Indians and nearly 90 per cent of them were from the two Telugu states. Thus far, around 17 students have been granted voluntary departure.

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