'50% Indian TVU students at various stages of visa reinstatement'

  • PTI, Washington
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2011 09:30 IST

More than 50% of the Indian students hit by the closure of California-based Tri-Valley University are at various stages of processing for the reinstatement of their visa status.

Indian mission has been informed by the US authorities that more than 50% of the students were at various stages of processing for reinstatement, embassy's spokesman Virander Paul said.

Encouraged by the development, Indian Embassy has asked rest of the affected students to directly approach the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which has established a dedicated help line for them.

After the Tri-Valley University was shut down in January on allegations of visa fraud, some 1,500 Indian students were affected as they lost their student visa status.

Several Indian students were questioned by ICE authorities, many detained and as many as 18 in California were radio tagged, which external affairs minister S M Krishna had termed "inhuman".

Deportation proceedings were started against many Indian students.

Krishna the issue with the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton during a telephonic talk last month.

Following this, Indian ambassador to the US Meera Shankar wrote a letter to Clinton bringing to her notice India’s concerns on this issue.

Clinton responded on February 22 that "the Department of State continues to follow this case closely and is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the Government of India to ensure fair and appropriate treatment of the students."

Emphasising on US' strong commitment to foster educational exchanges with India, Clinton said "Indian students make a strong contribution to both our countries and it is among my priorities to ensure that this pillar of our partnership remains strong."

On March 2, a group of former students of the Tri-Valley University had a meeting with Shankar at the Embassy premises here.

Representatives from ICE and Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) were also invited to be present.

"There was a detailed and useful discussion and exchange of information on the manner in which the problems of students at Tri-Valley University are being addressed, and some of the continuing concerns of the students," embassy spokesman Paul said.

"It was agreed that the students and representatives from ICE and SEVP would remain in touch with the Embassy to continue to work together for early resolution of the issue," he added.


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