Authorities are cancelling non-immigrant student visas of foreign nationals who benefitted from the racket, and, if applicable, arrest them and start deportation proceedings against them.(Representative image)
Authorities are cancelling non-immigrant student visas of foreign nationals who benefitted from the racket, and, if applicable, arrest them and start deportation proceedings against them.(Representative image)

Indians held in fake US university sting, hundreds face deportation

US authorities announced Tuesday the arrest of 10 people from India and 11 from China for alleged visa fraud involving college admission and likely deportation of hundreds of Indian students.
By Yashwant Raj | Hindustan Times, Washington
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2016 07:39 AM IST

US authorities announced on Tuesday the arrest of 10 people from India and 11 from China for alleged visa fraud involving college admission and likely deportation of hundreds of Indian students.

The accused used a phony university in New Jersey to grant certification needed for legitimate student and work visas but were not aware it was run by federal agents investigating them.

Authorities said defendants helped over 1,000 foreign students stay in the US legally with papers provided to them from this phony institution, University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ).

The accused are charged with visa fraud and making false statements, each carries a sentence of five years, and H-1B visa fraud and harboring aliens, each carrying 10 years.

Authorities are cancelling non-immigrant student visas of foreign nationals who benefitted from the racket, and, if applicable, arrest them and start deportation proceedings against them.

Read | American dream turns nightmare for Telugu students

The Indian Embassy in Washington is in touch with the US government about Indians among these students — around 370 and 380 according to official sources — seeking fair treatment for them.

The embassy has requested the US government to not arrest or deport them. And given them a chance, instead, to keep their student visa by transferring to another university.

“This has been done before in the case of Tri-Valley (a fake California university busted by authorities in 2011 for running a pay-to-stay student visa racket),” said an official in Delhi.

The embassy is also awaiting consular access to those among the arrested who hold Indian passports — going by their names, 10 of them seemed to be Indian or of Indian descent.

Read | Deportation row: Why is US turning back Indian students?

Students from India have been found enrolled in vast numbers in almost every fake university busted in recent years — Tri-Valley in 2011 and University of Northern Virginia in 2013.

Late 2015, US authorities deported hundreds of Indian students headed for two California universities from the airport itself, San Francisco, and in some cases from their stop-overs.

Most of these universities operate as fronts from pay-to-stay operations, selling I-20s —“Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - for Academic and Language Students — needed to get a student F-1 visa.

This time agents of Homeland Security Investigations (a wing of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration) started one as part of a sting operation.

Set up in 2013, UNNJ had no instructors or educators, no curriculum, and conducted no classes or education activities, said a statement from the office of US attorney for New Jersey.

Read | Indian tourists, businessmen also deported from US

The university, which “operated solely as a storefront location with small offices staffed by federal agents posing as school administrators”, could issue I-20s, however.

That brought them the defendants, recruiting companies, brokers and business entities located from all over the country — New Jersey, California, Illinois, New York, and Virginia.

Everyone involved — recruiting agents and their clients, mostly from India and China — knew UNNJ was a phony university, as perhaps like the others they had heard of.

Only, this one was being run by undercover federal agents.

Read | Deportations fail to curb US dream of Hyderabad students

Defendants are charged with producing false documents to facilitate their clients’ enrolment at UNNJ and also arrange for H-1B visas meant for highly skilled foreign workers.

Beneficiaries were mostly those already in the US on valid visas. Enrolment and work permit through UNNJ allowed them to continue staying, legally but through illegal means.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
PM Modi addressing the Davos Dialogue on Thursday.(ANI Photo)
PM Modi addressing the Davos Dialogue on Thursday.(ANI Photo)

'Many more Made-in-India Covid-19 vaccines soon': PM Modi at Davos Dialogue

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 06:29 PM IST
The Prime Minister further said that India was able to save a majority of its population after predictions from some people that said 70-80 crore people will be infected by the coronavirus disease.
Close
The Centre has repeatedly asserted that these laws will remain and have offered to make amendments into the law.(PTI)
The Centre has repeatedly asserted that these laws will remain and have offered to make amendments into the law.(PTI)

Officials in Ghaziabad ask farmers to vacate protest site by tonight

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 06:28 PM IST
This comes after the protests came to an end at Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh earlier in the day. The farmers who were protesting at the site alleged use of force by police, reported news agency PTI.
Close
Three workers of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Muslim League activist in Malappuram district of Kerala. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).
Three workers of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Muslim League activist in Malappuram district of Kerala. (REUTERS FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).

3 CPI (M) workers held in connection with Muslim League cadre’s murder

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 06:27 PM IST
  • The CPI (M), however, distanced itself from the incident saying a clash between two groups led to the killing.
Close
Robert Vadra(Hindustan Times file photo)
Robert Vadra(Hindustan Times file photo)

Robert Vadra gets protection from arrest till Feb 8 in money laundering case

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 06:20 PM IST
The probe is related to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of the border town of Bikaner.
Close
Uttarakhand’s tableau Kedarkhand bagged the third prize in the Republic Day celebrations. (HT PHOTO).
Uttarakhand’s tableau Kedarkhand bagged the third prize in the Republic Day celebrations. (HT PHOTO).

Uttarakhand’s Republic Day tableau bags 3rd spot, maiden award for hill-state

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:58 PM IST
  • The theme of the tableau was the main symbols that represent the religious legacy and biodiversity of the Himalayan state. The tableau called ‘Kedarkhand’ which was displayed in the parade focussed on the Kedarnath shrine.
Close
Vikram Gurjar(HT Photo )
Vikram Gurjar(HT Photo )

Rajasthan’s most wanted criminal Vikram Gurjar arrested after 16-month hunt

By Jaykishan Sharma
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:49 PM IST
He was nabbed on the intervening night of January 27-28 from Maharashtra.
Close
The decision was taken after a meeting with the heads of the institutions.(HT_PRINT)
The decision was taken after a meeting with the heads of the institutions.(HT_PRINT)

Meghalaya colleges to reopen on February 1

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:47 PM IST
The education department had said classes will be held both in classrooms and online modes and follow strict precautionary protocols for Covid-19.
Close
Police personnel arrive at Ghazipur border to place a notice for farmer leaders after an FIR registered against them in connection with Republic Day violence, during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi.(ANI)
Police personnel arrive at Ghazipur border to place a notice for farmer leaders after an FIR registered against them in connection with Republic Day violence, during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi.(ANI)

Delhi Police's Crime Branch to investigate nine cases of R-Day violence

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:46 PM IST
Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava on Thursday held a meeting with the Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) and other senior police officers at the police headquarters.
Close
This video grab taken on January 28, 2021, from the website of the World Economic Forum shows India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing an all-virtual World Economic Forum, which usually takes place in Davos, Switzerland. (AFP)
This video grab taken on January 28, 2021, from the website of the World Economic Forum shows India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing an all-virtual World Economic Forum, which usually takes place in Davos, Switzerland. (AFP)

'India's success will help the entire world': PM Modi at WEF's Davos Dialogue

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 06:00 PM IST
The Prime Minister is addressing the World Economic Forum's Davos Dialogue via video conferencing.
Close
Congress had won 44 seats while the Left Front emerged victorious in 33 seats during the 2016 elections.(ANI file photo)
Congress had won 44 seats while the Left Front emerged victorious in 33 seats during the 2016 elections.(ANI file photo)

Bengal Assembly seat sharing: Cong to contest on 193 seats, Left Front get 101

ANI, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:40 PM IST
Congress had won 44 seats while the Left Front emerged victorious in 33 seats during the 2016 elections.
Close
Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.(PTI)
Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.(PTI)

'Someone goes there and hoists a flag, why was no firing done?' asks Tikait

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:38 PM IST
Speaking about Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, who has been accused of instigating the violence on Tuesday by farmer unions, Tikait said, "Police allowed him to leave and didn't arrest him. Nothing has been done even now."
Close
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, second right, receives a box of COVID-19 vaccines upon arrival from India, in Colombo on Thursday(AP)
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, second right, receives a box of COVID-19 vaccines upon arrival from India, in Colombo on Thursday(AP)

India sends 6 lakh Covid vaccine doses to Sri Lanka and Bahrain

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:27 PM IST
  • Two separate flights transported 500,000 doses to Sri Lanka and 100,000 doses to Bahrain.
Close
The Supreme Court Bench said that it is not interested in people saying anything on TV but it is concerned about those programmes which have instigation effect.(File photo)
The Supreme Court Bench said that it is not interested in people saying anything on TV but it is concerned about those programmes which have instigation effect.(File photo)

SC slams Centre for not curbing TV programs that instigate or impact a community

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:25 PM IST
  • The court was hearing pleas filed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Peace Party seeking action against media reports indulging in communal branding of Covid-19 pandemic in the light of Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin area. The pleas alleged discriminatory coverage by a section of media.
Close
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat(PTI FILE PHOTO)
Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat(PTI FILE PHOTO)

Uttarakhand CM dissolves district development authorities after complaints

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:11 PM IST
  • In November, Bansidhar Bhagat, the BJP chief in Uttarakhand had urged Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to dissolve development authorities as they were not fulfilling the purpose for which they had been created.
Close
CM Singh cited Punjab's historical links with Jammu and Kashmir since Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time.(HT Photo)
CM Singh cited Punjab's historical links with Jammu and Kashmir since Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time.(HT Photo)

Punjab CM urges PM Modi to include Punjabi in J&K official languages list

PTI, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:11 PM IST
In a letter to the prime minister, Amarinder Singh urged him to advise the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to reconsider and review the official list and include Punjabi as one of the official languages of the union territory.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP