Sharma Crawford

Why are hundreds of students from India facing deportation?

Federal authorities have filed, last week, criminal charges against Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, a major suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area. These charges include misuse of visa permits, indulging in money laundering and other serious crimes. The students, over 1500 of them mostly from India, also, face deportation based on immigration related fraud.

The criminal complaint reveals that Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) found that while students were admitted to various residential and online courses of the university and on paper lived in California, in reality they “illegally” worked in various parts of the country as far as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The complaint also indicates that in this instance, more than half of these students were listed as residing in a single apartment located in Sunnyvale California, even though they did not. ICE officials refer to such a set up as a “sham university.”

A student visa, or F-1, requires that a student take a full case load of studies, physically attend classes and be working toward a recognized degree. In this instance, the students do not live in California so it is impossible for any of them to actually attend classes.

ICE officers have round up students and have conducted interrogations. Since the University has closed, many of these students find themselves with no choice but to leave the United States. Some are also being looked at for other immigration related violations and face removal back to India. It is unclear if any of the students will also face criminal charges.

Many of the students paid large amounts of money to obtain a student visa and work authorization. Now, many face removal and a bleak possibility of return to the United States.

The facts of this case, though tragic, shed some light on the necessity to be aware of your visa requirements. Many nonimmigrant visas carry extended restrictions on what can and cannot be done. Most nonimmigrant visas, unless for specific employment purposes, do not allow for employment authorization. Working in violation of a nonimmigrant visa is a common issue that often leads to deportation proceedings being commenced. If an individual is on a nonimmigrant visa, it is best to take precaution and understand the exact requirements of the given visa.

Sharma-Crawford, Attorneys at Law is a firm deeply experienced in the complexities of immigration litigation. Whether you are facing criminal or civil litigation in state, federal or immigration court – the caring professionals at Sharma-Crawford can help you navigate through the complex legal system. For more information, please call (913) 385-9821 or visit The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The information contained in this article is general information and should not be considered legal counsel.

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