Tri-Valley University at Pleasonton, California near San Fransisco has been raided and shut down due to allegations of visa fraud on a massive scale. As Columbus, Ohio Immigration lawyers, we came to become aware of this situation over several calls we received from frantic students not knowing what to do. At the present time, Immigration & Customs Enforcement is seeking to interview every student. Immigration authorities allege that Tri-Valley University was a sham institution from its inception and that it was established merely to provide F-1 visas, curricular practical training or optional practical training employment authorization to its mostly forign national student base. As a result of this raid, immigration attorneys in Columbus, Ohio as well as attorney’s from around the country have been fielding questions from those students who may have been affected by the actions of this university.
Immigration issues for these former students vary in thier severity. Some students have been detained and questioned by the authorities. Some have been issued Notices to Appear before deportation officers. Other students have not been questioned at all and simply hope to find a college to enroll at in time to take classes for the winter semester.
Beside the possible invalidity of F-1 visas issued by Tri-Valley University, it has been reported that some students were permitted to engage in CMT without waiting the requisite 9 month period before comencing work on a student basis. Such persons will need to answer for charges or unauthorized employment as well as a lapse in immigration status.
While the investigation into the circumstances surrounding this institution and it’s alleged immigration violations, students from this institution should be reminded that all immigration cases are different. Schools have closed before, leaving forign students in a state of immigration limbo and the law does provide solutions to questions of immigration status due to circumstances beyond a student’s control. Additionally, for those students that have been signled out by authoritites, there are forms of relief from removal that are available to students depending on the circumstances of each case. Stated another way, forign nationals who may be caught in this mess have the ability to fight for thier right to remain in the United States, but each person will require a different approach depending upon the educatiton, employment and family relationships of each person.
The attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are well versed in the options available for F-1 visa holders whose circumstances have changed due to no fault of thier own and have years of experience in a variety of student visa and work visa issues. If you or someone that you know has a student visa issue, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation of the options available to you under the facts of your individual case.