US immigration authorities have asked duped students of a sham university in California, most of them from India, to contact them directly to find out what options they have to pursue their studies in America. Over 1,500 students of California-based Tri Valley University (TVU), some 90 percent of them from India, mostly Andhra Pradesh, face the prospect of deportation following the closure of the school on charges of visa fraud unless they can get admission in another institution. “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken further steps to ensure SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Programme)-certified schools and former Tri-Valley students have the information that they need to make informed decisions in light of the ongoing investigation,” spokeswoman, Lori K. Haley said on Wednesday. ICE has posted an advisory on the SEVP link on ICE's website — http://www.ice.gov/sevis/tri-valley-110118.htm — to direct students how to contact an SEVP representative to obtain information about their options. “When you call, SEVP will provide you with your options including the option to depart from the United States without an otherwise possibly applicable bar to re-admission in the future,” says the advisory issued to the TVU students. Lori said due to the ongoing investigation, ICE is not discussing the details related to the Tri Valley case. SEVP terminated the records of all F-1 students enrolled at TVU as of Jan 18, after ICE shut down TVU following an investigation. According to a federal complaint filed in a California court in January, the university helped foreign nationals illegally acquire immigration status. The complaint alleged that while students were admitted to various residential and on-line courses of the university and on paper lived in California, in reality they “illegally” worked in places as far away as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas. For a student to maintain an active immigration status, they must show proof that they are making reasonable progress toward completing coursework and physically attend classes.
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