March 12, 2012

After effects of choosing wrong school: A True Story

Trivalley University

One of our friends shared his own story. Respecting his privacy we are keeping him as an anonymous. The entire story is in his own words:
It's well know that destination US is a dream to most of the youth in India. I was one among them.
Year 2010:
I scored 920 in GRE and 90 in TOEFL. I took the visa appointment and had Visa interview. The Visa officer did not ask anything except B.Tech aggregate, nature of my previous job experience. VISA stamped for Florida International University, Miami for 3 years.

I was finally landed in US. A new place, new people and everything new. I was a little worried in the beginning. But my friends helped alot. But at the end of the da I was not able to adjust with that new place.


One morning I went to the University and transferred to Tri-Valley University. Besides working in a gas station, I completed the Summer and Spring semesters.

Finished 2 semesters in Tri Valley University and planned to take a break in Spring. In the mean time rumours came around my place that the Tri Valley University is going to shut down. But friends used to tell that Tri-Valley university has 3500 enrolled students and don't believe those. In December worked for more hours at part time and made $2500. Saved around $10,000 on my bank account.

2011, Worst Phase of my Life:
Its january 19th morning 5:30AM, I was in deep sleep. Heard a sound like someone banging the doors. I was scared thinking a burglar. After some time, slowly opened the door, " Hey we are from Immigration Department" and the conversation went like this:

Officer: Hey is this your name? ( Showing a paper )
Me     :  Yes.

Officer: Are you a Tri-Valley University student?
Me     : Yes

Officer: How do you know about this university?
Me     : It is one of the universities from ICE approved schools list

They interrogated me for around one and half minute and still continued......

Officer: TVU is a black listed university. We are giving 45 days time to go back to country.
Me     : (Thinking the rumour became true and being helpless) , said "OK"

Officer: If you don't leave we will deport.
Me     : Ok sir.

Finally they left. I didn't care much at that time, thinking getting late for the part time job, so I got ready. When I was about to start to job, I heard the same door banging sound again.

Officer: Our boss wants to talk to you. He is looking at possibility of deporting you right now. Will you co-operate with us and come to our office?
Me     : I was shocked and mentioned " You gave us 45 days time and now you are talking in a different manners. All right lets move."

They placed handcuffs, infact even to legs.

Officer:  Sir, its our rule and we have to follow this.
Me     : Ok

Again they interrogated for another 30 minutes and took fingerprints. I saw one more guy from TVU who already there. They showed us a room and asked to sit there.

One hour...Two hours...Three hours passed. Finally I went in.

Me      : You called us to talk something. What about it?
Officer: My boss is in the meeting. Once he is done, he will be back.

Waited for another two hours and all of a sudden we heard the shocking news. Pointing at both of us he said "We terminated your SEVIS as you didn't maintain the status and you are not allowed to go out now. We are taking you guys into custody and the arrest warrant was issued." In addition they also gave penalty bond of $20,000 to each of us.

Me        : Officer I will go back to my country. I will book the flight immediately. Please don't charge us.

Officer   :  There are a lot of formalities to be done inorder to release you and send you back to your country. If you know any attorney, contact him.

" Shocked.............!!!!!!! shocked..............!!!!!!!!! shocked...........!!!!!!!!!! "

I didn't even know, what does an attorney mean by that time. My friend told, attorney is a lawyer. We left alone and helpless. They took us to a detention centre ( Immigration prison ). I was crying the whole night, didn't know how to respond to the situation. Next morning we requested a cop to give the Chicago embassy  phone number. He gave and we tried a lot but they didn't respond at all. We both guys have a penalty bond of 20,000$ each. We spent a week in that prison.

In the mean time my friends collected $20,000. The immigration officials released the other guy after 9 days. Now I was the only one in that cell suffering from high fever. One more weeked went. Fortunately, my friends responded well to the situation and they started collecting money from all the sources they know.

Finally with the order of Indian external affairs minister and hillary clinton's advice, they released me and another 50 students on feb 3rd.

Friends coming to US may be a good idea but coming to a right school is even more important. I pray god that no one else would suffer like this. Do an appropriate research about the university you are planning to attend, talk to seniors who already studied there. Please be advised that only the schools which are certified by Student and Exchange visitor program are authorized to accept international students.

Friends please don't forget to share this with your friends who are planning to come to USA.

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4 comments:

guest said...

Thank you for sharing this. This is awful, terrible.  But TVU WAS authorized by SEVP to enroll foreign students.  The owner and maybe employees should have been arrested, but not an innocent student.
You thought you were doing everything correct and legal, this was unfair. You were doing course work, so it's not like you were breaking any rules.   It is an outrage.    Honestly, there is no way you have predicted that you would have this problem.  The US should take better care of foreign students, that it works so hard to recruit.

gre2usa said...

Hello.

1. The above experience is not a fiction from GRE2USA. As the victim requested his privacy, we will never be revealing the identity of the person.
2. If you believe Tri Valley University is recognized by SEVP,justify your answer by showing us at the following SEVP official website http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search/
or http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/
3. Tri Valley University doesn't even have an authorized .edu website yet.
3. If you have your own resources to prove that Tri Valley is authorized by SEVP, you are welcome to show it here. 

guest said...

 A school that is not authorized by SEVP cannot issue I-20s.   That is the proof that Tri Valley WAS authorized by SEVP at the time.   It is no longer authorized and has been removed from the list of authorized schools, but at the time the students enrolled it WAS SEVP approved.

The president of Tri Valley committed fraud and submitted false documents to SEVP to receive the authorization to issue I-20s.   My point is that the students should not be punished due to the fraud committed by Tri-Valley,  and the failure of SEVP to catch this fraud.  The students  are not the criminals, they are innocent victims- and to be arrested and put through such an ordeal-  it is outrageous.

Having a .edu domain is not needed for SEVP certification.

Here is info on requirements for SEVP  certifcation: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i17/i17_2.htm

There are many articles that describe the fraud by which TVU was able to get certified by
SEVP.

"Prosecutors say while she was president of Tri-Valley University, Susan Su, submitted fraudulent documents in support of applications to admit foreign students on student visas."

http://nasabablog.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/tri-vvalley-university-president-arrested-south-asian-students-still-facing-deportation/

And here is an article with relevant info:  http://www.capsweb.org/content.php?id=1134  (though it has an ignorant and anti-immigrant slant,  it does state some facts- that SEVP committed fraud to get SEVP approval to issue I-20s)

You can find the charges against the president of TVU (can download the whole legal complaint) and more legal info here:

http://www.murthy.com/news/n_alltvu.html

Note if the students received money to refer other students to TVU, then that is illegal as it's unlawful to earn money that way if you are an F-1 student


By the way,  great website you have!

gre2usa said...

We appreciate your presence and valuable inputs here. Particularly, students need to perceive one important point from your inputs, don't believe the senior students who already  came to U.S completely. So, its the message again to students, do enough research before going to a graduate school.

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