HYDERABAD: Faced with the possibility of deportation after the shutdown of the California-based Tri-Valley University, panic-stricken Indian students have started looking at legal options.
Most of the students have spent huge sums of money as fees, many through loans. Of the nearly 1,600 affected Indian students, a majority belong to Andhra Pradesh. They are now being interrogated by immigration and custom enforcement department officials in California. As per the reports reaching here, many students have contacted Murthy Law firm, run by leading advocate Sheela Murthy, for advice on legal matters.
Also, the Indian consulate in San Francisco is verifying facts related to the ‘immigration fraud’.
Students of the California-based university are now facing charges of illegal immigration. They also face deportation after being duped by the university authorities as they have lost their student visa status.
While the State Department, at a briefing in California, specified that any activity involving visa fraud was of great concern and the ICE was investigating the matter, confirmed reports about some Indian students being detained and placed in removal proceedings are reaching here.
As per the advice given by the Maryland- based lawyer Sheela Murthy’s firm, students who have been detained and placed in removal proceedings need to immediately obtain qualified legal representation and refrain from making any decisions without legal advice.
Among other options suggested to the students is the need to find other options of enrolling in a new school in case they wish to stay in the US.Also some of the F-1 category visa-holding Tri Valley students may have options to try to change their status in the US.
According to the lawyer, some students are potentially eligible to seek a change to H-4 or other dependent statuses. Others might be eligible for H1B status through employers but may not have enough time to file for the soon-to-be- reached FY 2011 H1B cap.
However in what may be a respite for some students, those who have previously held H1B status and do not need cap numbers will not face this problem, says the lawyer.(ENS)