- PRACTICE AREAS
- USEFUL INFO
On January 19, 2011, Tri Valley University was raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and the school's doors were effectively closed over fraud allegations. The university has subsequently lost its Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certification and its students are no longer maintaining nonimmigrant status. In the aftermath, our office has received numerous phone calls from some of the student affected by the closure of the university. Many of these individuals are at a loss as to what to do.
Prior guidance from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provide the following options as to what students should do if the school does not fulfill its legal obligations. In short, they include:
-- If you are currently enrolled at a school that closes unexpectedly, immediately transfer to another SEVP-certified school or depart the United States.
-- If you are currently enrolled at a school that plans to close or lose SEVP certification you can elect to transfer to another SEVP-certified school or discontinue your studies. If you chose to discontinue your studies you will need notify your school and request an authorized early withdrawal. If it is granted, you must depart the US within 15 days of your formal withdrawal date from the school. Be sure to request a new Form I-20 showing that your record was terminated as a result of an authorized withdrawal, and not from any detrimental action.
-- If you are enrolled at a school that is closing or losing SEVP certification and are transferring, but it does not appear that the transfer-out school intends to meet its legal obligations to transfer your SEVIS record, or if the DSO at the transfer-in school cannot contact the DSO at the transfer-out school to transfer your SEVIS record, the transfer-in DSO should seek guidance from SEVP.
With Tri-Valley, we understand that SEVP will issue guidance for Tri-Valley students sometime soon and further information will be posted on its website.
In the meantime, please keep in mind that if you are approached by an ICE agent, you are not obligated to speak to them without an attorney. If you are approached you may simply state that you do not wish to speak with them, answer their questions, or sign or hand them any documents based on your 5th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from an experienced attorney.
The bottom line, please advise them that you choose to exercise your constitutional rights.