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Travelling to US? Beware of visa fraud

July 28, 2011 17:40 IST
While the number of Indian students who have applied for visas to study in the United States has increased by 20% this year, the office of the US Consulate General, Mumbai has issued clear warnings to students against checking for authenticity of applied colleges and defaults in visa process.

Owing to the Indo-U.S. partnership and the strong people-to-people ties between the two nations, a large number of Indian students travel to the US with an aim to pursue a world-class education.

While prospective students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the free resources offered by the US government and get involved in various research and academic options available to them, the Embassy also aims to make students aware of the legalities involved and warn students against possible malpractices like visa fraud.

The embassy emphasises that students need to fully research their chosen educational institutes and have a firm grasp of what is and is not permitted under a student visa.

On what grounds will my student visa be terminated?

Your student visa status will be terminated on the following grounds:
  • Lack of physical attendance at classes (taking only online courses is not acceptable)
  • Failure to maintain a full courseload
  • Subscribe to unauthorised employment
What happens next?

Violating the terms of a visa can result in deportation, arrest and even a bar on future travel to the United States.

If any educational advisor or academic organisation suggests that such actions are permissible under a student visa, we strongly recommend students contact the Embassy immediately in order to prevent committing visa fraud. 

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she is in accordance with the law.

Is visa fraud a crime?

Visa fraud is not a victimless crime – genuine, hardworking students are hindered from studying in the U.S. when fraudulent applicants take up their visa appointments and admission spots. 

It is critical that all prospective students utilise the resources offered to them by the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates in India to fully research their academic options.

With the expanded initiatives by the government its consular staffing and educational outreach initiatives, it is rest ensured by both governments that prospective students can get the appropriate visa appointments and seek relevant information when needed.