Can Tri-Valley University students retain student status?
Updated on Mar 18, 2017 - 3:20 p.m. IST by Urmila Rao #United States of America
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  • ATTORNEY W. John Yahya Vandenberg from Hogan and Vandenberg, a law firm specialising in Immigrant Laws, is giving consultation to at least 10 students of TVU. He says, at present, unless students get an NTA or an I-20 form, he cannot take their case forward. In an e-mail interview with Urmila Rao from Careers360, he highlights why students will find themselves in a precarious situation and what could be a possible favorable break-through from the impasse.   

    Q: Has the SEVIS record (student status) of all TVU students been terminated?
    A Each and every one of them, on January 18. However, when ICE raided schools like CMG Computer School and Florida Language School last year for the same behaviour, then the students’ SEVIS records were not terminated. Students were given time to transfer to another school, which is not the case with TVU students.

    Q: ICE indicated they would consider the possibility of reinstatement of student visa through form I-539. Have the students been issued the forms?
    A. True. ICE tells the students to go to the website where all the forms are free, but here’s the problem: ICE has told every school that if they consider taking a TVU student, then the school must contact ICE first before they issue an I-20.  The school cannot issue a new I-20 to the student without ICE’s permission.

    No one knows if ICE is going to give that permission.  But the important part is, a student can’t file an I-539 to reinstate student status unless the school gives them an I-20. And if ICE is playing mean and giving the student an NTA (Notice to Appear) before they get an I-20, then the student is barred from filing the I-539. 

    Q: What is the way out of the deadlock now?
    A: As an attorney, here’s are a few ideas from my side.

    a) If the student gets an I-20, turn around and file an I-539 right away, even if ICE later files an NTA, the I-539 application to reinstate will still be processed.  And if it is approved, the removal, also known as “deportation” proceedings, will be terminated. Student wins.

    b) Students can voluntarily depart and seek to re-enter using the new I-20. But this will require a lot of good advocacy at the consulate, but stands a chance of winning if student was not at fault. 

    c) If student is afraid to go back to India because they fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion, they can seek asylum.

    d) If student is in love with a US citizen, they could marry, and seek to adjust their status. Of course, it has to be a real marriage. Besides these, there are other potential options as well.

Visa and Departure

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