No effect of Tri-Valley on Visa procedures: US Consul

Kolkata, Mar 24 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Indian students who want to study in the United States for the coming school year need not worry about tighter screening procedures in wake of the Tri-Valley University incident, said an American consul here on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, a crackdown by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had reportedly found that the Californian university was charging students, most of whom were Indians, to help them illegally migrate and work in America.

While some of the students got transferred to other institutions, some were radio-tagged as part of the following criminal investigations which led to unpleasant exchanges between the foreign offices of the two countries.

The university, which had around 1,500 Indian students, was officially closed down on Mar 17.

On Wednesday, at an advisory session organised here for prospective Indian students, U.S. consul William Rowland said they should not be apprehensive about the procedure and screening since regulations had not changed.

“Laws haven’t been changed in the wake of what happened there. So I don’t think there is need for any special concern in view of the Tri-Valley incident,” Rowland told IBNS.

At the programme organised in the American Center in Kolkata, consulate officials familiarised students with the technicalities of applying to study in the States.

“We are proud to host over a hundred thousand Indian students in the U.S. Most of the students from Kolkata are doing their PhDs there and we want to reach out to more undergraduate students through outreach sessions like this,” Rowland said.

While studying the U.S. could cost anything between USD 16,000 to USD 45,000 per year, students queuing up to apply for visas only increase in numbers every April — the primetime for visa requests, said consul officials.

-Divyanshu Dutta Roy

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