A new report issued by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) concludes that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the office responsible for overseeing close to 1.2 million foreign students currently living in the United States and the nearly 7,000 educational institutions that sponsor them, regularly fails to exercise its enforcement authority despite significant resources and regulatory responsibility.
Although CIS may have undisclosed motives in issuing the report, this area appears to have been neglected by the government. Specifically, the report finds that the SEVP rarely denies applications granting schools the authority to issue the Form I-20, which permits foreign nationals to obtain student visas abroad, and averages only 2.2 indictments of fraudulent academic institutions known as “visa mills” per year. The report further notes that the SEVP had recertified only 19 percent of approved institutions as of March 2012, despite a Congressional mandate to recertify all institutions every two years.©2014 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved.