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April 23, 2014

New CIS Report Criticizes SEVP Enforcement Record

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.

About the Author

Co-Managing Shareholder, Tysons Corner Office

Laura Reiff focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues. 

703-749-1372

About the Author

Nataliya Binshteyn, Immigration Attorney, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm
Associate

Nataliya Binshteyn focuses her practice on global business immigration matters. Her experience includes representing political asylum applicants in immigration proceedings before Asylum Officers and Immigration Judges. Nataliya has experience conducting client interviews, researching country conditions and applicable laws, and soliciting expert testimony as well as drafting affidavits and immigration documents for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

703-903-7583

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