'Sham Universities' Offer Student Visas to Foreign Workers

Oct 10, 2011

With the intent of making a profit, a number of unaccredited schools are posing as legitimate higher education institutions. The Education Insider takes a closer look at how these sham universities are offering educational visas to foreign workers and intending international students.

View popular schools

By Erin Tigro

study

How Foreigners Qualify for Student Visas

Individuals interested in coming to the U.S. for educational purposes can apply for an academic or a vocational student visa, either the F or M status document. Spouses and children may also qualify to receive dependent family member visas. In order to be considered for the process, applicants must only be seeking a temporary stay here and should, consequently, have a permanent residence in another country. In addition, student visa applicants must also be able to prove that they have the financial backing required to attend school in the U.S. After completing their educational training, they are obligated to exit the country. Universities are typically responsible for requesting these student visas from the government. However, in order to obtain these documents, sham universities provide false information needed to process the requests.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Fake Schools Making Money by Recruiting Foreign Nationals

The goal of bogus universities is to make money by enticing foreigners to come to the U.S. on these special visas. Individuals who are truly interested in obtaining an education realize they have been duped once they arrive in the U.S. Others, who may be just looking to come to the U.S. for a chance of employment, know what they're signing up for and never attend class (if courses are even offered). The lack of government oversight seems to perpetuate this type of immigration fraud and illegal enterprise. In fact, in early 2011, Fox News reported that U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement uncovers hundreds of these phony schools every year.

Instances of Busted School Fronts

At the former Tri-Valley University in California, more than 1,500 foreigners enrolled, each paying more than $5,000 a piece to attend. To perpetuate the scheme, Tri-Valley paid enrollees who were able to get their friends and family from abroad to join. Similar deceptive practices were also undertaken at the now debunked Florida Language Institute, which proffered visas to more than 500 foreigners from various countries, including Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Columbia and Venezuela. Another 'school' in California was found to have been bringing in prostitutes from abroad under the guise of student visas.

Continue reading for more information about one of the more recent student visa scandals, committed by the sham Tri-Valley University.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
    • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - International Business Concentration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • MBA - Health Care Management
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice
    • AAS in Accounting
    • Medical Office Administration Certificate
    • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
    • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
    • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
    • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Science in Business

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Automotive Technology
    • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
    • Electrical/Electronics

    What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

    • Master of Business Administration
    • Associate in Business Administration Management
    • Associate in Medical Assisting
    • Associate in Network Administration
    • Paralegal
    • Diploma in Accounting
    • Diploma in Business Administration
    • Diploma in Medical Office Professional
    • Diploma in Pharmacy Technician
    • Certificate in Phlebotomy
    • Diploma in Medical Billing and Coding

    What is your education level?

    • Online Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management
    • Online Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?