New Delhi: Close to 25,000 US student visas were issued to Indians last year. However, not all of them went to genuine students.
A large number of student visa recipients used these visas to fraudulently get to the US and took up jobs after landing there. Middlemen are exploiting student visas to send candidates interested to work in the US for a hefty sum.
CNN-IBN correspondents - posing as work visa aspirants - got in touch with one such tout.
Agent: "What we suggest is that you go there as a student and change your status to a work visa after getting there. What we mean is, we have tie ups with a lot of flying clubs. They give you the I 20 form."
The US Consulate has confirmed the abuse of student visas. Nine students were arrested in Delhi last month for applying for student visas using fraudulent certificates. The university that had issued them necessary documents is also under scrutiny.
Says Consular Section Chief, US Consulate, Mumbai, Glen Keiser, "This university is being investigated and is under the great danger of losing its power to accept foreign students. We are investigating four more universities that are suspect."
Student visas do not have any quota like H-1B or temporary work visas. These visas are issued throughout the year. Once the term for student visa expires, most of these fake students get absorbed in the illegal immigrant pool of the country.
(With inputs from Bikas Mishra)