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DHS visa program loses track of foreign students

A security gap has led the Department of Homeland Security to losing track of more than 6,000 foreigners with expired student visas. As the number of foreign students coming to Florida and the rest of the United States has rapidly increased, immigration offices have struggled to keep pace with the demand. Over 1 million students come to the United States per year with as many as 58,000 overstaying their visas.

One concern that Congress has is the student visa program not requiring accreditation or certification from schools. This may lead to schools simply offering visa sales rather than student education, as it is the school's job to keep track of the whereabouts of the visa holders. This is known as visa fraud and is a serious crime. It may be important to consult with an immigration lawyer and avoid being involved in such illegal activities.

At the same time, some say, it is important that any policy changes should not be made at the expense of legitimate students seeking education. This view is becoming more prevalent, as options for foreign study have expanded over the course of the past 10 years.

It may be helpful for individuals potentially in a similar situation to seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer to help expedite the process. A lawyer may also be able to provide counsel on how to fill out forms as well as a general strategy for interviews or other considerations. In the event of legal trouble, an immigration lawyer may be able to represent those with student visas in court.

Source: ABC News, "Lost in America: Visa Program Struggles to Track Missing Foreign Students", Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk, September 02, 2014

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