I’ve heard on the grapevine from reliable sources that increasing numbers of Vietnamese students from certain areas in Vietnam are not showing up for classes at certain US higher education institutions. They apply (or someone applies for them), receive their I-20s, have a visa interview and A) are denied; or B) receive a visa, travel to the US and disappear into a (presumably) Vietnamese-American community in Orange Country, San Jose, or wherever. Regarding option B, I wonder if this isn’t the tip of an emigration iceberg with far-reaching implications for recruitment and US visa policy.
Here’s how it works: they hear “on the street”, i.e., from a friend, relative or an education agent, that it’s easy to get a student visa to institution X. While some students skip town, which they’re permitted to do (i.e., the original admitting institution is obliged to transfer their SEVIS record), and transfer to Substandard Language School Z in LA or NYC, for example, others simply fly to the US, make like Houdini and disappear. From the offending party’s point of view, this sure beats the hell out of filing an immigration petition and waiting for years for a “yes” or “no” decision from on high.
Methinks the powers that be need to devise an effective way to ensure that people who receive a student visa actually end up studying at an accredited educational institution. Immigration shouldn’t be this easy. The first step would be for the “Department of Homeland Security” to compare international student statistics with those who begin their studies at the admitting institution or immediately transfer to another educational institution. The “no shows” comprise the balance.
Suggestions? Next steps? Is anyone listening?