Investigations on Day 1 CPT Universities have led to the deportation of a large number of F-1 students from the United States. Lately, there has been a steady flow of students being deported at various airports.
F-1 students must comply with several requirements to maintain their F-1 visa status. The regulations state that F-1 students must enroll in a full course of study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school. The regulations further indicate that F-1 students will not meet the full course of study requirement if they enroll in more than one class per term if the class is taken online or through distance learning and does not require the student’s physical attendance. Additionally, the regulations require F-1 students to be lawfully enrolled in a SEVP certified school on a full-time basis for one full academic year before being authorized to participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
Day 1 CPT Universities have circumvented the system in order to help F-1 students obtain employment authorization in the United States. Many Day 1 CPT Universities only require its students to enroll in 6 credit hours to meet the full-time enrollment requirement. The 6 credit hours involve one 3 credit hour hybrid course, which is considered to be an in-person course, and one 3 credit hour online course. These standards result in very little to no physical attendance in class. In fact, many of these students physically attend only 6 days out of the entire year. A good rule of thumb for determining whether F-1 students are meeting the full course of study requirement is whether the students are physically attending class at least 3 days per week.
In addition, Day 1 CPT Universities allow its students to participate in CPT from the beginning of their program. CPT offers students valuable work experience to hone the skills they learn through school. The regulations require that F-1 students complete one full academic year before participating in CPT. In turn, Day 1 CPT Universities attract individuals who want to easily obtain work authorization. This practice circumvents the purpose of the F visa, which is to allow foreigners to pursue education in the United States, not to solely pursue work. Thus, there are almost no requirements for enrollment at Day 1 CPT Universities. There is no system in place to monitor attendance; students may attend class whenever they want, if at all. Students are also automatically granted CPT without even completing one full academic year at their university.
Very recently, two Campbellsville University students were deported after immigration officers determined that the students were inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In fact, one Campbellsville University student, who was recently deported, physically attended only 3 days out of a 4-month semester and in between that time, sought employment while in the United States. The immigration officer determined that he or she had been attending fraudulent universities for numerous years in order to abuse his or her F-1 status by working illegally in the United States.
For the reasons stated above, numerous F-1 students from Day 1 CPT Universities are being deported from the United States. Physically attending class only 6 days out of the entire year makes it apparent to immigration officers that a student’s enrollment at a Day 1 CPT University is for the sole purpose of obtaining work authorization and therefore, the student is abusing his or her F-1 status.
By: Rahul Reddy & Camille Joson
Rahul is the founding partner of Reddy & Neumann P.C. His practice covers employment-based immigration, in which he represents corporate clients in far-ranging industries.
Camille is an associate attorney at Reddy & Neumann in the Labor/PERM Department.