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California college barred from int’l recruitment

Herguan University in Silicon Valley has been stripped of its ability to recruit international students by the federal US government. The school’s former CEO was recently sentenced to up to two years in prison for providing fraudulent documents to the Department of Homeland Security.

Herguan University lost its ability to recruit international studentsInternational students at Herguan University must now leave the US, change status or switch to another institution.

Herguan University's former CEO, Jerry Wang, was indicted on 15 charges related to a student visa fraud scheme

As of October 6, the school can no longer issue Form I-20s – the certificate of eligibility enabling a student to obtain a visa – and current students have until January 11 to return home, change visa status or switch to another institution to continue their studies.

“The school is responsible for counselling the students on possible actions they can take and handling their SEVIS records”

Around 240 international students at the for-profit college, including 180 from India, will be affected by the closure according to ICE.

DHS did not provide a reason for the decision to revoke the school’s I-20 privileges. However, the stripping of Herguan University’s ability to recruit internationally follows the indictment last year of its former CEO, Jerry Wang, on 15 charges related to a student visa fraud scheme.

Wang pleaded guilty to providing more than 100 false documents to DHS. He agreed to pay $700,000 and serve between three and 24 months’ prison time.

His actions were brought to light by an investigation by Mercury News, a local newspaper that found Herguan University, along with other schools in the Bay Area, had misrepresented information on federal applications to sponsor overseas students.

At the time of Wang’s sentencing, acting US Attorney Brian Stretch said that in submitting fraudulent documents in an effort to circumvent the rules applying to international students, “He has imperilled the programs that allow international students to visit the United States in order to engage in valuable educational exchanges.”

Students currently at Herguan University will receive letters from SEVP detailing their options, but the institution is responsible for advising students that it is no longer SEVP-certified, a statement from the agency said.

“The school is also responsible for counselling the students on possible actions they can take and handling their SEVIS records appropriately,” it added.

The university was accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Schools, which lost its authority in September in an accreditation shakeup.

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