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Posted By : Parthasarathy
7/29/2011 4:49 PM

Dozens of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided offices at the University of Northern Virginia's Annandale campus Thursday.

ICE Investigating VA School's Visa Program

The University of Northern Virginia is an unaccredited, for-profit private university that calls itself the most popular American university for students from India. Thousands of students are registered at three locations in northern Virginia.

Agents have removed boxes of documents from a building on Little River Turnpike where the university leases two suites.

The university temporarily can't accept any foreign students, reads a notice posted on the door of the offices. UNVA students must leave the country immediately if they are unable “to continue to attend classes and maintain their active status in a manner required by federal government regulations,” the notice reads.

“Today, officials from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) served University of Northern Virginia officials with a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) UNVA’s authorization to admit foreign students,” read a statement released by ICE spokeswoman Cori W. Bassett.

The school was told it can no longer participate in that program, but no specific reason was disclosed.

No charges have been filed nor people arrested but the school is being investigated to see whether it conforms to federal regulations for the administration of student visas. Those regulations were tightened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The school is not closed, and students can attend class.

Foreign-born students at the campus Thursday said they have attended classes in the building and earned degrees from the school. One said the school helps students get their student visas.

If the investigation discovers the school improperly handled student visas, the school could face severe penalties.

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