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07 September 2012

International Students: Social Security Number and Driver's License Issues

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Programs are aware of current difficulties that some F and M students have when applying for public benefit such as a Social Security number (SSN) or driver’s licenses.  The programs are working on a solution that will be implemented on September 14, 2012.  Read more at Study in the States and check back on September 14.

1 Comments:

At October 3, 2012 at 3:07:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,

International students studying in the United States face a lot of problems at the American Consulates based otside the U.S. The USCIS and SEVIS help if one is within rules and the law but not so, at the American Consulates. I am sure the Consul General/Associates are not even aware of what's going on there right under their noses.

I had heard from others but now I have actually experienced it. USCIS is a Federal agency reporting to the President of the United States. USCIS allows transfer of status within the U.S. Yet genuine international students and dependent families are rejected visas for re-entry into the U.S. because VSF, an agency appointed by American Consulate refuse to accept and honor documents issued by USCIS.There are private agents offering 10 year B1/B2 visas for huge sums of money. Strange isn't it that people with no qualifications can easily get into the U.S.?

My husband is an adult student currently studying in the U.S. USCIS granted him transfer of status within the U.S. My daughter too is an international student on OPT. My mother was critically ill and her dying wish was to see us. She passed away a week ago. Before leaving the U.S. I had written to SEVIS and they replied that we can get our visas at the American Consulate and my daughter would have to show her employment letter to re-enter the U.S. VSF refused to accept her employment letter and my husband's and my I-94 (I am on dependent F2 status). My daughter had to argue with them to let them know that I-94 is an important document issued by USCIS and has to accompany the I-20. If the VSF agency appointed for this purpose does not even want to forward your relevant papers what should the applicants do? Yet, you find private agents' clerks walking into their office with 15/20 passports and no documents at all. What's really going on? If you argue with these people they mark you at the time of the interview. You cannot meet or contact any employee who is an American citizen who knows the USCIS laws to help you understand your case or see your valid documents. The determining officials are the locals who don't allow you to pass beyond them and are the sole authority. They don't even give their names.

At the VSF office,there was this young mother who has her husband working in the U.S. on H1B. She had come back to her home country for her child's delivery. Her baby is four months old. She needed a visa for her child to re-enter the U.S. VSF were giving her a hard time with her papers. I can give you another example. At my daughter's university, a student from Delhi was rejected a visa to re-enter the U.S. to continue with his next semester. In May I met one Indian couple at a mall in New York and they had paid Rs.700,000 for their 10 year visas to an agent in Mumbai who knew a staff working there. They said they were asked no questions at the interview. All documents were prepared by the agent and even a false booking at an hotel in New York was made to show at the port of entry.

I think someone in the federal government needs to investigate into the working and connections of the VSF working for the American Consulate in India. The American Consultate should find ways to reduce visa fraud and ensure that genuine appliants are not harrassed or rejected re-entry. The DS-160 applications should be assessed by the American citizens within the U.S.and not by the local staff working at the American Consulates. This will enable the Consuls at the interviews to judge the genuineness of the applicants better. Also, it will reduce the rumors that it is the Amerian Consulate making money at the expense of the applicants, which is not true because I have lived with my family in America the last eight years and I have never had to pay any bribes to get any of our work done in the U.S.

 

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