What should I do if I’m an international student and I was enrolled at the University of Northern New Jersey?
Recently, the federal government announced that it had created a fake university called the University of Northern New Jersey in an attempt to find brokers who are helping international students enroll in fake universities.
Here’s how it worked.
So the University of Northern New Jersey was created out of whole cloth.
It was a fictitious school, it didn’t exist.
And they made a website for the school.
They had an office, they had a mailing address.
They had a president who sent out tweets.
And for all intents and purposes, it looked like at least online, a legitimate university.
In fact, the university was a collection of federal agents who worked with these international student brokers.
Now, what were these brokers doing?
Brokers sort of operate in this murky world where they try to help students enroll in universities in an attempt to maintain their student visas.
And so here’s the problem that was trying to be solved.
So generally international students have to leave at the end of their studies, and sometimes they want to be able to work either through curricula practical training or optional practical training CPT, or OPT.
And at legitimate universities, the students are allowed to extend their F1 student visa while they work for legitimate companies.
But there are a number of fake universities around the country and the federal government was sick and tired of these brokers making arrangements with these fake universities so that these students could get the opportunity to work in a way that they weren’t supposed to.
So what they did was they started this fake university and students allegedly enrolled in the university through the brokers.
The brokers were allegedly paid a lot of money and they’ve all been indicted.
They all faced criminal prosecution.
Many of the brokers are individuals who they themselves are not US citizens, they were dealing with many students mostly from China and India who are basically desperate to stay in the United States.
So the feds announced in April of 2016, that the university was fake, and now we’re seeing the process begin of the brokers being prosecuted and the international students are starting to face consequences, including possible deportation.
So it’s a very complicated situation.
If you do get contacted by law enforcement and you are enrolled at the University of Northern New Jersey, do not talk to them without a lawyer present.
You want to make sure that you talk to a competent immigration attorney and probably a criminal defense attorney.
There may be rights that are available to you, and if you just talk to the federal officials, you’re really going to put yourself in harm’s way.
If you have any questions about the University of Northern New Jersey or about the F1 student process, or OPT or CPT, feel free to give us a call at (314) 961-8200, or you can email us at [email protected]