Why Korean students do not attend school

There are almost 50,000 Korean students in America; many thousands of them do not attend classes.

Through the newly implemented SEVIS tracking system the government has figured out that many foreign student have illegally aqquired I-20’s from cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Harvard University’s Immigration Policy Research Institute announced that in the United States private organizations, like language schools, issue I-20 visas to paying students without regard to whether the students actually attend courses or not.

“The I-20 seems to be an entry ticket, for those who try to come here to learn,” says the study. These organizations have sunk to the level of ticket-sellers.

The IPRI pointed out that such organizations are really I-20 visa businesses. They exist to receive the students’ money and issue student visas.

The report stated that such organizations even maintain websites in Korea, in Korean. Oftentimes these organizations are managed by Koreans . They guarantee an I-20 visa at a cost of $10,000. This is an illegal activity.

The reason for this economy of visas is the large number of Koreans whose interest is to come to the United States. Their interest in studying is secondary.

A recent Korean census reported that seven out of ten students who went abroad to study do not want to return to Korea. Instead they plan to remain in the United States and work. The students think that they cannot easily get jobs in Korea; they want to remain in America for their future, even if that means taking heavy blue collar jobs.

There are two types of foreign students, both of which are not actually students. One type comes to the United States with an I-20 visa, but who intends to remain, while retaining their foreign student status, without studying. The other type is the kind who actually intended to study, who had a specific purpose and aim, but for numerous reasons cannot complete their education and are in financial difficulty and searching for employment.

Up to last year, schools and institutes with government permission to issue I-20 visas, totaled 73,000, (4,000 regular universities, 6,000 State run occupation and training schools, 24,000 high and middle schools, and the remaining 34,000 are private institutes). However, recent government scrutiny has reduced the number of organizations allowed to issue I-20’s. It is anticipated that 40percent of all institutes will be categorized as illegal and closed.

Su-eun Nam, immigration law expert, said, “Many foreign students still do not participate in the government’s verification process. They will face problems. If you realize that you belong to an institute which has been refused permission to issue I-20 visas, you should transfer to a recognized institute before August. This is because the government will intensify checking in August.” He also said, “It seems to be very hard on students to give up their studies and begin again. I imagine they think they will return to school one day, and that is why they try to keep their status as foreign students, but this is very difficult.”

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