If you hadn’t had enough yet of Chinese efforts to destroy America, here is one more way for them to do it using our lax student visa program.
And, get this: This isn’t about their students using our colleges as a springboard for the advancement of China, they are sending students from K-12 here!
Thanks to reader ‘Meanymom’ for spotting this story last week at the Center for Immigration Studies (a story surely lost between Chinese Virus crisis stories and the media obsession with orchestrated mayhem going on in major American cities).
I’ve written a lot about the Chinese buying up food processing plants, but schools!
Chinese Investors Bought K-12 Private Schools in the United States
Helpful bullet points!
~In December 2017, two different Chinese investment firms bought primary schools and at least one secondary school in the United States.
~Foreign nationals can obtain F-1 visas to attend U.S. schools beginning in kindergarten and running through graduate and post-graduate education.
~In 2018, 39,904 Chinese F-1 students were attending secondary schools in the United States.
~The strong demand among Chinese nationals for a U.S. secondary education reportedly comes from their families’ belief that attending an American high school will increase the likelihood that those students will be subsequently accepted to U.S. colleges and universities.
An almost two-and-a half year-old article in China Daily detailed an interesting phenomenon: Chinese investors purchasing private K-12 schools in the United States “in the hopes of cashing in on Chinese students’ quest for admission into a US college.” That report not only highlights an interesting pathway for foreign students to obtain a student visa to attend U.S. colleges and universities, but it also shines a light on the F-1 nonimmigrant student visa program at the primary and secondary level.
The article explained that in December 2017, “Primavera Capital, a China-based private equity firm, paid about $500 million for the Stratford School system, which operates schools throughout California.” That same month, Newopen Group, a “Chinese education company”, bought Florida Preparatory Academy for an undisclosed amount.
Although we generally think of F-1 student visas in the context of colleges and universities, those visas are also available for foreign nationals to study in the United States at a private K-12 school, or a public high school, as well.
Study at a public high school is limited to 12 months for an F-1, and the foreign student must reimburse the costs of tuition (dependents of F-1s, known as “F-2s”, can study wherever they like, including public school), but there is no limit on the amount of time that a foreign student can attend a private K-12 school.
The first step to obtaining that visa is acceptance by a school approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP, which is administered by ICE), followed by that school’s issuance of a Form I-20 and the filing of an application by the student at a U.S. embassy or consulate for an F-1 visa.
The list of SEVP certified schoolsruns 272 pages, and includes the middle schools run by Stratford Schools in Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Fremont, as well as Florida Preparatory Academy. Tuition at the three Stratford schools runs $23,510 per year, and there is no boarding option, raising the question of where F-1 middle school students live.
I can shed some light on this as a few years ago a private school near me was trying to stay afloat by bringing in Korean middle school students and the school asked me if I would be willing to board a student. So clearly they tap into a local network of families they see as welcoming.
There are, by my count, at least 200 elementary schools on the list (the level of education offered for many is not entirely clear, and I am basing my count on the number identified as “elementary”) and at least 75 middle schools (again, they are not all identified as such, and there are likely many more).
There is much more here. Read it and weep.
I’ve posted this news in my ‘Student Visa Fraud’ category, but it isn’t really fraud when our federal government has set up these sweet deals for foreign students and countries that hate us!
Endnote: I don’t know about you, but in our household we are increasingly vigilant while shopping and steering clear of anything made in China. Needless to say, it is a challenging project!