Nationwide News understands that close to 250 Jamaican students are being accused of falsifying documents they submitted to the US Embassy in Kingston this year.
According to a document obtained by Nationwide News, submitting false documents is not a new practice.
It says between 25 and 30 J-1 visa applicants were referred to the US Embassy’s fraud unit last year for further investigations.
The students were applicants of a cultural exchange programme which grants successful applicants J-1 visas.
The document says for this season of the programme, 230 university students were referred to the US Embassy’s Fraud Unit.
So far, 60 of them have been “found guilty” of submitting fraudulent documents while others are still under investigation.
According to the document, a number of the students who were found to have submitted fraudulent documents were slapped with a $200,000 fine.
The increase in fraudulent activity reportedly caused the US Embassy in Kingston to closely examine all 2019 applications for the cultural exchange programme.
Of the illegal documents presented, transcripts with altered grades and GPA scores were the most prevalent.
Reports are that students paid up to $20,000 for the doctored documents.
The J-1 programme allows for students enrolled in tertiary institutions to travel to the U.S during the summer.
They are employed as housekeepers, cashiers, ride operators among other jobs and have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture.
When contacted yesterday, the US Embassy in Kingston was not immediately able to provide a response.