Proposed changes to the US Student and Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) were announced on 2nd December 2013.
The proposed changes include allowing dependants and spouses of overseas students holding F-1 or M-1 visas to study at a SEVP-certified school as long as it is less than full-time.
“These proposed changes will provide greater incentives for international students to study in the United States by broadening study opportunities for their spouses and children,” said SEVP Director Louis Farrell.
According to the announcement, the changes would also give schools offering exchange more flexibility in terms of the number of 10 designated school officials (DSOs) to nominate for oversight of campuses, offering for a more flexible approach. The DSOs are dedicated resources at schools certified for Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). They help foreign students under F-1 and M-1 student visa maintain their status, fill out forms and obtain benefits while in the US.
The changes, proposed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) based on recommendations by the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, build on a series of reforms designed to the commitment to attracting international students while maintaining national security standards.
The proposed rule has been submitted for publication to the Federal Register and is open for public comment until 21 January 2014.