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November 19, 2013Washington, DC, United StatesStudent and Exchange Visitor Program

ICE proposes changes to international student programs

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is proposing changes to the requirements governing its Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that are intended to improve management of international student programs and increase opportunities for study by spouses and children of nonimmigrant students.

The change would provide school officials more flexibility in determining the number of designated school officials (DSOs) to nominate for oversight of campuses by eliminating the limit of 10 DSOs in favor of a more flexible approach. DSOs are dedicated resources at SEVP-certified schools who help F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant students maintain their status, fill out important government forms and obtain benefits while in the United States.

Additionally, the changes proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking would allow dependents and spouses of international students with F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant status 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.

The proposed changes stem from recommendations put forth by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC) and build on a series of reforms designed to further the commitment to attracting international students while maintaining national security standards.

The rulemaking supports DHS’s initiative to enhance the economic, scientific and technological competitiveness of the United States by finding new ways to encourage the most talented international students to study and learn about expanded post-graduate opportunities in the United States.

The proposed rule was submitted for publication to the Federal Register and is open for public comment until Jan. 21, 2014. ICE encourages the public to submit formal input on the proposed rule through during the open comment period.

For more information visit Study in the States. To learn more about the HSAAC visit