A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dependents of International Students Allowed to Study under New Rule

A new rule by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allows SEVP-certified schools to nominate as many designated school officials (DSO) as they need, and also permits dependents of international students (F-1, M-1) to study part-time at SEVP-certified schools in the U.S.  

There are approximately one million foreign students studying in the United States.  Their needs are served by the school DSOs (aka international student advisers).  All SEVP-certified schools must have at least one DSO on-site.  The DSO is responsible for maintaining records of all international students in the SEVIS system.  They must also ensure that all laws and regulations pertaining to international students and the SEVP are followed. Currently each school is only allowed to have a maximum of 10 DSOs. The new rule will remove this cap and allow the school to nominate as many DSOs as they need.  .

Additionally, the new rule also allows dependents of foreign students to study at SEVP-certified schools in the U.S. but their enrollment must be less than a full course of study.  For many years, dependents of foreign students (e.g., F-2 visa holders) may only accompany their spouses and parents to come to the U.S.  In order to study in the U.S., they must first apply for their own F-1 visas.  The new rule removes this restriction and provides them an opportunity to also study in schools.  

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