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F-1 M-2s Dependents Allowed Undertaking Studies, Effective 29 May 2015

04 May 2015


Immigration News

Effective 29 May 2015, new rules will come into effect that eliminates DSO (Designated Student Official) limits as well as allows F-2 and M-2 dependents to undertake part-time study in the USA, according to the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

Under the existing rules, the cap of DSOs for F and M school is 10 and there are restrictions on study permits for F-2 and M-2 spouses or children. Thus, starting 29 May 2015, the cap of 10-DSO limit will be eliminated, to enable F and M schools to nominate as many DSOs besides PDSOs as they decide to provide enough recommendations to F and M students registered at the school regarding the maintenance of non-immigrant status as well as to support appropriate and complete reporting and recordkeeping to DHS. The process of nominating DSOs via an I-17 update will not be amended.

Reforms are also made on the limitations on F-2 and M-2 study permits, by allowing F-2 and M-2 partners as well as children to register in less than a full-time study course or part-time study course at a SEVP-licensed school.

The new amendments were recommended to DHS by the HSAAC (Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council) International Student Subcommittee.

SEVP has made significant clarification in Broadcast Message 1504-09, urging schools to wait till SEVIS is improved in June prior to urging DSOs in excess of 10. 

As of now, the SEVIS only enables SEVP accredited schools to input a maximum of 10 DSOS. In the impending SEVIS release, it will subsume the capability for schools to designate a required number of school officials depending on their needs. 

At present, each school can have a maximum of 10 designated officials at a time, subsuming PDSO. In multiple campus schools, every campus can have a maximum of 10 designated officials at a time subsuming a PDSO. The situation is same even in the private secondary school. However, the new rules starting from 29 May 2015, the officials of school can nominate as many DSOs as per their requirement.

Under the new rule, the spouses and children holding F-2 and M-2 are permitted to undertake part-time courses which may even lead to attain a degree or certificate.

DSO controls F-2 or M-2’s SEVIS record and continues to be accountable for sustaining in SEVIS the similar F-2 and M-2 personal details they are needed, under the present rule, but will not be accountable for retaining details about the F-2 or M-2's part-time registration.

The F-2 or M-2 dependents are still not permitted to take up employment and full time studies. 

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