Alien Students Classification

This classification relates to a bona fide student, seeking temporary entry, who is qualified and intends to pursue a
full course of study, at a school approved by the Attorney General.

Also included in the nonimmigrant student classificationare the alien spouse and minor children of such an alienstudent if accompanying or following to join him. Until December, 1981, the law provided for one student category,F-l. 1981 amendments divided non-immigrant students intotwo classifications; F-l now applies only to students inacademic institutions. A new M-l relates to students innon-academic and vocational schools. Spouse or child of students are designated F-2 or M-2,respectively.1 Approved schools

The statute stipulates that the student must plan toattend a specific school approved by the Attorney Generaland that the school must agree to report to the Attorney
General the termination of attendance of each nonimmigrant student. The schools thus play an important role inthe qualification of nonimmigrant students and in the con
tinuance of their status.

The statute requires that petitions for approval of schoolsbe considered by the Attorney General after consultation with the Office of Education of the United States. The Officeof Education has advised that the following qualify asapproved schools without the need for further consultation:(1) a school operated as a publ ic educat ional inst i tut ion by Federal, state, or local government; (2) a school listed in the current United States Office of Education publication,“Accredited Postseeondary Institutions and Programs” or“Education Directory, Higher Education”; or (3) a secondary school operated by an institute of higher learninglisted in the foregoing publications. Beforedecision is madeon a petition filed by any other school the United States Office of Education is consulted to determine whether the school qualifies for approval under the statute.Obligations of Approved Schools

The prospective student communicates in the first in stance with the school, which must determine that the student intends to undertake a full course of study and that he is qualified to do so. Ordinarily, this entails an adequate understanding of the English language, although, the school may make its own arrangements in this regard.

In some instances the student will come solely to study the English language. Moreover, the consul and the examining immigration officer also may gauge the adequacy
of the student’s knowledge of English and other preliminary qualifications.

The school must submit a report if the student fails toregister personally within 60 days of the time expected,does not carry a full course of study, does not attend classes to the extent normally required, or his attendance is terminated.Terms of admission

Before 1979, the student’s initial span of admission was fixed by the admitting immigration officer, and did not exceed one year, but he could apply for extensions of stay
to complete his course of study.Currently, the student is admitted for the duration of his studies in the United States.

The presentation by the alien of a certificate of eligibility(Form 1-20), executed by the approved school he will attend, is regarded by the consul as prima facie evidence of the student’s acceptance by an approved school, and is surrendered to the admitting immigration officer.6 If the student wishes to make a temporary visit abroad, the school he is attending will furnish him a new Form 1-20. This form can be used for any number of reentries following temporary absences within one year after its issuance.

EmploymentStudent status ordinarily will not be approved in the first instance if the student has insufficient funds, and expectsto pay his way only by accepting employment. However,in some situations he can arrange initially with the school to accept part-time employment on the campus, provided itwill not displace a United States resident.

Unforeseen circumstances arising after the course of study has commenced may result in economic need, which makes employment necessary. However, no student may
accept employment in the United States unless he appliesfor and obtains permission in advance.

Sometimes the school requires or recommends employs ment for practical training in connection with the course of study. The district director may permit this employment for a 6-month period, subject to extension for not over one additional 6-month period. An application for practical training must be accompanied by arecommendation of the school and its certification, upon information and belief,that such training will be unavailable to him in his country.

On campus employment under the terms of a scholarship,fellowship, or assistantship, by a student pursuing a fullcourse of study, is deemed part of his academic program.Service permission is not required for the acceptance ofsuch on-campus employment, or any other on-campus employment which will not displace a United States citizen resident.

It should be noted, however, that there is no provision inthe statute or regulations for approval of employment byan alien admitted as the spouse of a student. The accept ance of employment by such an alien is a violation of status incurring deportation.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez