Posted by DHS Study in the States
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined our many partners across government, academia, and the private sector in observing the 14th annual International Education Week to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
DHS plays an important role in welcoming international students to the United States, and remains committed to ensuring America remains a destination of choice for students from around the world. Multiple components within the Department are involved in various aspects of the process, and DHS has worked to enhance their coordination and improve the experiences of international students and host schools. Through DHS’ Office of Academic Engagement, DHS facilitates regular meetings with representatives from across the Department to coordinate international student issues and initiatives.
We continue to work closely with the academic community to examine our international student policies and processes. One part of that effort is the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC), a federal advisory committee comprised of prominent university presidents and academic leaders. The HSAAC advises the Secretary and senior leadership at DHS on matters related to homeland security and the academic community, and has a subcommittee dedicated to international student issues.
Based on HSAAC recommendations, DHS has taken steps to increase engagement with the academic community and seek input on draft policies. In 2013, representatives from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) participated in over 100 outreach events, as well as served on interagency panels that addressed key issues affecting international students, schools, and school officials. To increase public engagement in policy development, ICE SEVP began publishing draft guidance for public comment on the Study in the States website.
This week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) proposed changes to the requirements governing its Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to 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. Additionally, the change would provide school officials more flexibility in determining the number of designated school officials to nominate for oversight of campuses.
DHS remains committed to working with our partners across government and in the academic community to continue these initiatives in the coming year, and welcome international students who wish to study here.