The Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) provides for the admission of different classes of nonimmigrants who are foreign nationals seeking temporary admission to the United States. The purpose of the nonimmigrant’s intended stay in the United States determines his or her proper nonimmigrant classification. Some classifications permit the nonimmigrant’s spouse and qualifying children to accompany the nonimmigrant to the United States or to join the nonimmigrant here. To qualify, a child must be unmarried and under the age of 21.
F-1 nonimmigrants, as defined in section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Act, are foreign students coming to the United States to pursue a full course of academic study in SEVP-approved schools. An F-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an F-1 student.
M-1 nonimmigrants, as defined in section 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act, are foreign nationals pursuing a full course of study at an SEVP-approved vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution (other than in language training programs) in the United States. An M-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an M-1 student.
SEVP is the DHS program that administers SEVIS. It ensures that government agencies have essential data related to nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors to preserve national security. SEVP provides approval and oversight to schools authorized to enroll F and M nonimmigrant students and gives guidance to both schools and students about the requirements for maintenance of their status.
ICE SEVP I-17 FAQs provide information for schools about SEVP certification, including background on SEVP and SEVIS, SEVP certification basics, an overview of the SEVP certification process, preparing the petition for SEVP certification, and preparing for a site visit.
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