Homeland Security Publishes Final Guidance on Conditional Admission

July 15, 2016

New final guidance issued Wednesday prohibits universities from issuing I-20 forms -- the legal document that international students need in order to apply for visas -- based on conditional admission.

The guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program states that universities can only issue I-20 forms when students have met all admission requirements for the program of study listed, including English language proficiency requirements. This would mean, for example, that a university couldn't issue an I-20 for a degree program for a student whose admission into that program is conditional upon completing an English language program first. Instead the university would have to list the English language program on the student’s initial I-20 and issue an updated form after the student progresses into the degree program.

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