Last week, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program ("SEVP") under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued draft of policy guidance on Pathway Programs for F-1 students. SEVP is requesting the public provide comments on this draft policy guidance until November 10, 2014. These programs would allow foreign students that cannot meet degree program admission requirements to participate in a bridge program or a bridged degree program. As part of this proposed guidance, SEVP would certify these types of programs as long as they meet certain requirements, namely that they contain non-remedial courses, meet certain additional requirements if there is an English as a Second Language (ESL) component, the educational institution must have stated admission standards for the program, the student meets these admission standards before the Form I-20 can be issued, and the educational institution must have a policy on the length of the program and how the student's academic progress will be defined.
The draft policy guidance can be accessed at: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/PG%201210-03%20Pathway%20Programs.pdf
Additionally, a draft fact sheet on Bridge Programs can be accessed here: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/Bridge%20Programs%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
The draft fact sheet on Bridged Degree Programs can be accessed here: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/Bridged%20Degree%20Programs%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf