Effective 12 June 2011 the Accreditation of English Language Training Programs Act (Pub.L. 111-306) amends Section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to require that language training programs be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education (DOE) in order to be SEVIS-certified, issue Forms I-20, and enroll F-1 nonimmigrant students. F-1 visa applications filed on or after 12 June must be for institutions meeting these accreditation requirements.
The law provides for a grace period for language training programs that are already SEVIS-certified, and that submit an application for accreditation to a DOE recognized accrediting agency no later than 13 December 2011 (one year from the law's enactment). Under this exception, F-1 visas are available for students seeking to enroll in such an institution until 13 December 2013.