Dependents of F-1 Students can Attend School Part-Time

  • July 10, 2015
  • Richard Newman

The Department of Homeland Security recently amended its regulations to permit the spouses and children of F-1 nonimmigrant students in the United States to enroll in part-timer study programs.  Before now, the family members on F-2 visas were not allowed to attend schools that are registered with USCIS under the SEVIS program. Such schools normally issue Form I-120A-B to students.

The purpose of the rule change is to encourage international students to study in the United States by permitting accompanying family to enroll in study so long as such study remains less than a full course of study.  A full course of study is normally 12 credits per semester, or whatever is considered full-time for the particular educational program.

Part-time study will be allowed for families of F-1 academic and M-1 vocational students.

Statistics on L-1B Specialized Knowledge Cases

Employers face continuing challenges when filing L-1B petitions.  L-1B petitions involve petitions for intracompany transferees on behalf of employees who have specialized knowledge of a company’s products, services

USCIS released statistics for L-1B specialized knowledge petitions adjudicated in the first half of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015.  The data shows a fairly significant denial rate: 27.9% denial rate for L-1B petitions adjudicated during the 1st quarter of FY 2015, and 30.1% denial rate for the 2nd quarter of FY 2015.

USCIS adjudicated 3,655 L-1B petitions filed in Q1, of which 1,020 were denied, and 2,963 filkings in Q2, of which 892 were denied.  Combined data was provided by both the Vermont Service Center and California Service Center.

These numbers are lower than last year’s denial rate of 35%, but are still consistent with the government’s very tough adjudication of L-1B petitions. The denial rate has been high ove the last several years, and has increased almost 6 times since FY 2006, when the L-1B denial rate was only 6%.  The record year for L-1B denials was FY 2014, with a denial rate of 41%.