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Student and Exchange Visitor Program Scrutiny Alert

Written by Susan Cohen and Alec Zadek


We wish to alert our readers in the higher education sector to be alert to the scrutiny the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is now applying to colleges and universities that provide English language training (ESL) programs.  Following the passage of the Accreditation of English Language Training Act (Accreditation Act) in June, 2011, SEVP is now focusing its attention on affected schools.  These include not only stand-alone ESL schools but also certain schools that offer a combination of ESL and other classes.  Schools that require accreditation must prove to SEVP that they meet the new accreditation requirements.  If a school cannot satisfy SEVP that it is compliant it puts its SEVIS certification in jeopardy and may no longer be able to enroll foreign students.  This is huge and can put a school that depends on foreign students out of business.  Check with legal counsel to ensure your school is in compliance and that your student visa program is not at risk.

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Douglas Hauer is a Mintz attorney and noted authority on the EB-5 investor visa program, which gives developers a path for securing capital for real estate, hospitality, and infrastructure projects. He's an essential resource for companies looking for financing from offshore sources.