SEVP Draft Guidance for Comment: Secondary Postgraduate Year Programs


The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) posted a draft policy guidance document for comment: SEVP Policy Guidance 1512-10: Secondary Postgraduate Year Program.

If you have or are affiliated with a "year 13" program that enrolls F-1 international students at your school, or are considering developing such a program in the future, read the draft guidance carefully, and submit your comments to SEVP on any issues arising out of the draft guidance that may impact your school or school system's program or plans. Comments are due to SEVP by Thursday, May 5, 2016.

SEVP is proposing the following controls on enrollment of F-1 students in year 13 programs (labeled "secondary postgraduate school programs" in the draft guidance):

  • Only private high schools could enroll F-1 students in such programs; public high schools would not be authorized to enroll F-1 students in such programs
  • A private school would have to meet the following conditions to enroll F-1 students in their "year 13" program:
    • The school must be specifically licensed by its respective state as a secondary school (or provide proof that it is exempt from state licensure)
    • The school must be accredited by an accrediting agency identified by SEVP, and the accrediting agency must specifically accredit both the school's secondary curriculum and its year 13 "secondary postgraduate year program."
    • Only students who have completed their secondary education (in the U.S. or abroad) may be enrolled in the year 13 program
    • The program must be no longer than one academic yea
    • The program must not incorporate more than 25% ESL coursework
    • The use of online/distance education modalities would be permitted only if the F-1 student is on-site with school employee oversight at all times, and the online component does not exceed 50% of the student's program

To comment to SEVP on the draft guidance, e-mail with “SEVP Policy Guidance 1512-10: Secondary Postgraduate Year Program” in the subject line. SEVP will review and consider all comments when refining its guidance, but will not respond to specific individual comments submitted.