On July 8, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) office sent a memo to all SEVIS users to clarify a prior memo (dated May 27, 2004, sent on June 21), which had described a DHS plan to review certain F-1 programs of study to determine if they may be more appropriately classified as M-1 rather than F-1. In the July 8 memo, SEVP clarified that the memo sent on June 21, 2004 was meant to notify schools that a reclassification review would be conducted and that the actual decision to reclassify would be undertaken in a case-by-case basis in consultation with the school under review. Furthermore, SEVP indicated that the reclassification policy would be reassessed in light of the initial response by the educational community.

In the July 8 memo, SEVP thanked the educational community for their input, and stated “SEVP would like to clarify that the memo sent on June 21, 2004 was intended only to notify schools that such a review will be undertaken. The ultimate decision regarding a given program’s reclassification from academic (F-1) to vocational (M-1) will be taken only on a case-by-case basis, and in coordination with the school. Further, based on initial responses to the reclassification memo, SEVP will also review the reclassification policy prior to initiating the review of individual schools or programs. SEVP will continue to consult with representatives from associations that represent the educational community throughout the reclassification process.”

NAFSA's Committee on Immigration Policy and Practice (CIPP) is forming a task group to focus on this issue. AMDOC#: 200407004