Dependents Offered Part-Time Study Opportunities
If you are an F-1 or M-1 student with children and/or spouses in the United States as F-2 or M-2 dependents, your dependent may now study part time in any certified program at a school certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), so long as the study does not amount to what regulations define as full time for an F-1 or M-1 student.
This change is a result of amended U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations that took effect May 29, 2015. The amended regulations still allow F-2 and M-2 dependents to participate up to full time in avocational or recreational studies, such as hobbies. F-2 and M-2 minors can and often must still attend kindergarten through 12th grade full time. However, an F-2 or M-2 dependent who wants to enroll full time in a course of post-secondary academic or vocational study must apply for and obtain approval to change their nonimmigrant classification to F-1 or M-1 before beginning their full-time study.
If you are a designated school official (DSO), it is important to note that you are not responsible for overseeing or tracking dependent study. This is because a dependent still does not need to enroll or attend classes at the post-secondary level to maintain their status. However, DSO recordkeeping and reporting responsibilities for F and M students and dependents remain the same.
For additional information and answers to frequently asked questions about the amended regulations, visit the ICE.gov FAQ page.