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SEVP Releases Draft Policy Guidance for Public Comment

March 22, 2016

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released SEVP Policy Guidance 1512-10: Secondary Postgraduate Year Programs for public comment on Monday, March 21, 2016.

The public has 45 days from March 21, 2016, to submit feedback. To comment on this policy guidance document, please email with the title of the guidance in the subject line.

Below, we explain more about the respective policy guidance.

Secondary Postgraduate Year Programs

This guidance is in draft status, meaning it is SEVP guidance in development. It is not yet being used by federal adjudicators but is open for public comment. This guidance provides SEVP’s interpretation of how secondary postgraduate year programs of study may or may not be eligible for SEVP certification. Secondary postgraduate year programs, also known as “Grade 13” programs, are precollegiate programs for recent high school graduates characterized by a focus on general college preparation.

This guidance explains that, as with all other programs that enroll F and/or M students, all secondary postgraduate year programs must be approved on the school’s Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by a Nonimmigrant Student.” The guidance also specifies eligibility and program requirements. Please note that this draft guidance does not cover:

  • Dual or concurrent enrollment for secondary institutions.
  • Early-middle colleges or college-based high schools.
  • Pathway programs offered by postsecondary institutions.

Special Note on Guidance vs. Regulation

Guidance is SEVP’s interpretation of federal laws and regulations that guide SEVP adjudicators in their decision-making. A guidance is not the same as a governing regulation. Governing regulations are developed and instituted by each cabinet-level agency in the federal government.

SEVP accepts public comments on draft and interim final guidance from individuals, regardless of affiliation, and appreciates the comprehensive and thoughtful comments received on all policy guidance documents. Although SEVP will review and consider all comments when refining its guidance, it will not individually respond to specific comments.

If you have any SEVP policy questions that are not related to guidance documents, please email your question to

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