On December 12, 2016, The U.S. Department of Education announced that it will derecognize the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency. On March 15, 2017, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) began issuing notices to SEVP-certified schools accredited by ACICS who had not reported the loss of accreditation to the Department of Education as required by regulations. ICE states that all schools that were accredited by ACICS must update their Form I-17 to update its status with a new accreditor, additional information regarding specific programs, or withdraw from SEVP.
According to USCIS and ICE, the loss of recognition will have immediate effect on foreign nationals that are enrolled in English language study programs or are seeking 24-month STEM OPT extension from a school that was accredited by ACICS.
SEVP will not take any action against international students for 18 months from December 12, 2016, if the school is either withdrawn or voluntarily withdraws. After 18 months the students will have 3 options: Continue reading →