Colleges may no longer be able to provide international students with student-visa documents if they don't meet English-language requirements -- a potential Department of Homeland Security change that would have little effect on the University of Colorado's recruitment abroad.

Now, many colleges issue a single I-20 form to students who meet academic requirements for admission, but fall short on linguistic standards. The method is known as "conditional admission," something that CU had been considering as it recruits international students, said Larry Bell, director of international education. CU is waiting for further clarification from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, the branch of homeland security that oversees the student-visa system.

"Until this is all clarified, it will remain something we just think about," Bell said.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that SEVP is signaling it will require universities to issue separate I-20 forms to students who need to improve their English before enrolling in degree-seeking programs. Only after they demonstrate proficiency will they be granted a second I-20 form for college enrollment, according to the Chronicle.

But, Bell said prospective college students can still come to the country for English as a Second Language programs before they begin as degree-seeking students. Bell said there is a common misperception among international students that it's easier to get visas if they're proficient in English and coming to the U.S. for the academic program.


Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or