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This Decision pre-dates the latest change in the SEVISRegulations so CFR references are dated. See the 2007version of 8 CF...
(b)(6), (b)(7)(C)                       (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)                                                                 ...
KINGSTON UNIVERSITYPage 3 of4       or (2) [A school accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body] of this secti...
J(~QSJON    UNNERSIT1Page4 of4which would require a new petition. We disagree with this assessment. The record contains no...
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Kingston University I-17 partial approval & remand for RFE

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Kingston University I-17 partial approval & remand for RFE

  1. 1. This Decision pre-dates the latest change in the SEVISRegulations so CFR references are dated. See the 2007version of 8 CFR for the proper context of what is beingdiscussed.______________________________________________________________________The flaws identified in the underlying initial adjudicationare not unexpected in that a Law Enforcement Agencywas tasked with adjudicating an immigration "benefit" or"license". It should be viewed as a decision made during a"transitional period" full of "growing pains". When this waswritten, they had not even settled on their own name yet.They are now the SEVP Appeals Team (SAT). (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) (b)(7)e (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) ICE.12.2714.000015
  2. 2. (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) (b)(6), (b)(7)(C)(b)(6), (b)(7)(C) (b)(6), (b)(7)(C) ICE.12.2714.000016
  3. 3. KINGSTON UNIVERSITYPage 3 of4 or (2) [A school accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body] of this section, it must submit evidence that it confers upon its ·graduates recognized bachelor, master, doctor, professional, or divinity degrees, or if it does not confer such degrees that its credits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three such institutions of higher learning.Kingston University is also an institution of higher education that does not fall within the twoexceptions discussed above in paragraphs (b)(l) or (2). Therefore, petitioner is required tosubmit evidence that it confers upon its graduates recognized bachelor, master, doctor,professional, or divinity degrees, or if it does not confer such degrees that its credits have beenand are accepted unconditionally by at least three such institutions of higher learning. On thisissue, however, the December 2, 2005 RFE failed to outline specifically what evidence could besubmitted to satisfy this requirement. In contrast to the very detailed sections of the RFE relatedto evidence that could be submitted in support of the vocational programs, section III of the RFE,related to the evidence that could be provided in support of the Masters degree program, wasinsufficient and unclear. A search of the petitioners file fails to uncover any other writtenrequest from SCB for detailed information on this issue.The denial decision issued on June 13, 2006 states that nationally recognized accreditationsatisfies the requirement of8 C.F.R. 214.3(c). In fact, it is more accurate to state that nationallyaccredited institutions of higher education are not even subject to the "Other Evidence"requirements of that provision. Institutions such as Kingston University, however, which areinstitutions of higher education not accredited by a nationally-recognized accrediting body, mustindeed provi.de the evidence required by 8 C.F.R. 214.3(c). Specifically, petitioner must provideevidence that it confers recognized degrees on its graduates or, if it does not do so, "that itscredits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three such institutions of higherlearning" 8 C.F.R. 214.3(c).The denial further states that, for unaccredited schoois such as petitioner, SEVP accepts asevidence either letters from, or articulation agreements with, nationally accredited or publicinstitutions of higher education that demonstrate that the unaccredited schools credits have beenand are accepted unconditionally by those institutions, as provided in 8 C.F.R 214.3(c). This isthe first time that articulation agreements are mentioned in the petitioners file. There was nodiscussion in the RFE that articulation agreements are permissible evidence to demonstrate thatpetitioners degrees have been and are accepted unconditionally by other institutions. Inaddition, there is no discussion or guidance in either the RFE or the denial as to the option forpetitioner to provide evidence that it confers recognized degrees upon its graduates, as is clearlycontemplated in 8 C.F.R. 214.3(c). There is mention in the denial of a phone conversation thattook place with petitioner on April 6, 2006, but there is no record in the file of what wasdiscussed during this conversation. Therefore, it is unclear whether petitioner ever receivedproper, specific guidance regarding the evidence required of it under 8 C.F.R. 214.3(c). On appeal, petitioner resubmitted the three letters it initially provided in support of its vocational programs and also submitted the aforementioned articulation agreements in an attempt to overcome the 214.3(c) evidentiary deficiency found agair"• it in the decision. SCB declined to consider the articulation agreements on the basis that they were "new evidence", consideration of ICE.12.2714.000017
  4. 4. J(~QSJON UNNERSIT1Page4 of4which would require a new petition. We disagree with this assessment. The record contains noindication that petitioner was ever given guidance to provide such evidence prior to the denial.As such, we remand these proceedings to the SCB and direct that Branch to issue a Request forEvidence in accordance with 8 C.F.R. 103.2(b)(8) to allow petitioner the opportunity to provideany evidence that may demonstrate either an ability to· confer "recognized degrees" within themeaning of 8 C.F.R. 214.3(c}, or to show through letters or articulation agreements that itscredits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three institutions of higherlearning, as contemplated in that same provision.We also find that the evidence submitted by Kingston University in support of its vocationalprograms is sufficient and merits M-1 certification. We therefore direct SCB to approveKingston Universitys M-1 programs in SEVIS.ORDER: These proceedings are remanded to the SCB in accordance with this opinion. ICE.12.2714.000018

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