Certified Non-US Based F-1 Recruitment Agencies

2020-2021 Certified Non-US Based F-1 Recruitment Agencies

Introduction and Background

Introduction: Because of a perceived lack of regulation and consistency for the recruitment and enrollment of F-1 high school  students, in July 2018 CSIET launched an initiative that helps level expectations among international F-1 students, natural parents, host families/secondary schools, U.S. based F-1 programs and international student recruitment agencies. In order to execute this initiative, CSIET formed the Advisory Board for F-1 International Student Recruitment, which comprised representatives from leading organizations serving secondary and post-secondary schools, including: 

AIRC – The American International Recruitment Council
AISAP – Association of Independent School Admission Professionals
CSIET – The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel
EMA – The Enrollment Management Association
GEBG – Global Education Benchmark Group
NACAC – National Association for College Admission Counseling
NAIS – National Association of Independent Schools
NAFSA – Association of International Educators
TABS – The Association of Boarding Schools

Scope:  Developed for third-party, non-U.S. based F-1  agencies, the new Model Standards outline preferred practices for collaborating with U.S. organizations and schools for the limited purpose of international student recruitment . These standards  identify essential methods and practices associated with  successful F-1 international student enrollment. Recruitment agencies are defined “as a paid, non-US based international business entity authorized to represent or act on behalf of a US secondary school, international student, and/or natural parent for the purpose of international student enrollment in a US secondary school. Payment methodology must be made transparent to all parties.” Practices, policies, procedures, contracts and agreements must be transparent and must disclose appropriate information, including but not limited to: program accreditation, association membership, legal requirements, cost, tuition, fees, language proficiency, education level, financial aid, housing, and applicable program activities. Agencies that adopt these standards commit to acting with transparency, integrity and accountability; specifically, they abide by such criteria as conducting defined training processes and disclosing ownership and business practices.

Standards and Audit Template: In July, 2019, CSIET implemented a new evaluation and certification process, based on the new Model Standards and centered on four key areas: Stewardship, Transparency, Engagement and Partnership. These Standards aim to help U.S. schools better understand preferred practices relative to F-1 student recruitment at the secondary level. In addition to being more informed of the recruitment process, schools can ask their international partner agencies if they are CSIET certified and compliant with the Model Standards, as demonstrated by successful evaluation via CSIET’s new Audit Template and Likely Sources. This new process gives schools an extra layer of verification and protection, and demonstrates non-US based recruitment agencies’ commitment to compliance with preferred practices.

Background Checks: Non-US Based F-1 Agency leadership and their organizations have been thoroughly vetted using comprehensive background checks against worldwide public databases and public/private websites that detect fraud, corruption and/or misconduct.  Organizations are shown to have no record of violations of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act.