On 1 April 2016 Student Pilot Certificates will no longer be issued with FAA Medical Certificates. If you'd like the opportunity to get a Student Pilot Certificate before 1 April, be sure to sign up on the list outside of Zoan's desk in the IP Briefing area.
On 1 April all applicants for a Student Pilot Certificate will have to applied through IACRA and get the application validated by a CFI, DPE, or FAA Operations Inspector. FAA Airmen Certification says there will be a 3 week lag to allow TSA to vet each application. If everything checks out, a plastic Student Pilot Certificate will be issued with no expiration and will be valid until the pilot earns a higher level certificate. Apply at: IACRA.faa.gov
The FAA rule can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/12/2016-00199/student-pilot-application-requirements
Flight Instructors should follow the guidance in the new version of AC 61-65F at: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentID/1028988
The pdf version of the above advisory circular at: http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_61-65F.pdf