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Schools: Your Program Must be "Underway" to Apply for SEVP-Certification

September 19, 2013
Your school must be "underway" to apply for SEVP certification

Schools in the United States that want to issue Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status,” and enroll F or M students, must be Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified. An official at a petitioning school will fill out the Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” during the certification process.

In one section of the Form I-17, you must prove that the programs for which you are seeking certification are already underway. What does this mean? You must prove to SEVP that your school already offers instruction in the programs of study for which you want to be SEVP-certified. Established programs of study help ensure that the F and/or M students you enroll have a legitimate educational experience.

If you have questions, please contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or

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