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Resources for Designated School Officials . . . and a Big Thank You

November 14, 2013
SEVP Director Farrell writes about resources to help the DSO community.

Post by Louis M. Farrell, Director of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program

The academic community is at the forefront of our mission and an important partner at the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Since you interact with the F and M students enrolled in U.S. schools that are SEVP certified, we trust you to help us ensure that only legitimate students remain in compliance during their time of study in the United States. SEVP has many resources that can help make your job easier:

  • Have a question or an issue? Check our Contact Us page on Study in the States for information on how to get in touch with the various SEVP subject matter experts. For general SEVP questions, you and your students can contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or
  • Take the DSO Training: On SEVP’s website,, you can find a web-based training course, SEVIS Training for School Officials, for guidance and instructions on your responsibilities for using the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The course is for new DSOs who need guidance on completing various actions required to update and maintain student information in SEVIS, and also serves as a useful resource tool for veteran school officials.
  • Provide input on draft guidance: SEVP’s Policy Unit periodically requests feedback from the public via the SEVP Guidance for Comment page on Study in the States. After the designated feedback period, SEVP reviews and incorporates stakeholder feedback into the final guidance that impacts SEVP-certified schools and F and M students. You can also sign up to receive e-mail notifications whenever new draft guidance is posted on Study in the States.
  • Need to report fraud or visa abuse? In 2012, SEVP and the Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit (CTCEU) initiated the Project Campus Sentinel outreach program. The purpose of this program is to build partnerships with DSOs at SEVP-certified schools and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) field agents so that it is easier to detect and combat school fraud and visa exploitation. If you see suspicious activity at your school, you should report it either via the HSI tip form or by e-mailing tips directly to CTCEU at
  • Learn more on Study in the States: Our Schools Portal contains specific information about the SEVP certification process. You can also find conference materials, and webinars,. In the Students Portal, you can direct your students to resources like the Study Guide to the States and the school search page.

Whether you are a veteran DSO or brand new to the international education community, we want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts on our feedback form or via Facebook or Twitter.

I want to conclude by noting – the 30,000 DSOs throughout this country are an incredible asset and value to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the American public. You play a critical role in supporting the country’s national security needs. We recognize that the responsibilities are great and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your dedication and commitment as it makes international education and our national security stronger.

Take care. Respectfully, Lou

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