The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on F and M students in the United States and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools that enroll them. SEVIS also maintains information on Department of State designated exchange visitor program sponsors and J-1 visa exchange visitor program participants. SEVIS is a critical tool in our mission to protect national security while supporting the legal entry of the more than one million F, M and J nonimmigrants to the United States for education and cultural exchange.
For F and M nonimmigrants, SEVIS is used to:
- Petition SEVP for certification that allows the school to offer programs of study to nonimmigrant students
- Update school information and apply for recertification of the school for continued ability to issue Certificates of Eligibility (Forms I–20) to nonimmigrant students and their dependents
- Issue Forms I–20 to specific individuals used by nonimmigrants to obtain F or M status while enrolled at the school
- Fulfill the school’s legal reporting responsibility regarding the student’s address, course of study, enrollment, employment, and compliance with the terms of the student status
- Transfer the student SEVIS record to another institution
For J nonimmigrants, SEVIS is used to:
- Petition the Department of State for designation that allows the sponsor to offer educational and cultural exchange programs to exchange visitors
- Update sponsor information and apply for redesignation every two years
- Issue Forms DS–2019 to specific individuals to obtain J status
- Fulfill the sponsor’s legal reporting responsibility regarding the exchange visitors address, site of activity, program participation, employment, and compliance with the terms of the J status
- Transfer the exchange visitor’s SEVIS record to another institution
SEVP is improving SEVIS to make it a more effective and efficient system for users. In the coming months, users can look forward to the following SEVIS enhancements:.
- Improved system performance and peak time responsiveness for school and program users
- Standardized information requirements for enhanced searching, reporting, and data matching, allowing schools and programs to generate reports from SEVIS on their F, M and J nonimmigrants and print the information as a PDF or export it to an Excel file
- Address validation that will provide consistency and accuracy and ensure U.S. addresses are complete and real
- Improved ways to identify and correct incorrect data in SEVIS and eliminate duplicate records
SEVIS Release 6.21
SEVIS Release 6.21 represents the largest update to SEVIS in recent years. SEVIS will be down for a minimum of 48 hours while the release is deployed.
Anticipated Outage: 8 p.m. EDT Friday, June 26, 2015 to 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 28
Refer to the Release Planning Guide (revised 5/21/15) for more details on the release and its effect on other government systems as well as batch processing.
The release contains the following:
- SEVIS name standardization which introduces new name fields to SEVIS and imposes a strict set of character limits on certain name fields,
- Email address standardization,
- Student and Exchange Visitor U.S. address conversion and validation,
- Revised Form I-20 (F-1),
- Revised Form DS-2019 (J-1),
- Mass Reprint Request functionality that allows school and sponsor officials to reprint forms for multiple nonimmigrants,
- SEVIS Downloads page where school and sponsor officials can download reports on nonimmigrants whose names or addresses were changed during the conversion. They can also access the forms generated through a mass reprint request,
- Improved Search functionality to search on all SEVIS name fields, and
- Form DS-7002 (Trainee/Intern Placement Plan) (J SEVIS only).
- SEVIS Addresses User Guide
- SEVIS Nonimmigrant Search User Guide
- Demo: F/M Nonimmigrant Search
- Revised Form DS-2019
- Release Planning Guide (revised 5/21/15)
- SEVIS Name Standards User Guide (revised 4/15/2015)
- Revised Form I-20 (F-1)
- Revised Form I-20 (M-1)
- Redesigned Form I-20 Fact Sheet
- Redesigned Form I-20 FAQ
- SEVIS Names and Social Security Fact Sheet
- Demo: SEVIS Name Standards
- Demo: Redesigned Form I-20
- Demo: Request Mass Reprint
- SEVIS Email Standards Job Aid
- SEVIS Name Standards FAQ
- SEVIS Name Fields Job Aid
- FAQ on Addresses
- USPS State Abbreviation Job Aid
- USPS Street and Secondary Unit Abbreviations Job Aid
SEVIS Release 6.20
With SEVIS Release 6.20, DSOs and government users will be able to access a new student employment information page, which will display all employment authorizations granted for a student under a specific SEVIS ID. Information available on the employment page will include:
- Employment type;
- Whether the employment is full-time or part-time;
- DSO-recommended employment start and end dates;
- Actual start and end dates;
- The student’s school;
- The student’s level of study;
- The status of the request; and
- The receipt number, if applicable.
SEVIS Release 6.18
SEVIS Release 6.18 contains enhancements that implement an annual verification of school and sponsor officials who access SEVIS. The Federal Information System Management Act requires the annual review and verification that all users who access federal systems have both the business need and the authorization to access the system. To comply with FISMA, Primary Designated School Officials and Responsible Officers must annually verify that every PDSO, Designated School Official, Responsible officer and Alternate Responsible Officer is still employed by the institution and requires access to SEVIS.
SEVIS Verification of PDSOs, DSOs, ROs, and AROS
|Frequency of Verification||Annually|
|Length of Verification Period||90 days|
|Verification Period||December 2 to March 2|
|First Verification Window||December 2, 2014 to March 2, 2015|
- DSOs at unverified schools or sponsors will lose access to SEVIS.
- Unverified schools and sponsors will be unable to use batch processing
- Unverified schools will be considered out of compliance with recordkeeping and reporting regulations.
- DSO Annual Verification Guide (.pdf)
- RO ARO User Verification Quick Reference Guide (.pdf)
- DSO-ARO Verification FAQ (.pdf)
- DSO Update Process Fact Sheet (.pdf)
- Demo: DSO Verification (.mp4)
- October 24, 2014 Webinar Recording
SEVIS Release 6.17
Implementation Date: 8/1/2014
SEVIS Release 6.17 contains enhancements that address several concerns from a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audit surrounding Optional Practical Training (OPT). This release also lays the groundwork for several major initiatives, including the Name standardization. Release 6.17’s system enhancements include:
- OPT will show three distinct sets of dates in SEVIS, including:
- Principal designated school official (PDSO) and designated school official (DSO) Recommended Start and End Dates,
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-approved Start and End Dates, and
- Actual Start and End Dates for OPT.
- OPT status indicator will indicate if a student is actively engaged in OPT.
- SEVIS Name Standardization Impact Report will allow school officials to see how the name standards will be implemented and provide feedback on concerns.
- Search Result Enhancements will display more information in easy to read columns.
- Exchange Visitor Validation Alerts will be streamlined.
- Multiple Addresses for Exchange Visitors can include both physical and mailing addresses for J Exchange Visitors.
- Enhance Password Security rules.
Direct any questions regarding SEVIS release 6.17 to SEVISTechnicalFeedback@ice.dhs.gov.
To view previous SEVIS enhancements, please see the SEVIS Archive page.
- Redesigned Form I-20 FAQs
- SEVIS OPT Dates Job Aid
- SEVIS Release 6.17 Final System Changes
- SEVIS Names Report Job Aid – F/M (.pdf)
- SEVIS Names Report Job Aid – J (.pdf)
- Demo: SEVIS Names report (.mp4)
Updating School Accreditation
- FAQ Form I-17 Accreditations and Recognitions (.pdf)
- Updating School Accreditations and Recognitions User Guide (.pdf)
- SEVIS 2015 Roadmap Webinar FAQ (.pdf)
- History of SEVIS
- SEVIS Way Ahead: A Message to the Academic Community
- SEVIS Enhancements: Frequently Asked Questions
- SEVIS Enhancements Webinars