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#WelcomeBack: Reporting in SEVIS

January 22, 2015
The start of the new year is a good time to remember the reporting responsibilities you have as a designated school official (DSO). As winter break comes to an end, students are back on campus and stopping by your office with various questions and change requests. The information you report, update and manage about your school and enrolled F and M students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is used by various U.S. government programs during different times in the international student process. It is important that you input this information accurately and timely as the government relies on accurate SEVIS data to ensure national security.  
As you welcome international students for the start of a new school term, review the reporting requirements below to ensure accurate, timely and complete records.
  1. DSO Annual VerificationPrincipal designated school officials (PDSOs) at all schools certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) must annually verify that every PDSO and DSO who have SEVIS access are still employed by the institution and require continued access to the system. PDSOs must verify this information each year between Dec. 2 and March 2. 
  2. Updates to Forms I-20When working with student records, it is very important that you correctly enter the student’s information on the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,”  the first time and then make updates based on any changes to the student’s information. Examples of student updates include changes to the student’s name, address or program of study.
  3. Updates to Forms I-17DSOs are responsible for reporting any material change to your school's information by updating the Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Students.” SEVP strongly recommends that DSOs review their school’s Form I-17 on a regular basis to ensure accurate and timely update reporting. Do not wait until recertification to make your updates.
  4. RecertificationSEVP recertifies schools on an ongoing basis to ensure continuous compliance with regulations. DSOs will receive a notice in SEVIS 180 days before their school’s certification expiration date that informs them that their school is eligible for recertification. Review the Recertification Checklist for instructions on how to file for recertification. 
If you have any questions about the update processes, please contact SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or 800-892-4829. If you have problems making updates in SEVIS, contact the numbers listed above or send an email to
What else do you find helpful to remember at the beginning of a new school term? Join our conversation and share your tips with us using #WelcomeBack on Twitter and Facebook.
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