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Who is SEVP?

January 6, 2015
As an international student, you will hear many acronyms used to describe U.S. government agencies and programs involved in the international student process. One acronym you will hear frequently is SEVP, which stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. 
SEVP monitors F and M students and their dependents while in the United States to ensure that rules and regulations are followed by international students. The program also certifies schools to allow them to enroll F or M students. International students studying in the United States can only attend an SEVP-certified school. To be certified, schools must prove that they are operational, meaning that they possess the necessary facilities and instructors, and engage in course instruction prior to requesting SEVP certification.
In addition, SEVP manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. This internet-based system, known as SEVIS, contains information on international students, as well as the schools that enroll them. It is also used by SEVP to help monitor students and schools for compliance with U.S. laws.
As a part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, SEVP works closely with its government partners involved in the international student process, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of State.
In order to help you navigate the international student process, SEVP has several outreach efforts. The program is available to answer questions you have about school certification, finding a certified school, international student regulations, maintaining student status, student benefits, and post-graduate and departure procedures.
Want to learn more about SEVP and the role it plays in the international student process? Watch the SEVP 101 tutorial—a video overview about the program. You can also contact the SEVP Response Center with questions, visit for official regulations and check out the Study in the States blog for information on how SEVP rules and regulations may affect you. 
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