Three Tips for New DSOs from an SEVP Field Representative
Adam Harold is a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) field representative. In this role, he serves as a liaison between SEVP and certified schools in his territory of Dallas/Fort Worth. Prior to joining SEVP as a field representative, he spent almost 10 years as a designated school official (DSO) at a large state institution in Texas that was home to more than 3,000 international students. In this blog post, Adam shares his advice for new DSOs for the upcoming school year. Be on the lookout for more advice from Adam in next month’s issue of the SEVP Spotlight.
As a new designated school official, you may feel overwhelmed with all you have to manage in this new role. In addition to familiarizing yourself with the regulations that you are required to know, there are several resources you should immediately take advantage of to help you navigate this new responsibility.
- First, if you have not done so already, there is a free DSO online training course on the SEVP homepage on ICE.gov. You must first create an account before you can take the course. Please note that this account information is separate from your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) credentials.
- Second, there are SEVP user manuals for the Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” and Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” Both of these contain useful step-by-step instructions that include SEVIS screen shots.
- Third, visit the new SEVIS Help Hub on Study in the States. The SEVIS Help Hub is a central location for school officials to access information regarding how to maintain student records, school records and it provides the latest SEVIS release updates. Resources will continue to be added here, so remember to check back periodically and provide your feedback on what information you would like to see added.
Finally, schedule a visit with your SEVP field representative if your territory has one. Eventually, SEVP will deploy 60 field representatives nationwide and each SEVP-certified school will have a designated field representative. Field representatives can provide additional resources and training materials, as well as answer any other questions you may have. If you are at a school that does not yet have access to a field representative, contact the SEVP Response Center by email at SEVP@ice.dhs.gov with your school-specific questions.