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SEVP Announces New Procedure for Form I-515A Noncompliance

March 8, 2016

Beginning April 1, 2016, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will send “Intent to Terminate” notices to international students, exchange visitors and their dependents who have failed to comply by the specified deadline with the Form I-515A, “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor,” directive.

Recipients of the “Intent to Terminate” notices will have 14 days, as of the date the letter is sent, to respond to the Form I-515A. Only original submissions are acceptable by the deadline date. Electronic submissions will not be accepted as complying with the directive. Failure to comply within the 14-day grace period will result in termination of the recipient’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record, which will flag the nonimmigrant as a possible visa violator in official government systems.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials issue Forms I-515A to nonimmigrant students, exchange visitors and their dependents when the nonimmigrant lacks proper entry documentation.  The most common reasons for issuance include: 

  • Lack of travel endorsement by a school official or sponsor official on the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” or DS-2019, “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.”
  • Lack of evidence of payment of the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
  • Lack of a valid SEVIS record associated with the Form I-20 or DS-2019 used on entry (i.e., the SEVIS record is not in Active or Initial status).   

Only original, fully signed Forms I-20 and DS-2019 are acceptable for submission to SEVP when responding to the Form I-515A directive. Electronic copies and photocopies of the Forms I-20 and DS-2019 will not be accepted. Original Forms I-20 and DS-2019 are returned to the school or sponsor for return to the student or exchange visitor once the Form I-515A is adjudicated.

Nonimmigrant students, exchange visitors and dependents who lose their valid nonimmigrant status as a result of their SEVIS record being terminated for failure to comply with the requirements of a Form I-515A must file for reinstatement and relevant fees will apply.

F-1 and M-1 students and their dependents must file for reinstatement with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, while J-1 exchange visitors and their depends must file with the U.S. Department of State. Nonimmigrants that do not comply with the Form I-515A and do not file for reinstatement must depart the United States immediately.

Readmission may be granted on a valid Form I-20 or DS-2019 with all previous entry deficiencies resolved, in order to re-establish nonimmigrant status.

For more details about this new procedure, please download the Form I-515A Termination Procedure, now available on ICE.gov

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