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PDSOs: Find Form I-17 Filing Evidence Resources on

October 6, 2016

Principal designated school officials (PDSOs) must now electronically file the minimum required evidence at the same time they submit an initial petition request or update to the Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) implemented this new process on Oct. 1, 2016 and updated its information on to include specific guidance about what constitutes the minimum evidence required for requests, along with detailed instructions on how PDSOs must submit that evidence.

Initial Petition Requests

Schools seeking initial SEVP certification must electronically submit the evidence supporting their Form I-17 within two business days of submitting their petition in SEVIS. Petitions belonging to schools that fail to submit evidence within this time frame will be cancelled.

For more detailed information about this process, please visit the “Certification” tab under the Schools section of The tab is organized by program type with each program type having a dedicated definitions of evidence guide to help school officials understand what documentation they need to send to SEVP for the applicable sections of the Form I-17.

Form I-17 Update Requests

Regulations require that PDSOs at SEVP-certified schools update their Form I-17 to accurately reflect their school’s operating status. All updates must be made within 21 days of any change and include the minimum required evidence. If a school fails to submit evidence at the same time it submits the update in SEVIS, SEVP may cancel the request and ask that the school resubmit the request with the required evidence.

The evidence a school must submit depends on the Form I-17 section being updated, the school’s accreditation status and the school type. For more information about this process, please visit the “Petition Updates” tab under the School’s section of Within the tab, school officials will find drop-down menus that contain applicable guides organized by accreditation status (i.e., accredited vs. non-accredited). Within each guide, school officials will find the evidence needed for each applicable field on the form per school type.

Do you have questions about the new Form I-17 evidence filing process? Contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or

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