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SEVP Recertification vs. SEVIS Annual Verification: What is the Difference?

February 16, 2018

When a school obtains Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certification, it makes a legally binding commitment to comply with applicable federal regulations and reporting obligations. Two of these obligations include applying for SEVP recertification and completing Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) annual verification.

SEVP-certified schools need to successfully complete both processes, and it is important to understand the differences between the two.

SEVP Recertification

SEVP recertification ensures that your SEVP-certified school is following regulations and record keeping requirements when enrolling F and M students.

All SEVP-certified schools must go through recertification every two years. SEVIS notifies designated school officials (DSOs) when the school can begin the recertification process. The school is eligible to file for recertification 180 days before its certification expiration date (CED). The CED is the deadline by which the school must apply for recertification and is assigned in SEVIS based on when the school received its initial certification or last recertification approval.

SEVIS Annual Verification

The SEVIS annual verification process confirms that each SEVIS user associated with your SEVP‑certified school:

  • Is still employed by the organization and continues to be a principal designated school official or DSO.
  • Requires continued access to SEVIS.

The SEVIS annual verification period occurs from Dec. 2 to March 2 every calendar year.

Want more information?

For more information about recertification, visit the Getting Started with SEVP Recertification page and the Form I-17 – Recertification guide. For more on SEVIS annual verification, read the PDSO/DSO Annual Verification page.

You can also contact the SEVP Response Center if you have questions about either process.

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