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SEVP Portal: Top Questions from Students

August 16, 2018

Since the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) launched the SEVP Portal on March 23, SEVP has collected the most common questions about the portal from students and designated school officials (DSOs).

The following questions are among the top questions from students about the SEVP Portal.

What email address should I use to create my SEVP Portal account? Does it need to be an .edu email address? What happens if my email address changes while I am engaged in practical training?

You should provide an email address to your DSO that you have access to and regularly check, and your DSO will enter this email address into SEVIS. The SEVP Portal will send an email to the email address listed for you in SEVIS. SEVP does not require that students use an .edu email address to create a portal account.

I believe I am eligible for an SEVP Portal account, but I did not receive an email from SEVP. What should I do?

If you do not receive a notification email to create an SEVP Portal account, you should check your spam or junk mail folders. You should also contact your DSO to:

  • Confirm that the correct email address is listed in your SEVIS record.
  • Request that the portal resend your account creation email.

Remember that you will receive an email from with the subject, “Optional Practical Training Approval—the next step. Create an SEVP Portal account.” You can only access the portal registration page through the link in the email.

What should I do if my SEVP Portal account is locked?

You must contact your DSO to have your account reset. Once your DSO has reset your SEVP Portal account, you should:

  1. Look for an email from The subject line will read, “Account reset.” Click the link in the email. This link is unique and can only be used once.
  2. Enter your SEVIS ID.
  3. Create a new password. Keep your new password in a safe place, as you will always need it to log into the SEVP Portal.  

Read the full list of top SEVP Portal questions from students and the answers to those questions on the SEVP Special Report Webinar: SEVP Portal page.

For additional SEVP Portal resources, visit the SEVP Portal Help section on Study in the States.  

Related Tags: SEVP Portal, Training, STEM OPT, OPT

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