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DSO gives student Form I-20

SEVP Publishes Guidance on Recruiters and the Form I-20

June 5, 2019

On June 4, 2019, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) published a policy guidance document on Form I-20 Issuance and School Use of Recruiters. This new policy guidance clarifies that for reasons of privacy, security and fraud prevention, the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Students,” must be issued directly by SEVP-certified schools to nonimmigrant students, their dependents or, for minors, their parent or guardian. Recruiters may not receive the Form I-20 directly from a school’s designated school official (DSO) and then distribute it to the student.

The Form I-20 is a record of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). All information in SEVIS is considered Personally Identifiable Information and is subject to the SEVIS System of Records Notice in the Federal Register, pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974. As a result, SEVP is required to protect all information in the Form I-20 and the information can only be disclosed under limited circumstances and to listed parties.

Download the new policy guidance under the Policy tab of the Schools page on

If you have questions or comments about the guidance, please contact the SEVP Response Center.

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