As the year comes to a close, revisit resources that will be helpful as one semester ends, and another begins in January.
Please reference the below resources for information about Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, visa requirements, and more.
Contacting SEVP with COVID-19 Questions
The SEVP Response Center (SRC) is actively responding to calls and emails but please keep in mind that they are experiencing high volumes of calls and emails. If you are waiting for an email response from the SRC, refer to www.ICE.gov/covid19 for up-to-date SEVP guidance under the ‘Nonimmigrant Students and SEVP-Certified Schools’ tab.
Follow These Government Partners on Social Media for COVID-19 Resources
Government partners like the Transportation Security Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Education offer resources and important updates on their social media channels. Read the complete list on the blog.
Electronically Signing Forms I-20
Due to COVID-19, designated school officials (DSOs) can electronically send signed Forms I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status," to students via email addresses listed in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) instead of physically mailing forms. Additionally, read the below blog posts for information about managing student records and signing the Form I-17.
Guidance on Student Visas
The U.S. Department of State is responsible for issuing nonimmigrant visas. The below resources from the State department include guidance on how to apply for a student visa and where to find the most up-to-date and accurate information on the impact of COVID-19 on visa services.
- Visit the Student Visa page to learn how to apply for a student visa.
- Monitor the U.S. Visas News page for the latest updates on U.S. visas, including news about visa services and policies.
- Find the website of your local U.S. Embassy for the embassy’s contact information and information on visa services.
- Visit covid19.state.gov to use the State department’s FAQ tool and find the department’s latest guidance related to COVID-19.
Reporting Requirements for Students and DSOs
International students and DSOs must remember to report student employer information related to optional practical training (OPT) in SEVIS. Regulations require that international students work with their DSO to ensure information captured in the SEVP Portal and SEVIS are accurate.
For more information, reference the OPT Student Reporting Requirements or the Unemployment Counter page. DSOs may also contact their local SEVP field representative with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders
The FAQs document on ICE.gov provides answers to frequently asked questions from SEVP stakeholders about the impact of COVID-19 on SEVP-certified schools and F and M students.