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December 2018 SEVP Spotlight

Table of Contents 


1 Director's Corner
2 What's New on Study in the States
3 Field Representative Unit Update
4 K-12 Best Practices
5 SEVIS Update
6 Contact Us


Director's Corner

Year in Review: New, Upcoming Developments for SEVP

A message from Rachel Canty, Director of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program

2018 has been an especially busy year at the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP). As 2019 approaches, I would like to highlight the new, exciting developments that we’ve introduced this year. To further improve interagency coordination, SEVP launched the Government Voices Webinar Series in January 2018. The series provides a forum for you to learn about SEVP’s government partners and their role in the international student life cycle.

Also, last January, we launched the Upload Evidence functionality to allow principal designated school officials to upload Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” evidence directly to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). In March, we launched the SEVP Portal for F-1 students participating in post-completion optional practical training and M-1 students participating in practical training. The portal allows these students to report personal and employer information directly to SEVP. 

This fall, we focused our efforts on improving SEVP’s internal process to help us proactively respond to emergencies that affect you and your students. I hope that these improved processes will help designated school officials (DSOs) and their campus partners facilitate a more resilient culture on their campus—positioning schools to better respond to a disaster and recover quickly. Also, SEVP hired two new field representatives for SEVP-certified schools in North Carolina and Missouri. We encourage you to rely on your field representative as a valuable resource to answer any questions you may have, particularly before and after an emergency event on your campus. 

As you may know, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed an adjustment to fees charged by SEVP to international students, exchange visitors and SEVP-certified schools this past summer. The proposed rule was published to the Federal Register on July 17 and was open for public comment until Sept. 17. We appreciate those of you who took the time to share your thoughts. SEVP is currently finalizing the rule.

Looking forward to 2019, DHS plans to propose two new rules concerning eligibility checks for DSOs and authorized stay for international students, and plans to publish the final rule to adjust SEVP’s fees. DHS notified the public of these plans in the Fall 2018 Unified Agenda. Please keep in mind that SEVP does not have a timeline for publication of the proposed rules concerning eligibility checks and authorized stay, as both proposed rules are still in the initial stages of review. All proposed rules go through an extensive internal drafting and vetting process and must comply with the federal rulemaking process, which gives the public an opportunity to provide comments via the Federal Register. Again, a reminder that proposed rules are subject to change and are not definitive. However, it is DHS protocol to announce any proposed changes as possible regulatory items.

Assuredly, through SEVP Broadcast Messages, Study in the States, our social media channels and updates, we will keep you informed regarding these and any other planned changes.

As always, thank you for your continued support,

Rachel Canty


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What's New on Study in the States

Check out 2 New Resource Pages

Don’t miss two new resource pages on Study in the States if you have questions about the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) or Special Student Relief (SSR).

Visit the new Maintaining Accurate SEVIS Records page and Special Student Relief page on Study in the States.

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Field Representative Unit Update

Meet SEVP’s New Field Representatives

In September 2018, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) deployed two new field representatives in North Carolina and Missouri. Field representatives serve as liaisons between SEVP and SEVP-certified schools. Learn more about the newest members of the Field Representative Unit below.

Jill Cargile:

Jill Cargile is the field representative for the Raleigh, North Carolina, territory. She previously served as a designated school official (DSO) at Western Carolina University and directed their intensive English program for the past five years. For 18 years, she previously directed grant and corporate-funded international programs at the University of Oregon, working across the world teaching English language, composition and pedagogy. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in applied linguistics from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Ron Hudson:

Ronald Hudson is the field representative for the St. Louis, Missouri, territory. He is an Arkansas native and comes to SEVP from the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Tech, where he was the director of admissions. He has 10 years of experience as a principal designated school official and DSO at community colleges and institutions in central Arkansas. Mr. Hudson retired from the Arkansas Army National Guard after 20 years of service. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas Monticello, a master’s degree from Arkansas Tech University, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary leadership from the University of Central Arkansas.

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K-12 Best Practices

Preparing K-12 Students for College

The kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) international student population is the fastest growing user group in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This section of SEVP Spotlight helps K-12 schools understand how to comply with federal regulations and navigate the international student life cycle.

At Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools, K-12 designated school officials (DSOs) play a very important role in the life cycle of an international student, especially when it comes time for international students to apply to college. If an international student plans to apply to a U.S. college or university, DSOs should share SEVP’s Guide to Studying in the States and School Search tool with them for helpful tips and guidance throughout the application process.

If a student does decide to attend a U.S. college or university, it is also important to explain the SEVIS record transfer process and help the student complete any transfer paperwork after you receive a copy of their official college acceptance letter. Be sure to also keep track of when a student’s visa expires and remind them to renew their visa as necessary so they maintain active student status throughout the transfer process.

If an international student plans to return to their native country after graduation, make sure the student knows they have 60 days after their program end date to leave the United States.

Don’t miss these additional resources for K-12 DSOs on Study in the States:

- SEVP Ask the Experts Webinar: K-12 Spotlight

- Kindergarten to Grade 12 Schools

- Public and Private K-12 Schools: Know the Difference 

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SEVIS Update

Complete Annual Verification

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) annual verification period started Dec. 2, 2018, and closes March 2, 2019.

Each year, principal designated school officials (PDSO), designated school officials (DSO), responsible officers (RO) and alternate responsible officers (ARO) must verify they are still employed by the organization; continue to be the selected PDSO, DSO, RO or ARO; and require continued access to SEVIS.

Failure to verify by March 2, 2019, will result in all unverified DSOs losing access to SEVIS March 3.

Visit the PDSO/DSO Annual Verification User Guide for step-by-step instructions to complete the annual verification.

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Contact Us

SEVP Contacts

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is dedicated to maintaining open communication with international students and academic officials. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, except federal holidays.

SEVP has multiple contact options:

If you need assistance with passwords or Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) technical help, email

ICE Contacts

To report national vulnerabilities or national security concerns, contact ICE's Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit at

To report exploitation of student visa programs, contact your local HSI special agent by calling 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) or visit

Disclaimer: The information presented in SEVP Spotlight is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

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