General Information The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requires an annual verification that all users who access a federal system have both the business need and the authorization to access the system. To comply with FISMA, principal designated school officials (PDSOs) and responsible officers (ROs) must annually verify that all PDSOs, designated school officials (DSOs), ROs and alternate responsible officers (AROs) who have access to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS):
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International students and designated school officials (DSOs) must remember to report student employer information related to optional practical training (OPT) in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Without this information, students could be viewed as having failed to obtain employment and potentially be considered out of status for exceeding permissible periods of unemployment while participating in OPT.
Designated school officials (DSOs) must register their Initial and Active international students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) within 30 days of the start of the school session.Regular student registration in SEVIS is necessary to track regulatory compliance for international students and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools. Failing to register your students at the beginning of each school session jeopardizes your F and M students’ status.
Upon completion of your program of study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school and any authorized period of practical training, you have a grace period during which you can stay in the United States. The length of your grace period depends on your visa type.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is aware of recent delays in processing optional practical training (OPT) authorization requests. While SEVP understands that SEVP-certified schools want to determine solutions to assist international students, please keep in mind that curricular practical training (CPT) must be an integral part of an existing curriculum and must be implemented in accordance with federal regulations. Therefore, we are providing reminders to clarify the requirements of those existing regulations.
An annual vacation is an authorized break in a student’s studies that is taken once per academic year and lasts one term. F-1 students are eligible to take an annual vacation after completing their academic year requirement at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school and once every year after that. Although it is most frequently taken during the summer term, it can be taken during another academic term, which is usually determined by a student’s school calendar.
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.
Updates to the Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” and school recertification are two very different processes in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) school certification life cycle. Below, learn the differences between filing for recertification and submitting updates to the Form I-17.Recertification
If you are participating in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) optional practical training (OPT), you must regularly check in with your designated school official (DSO) throughout your training opportunity to maintain F-1 status.You are required to check in with your DSO to validate Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) information and report changes made to your Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students.”
If your F-1 students will graduate this semester and plan to continue their education at a different Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school, as a designated school official (DSO), you are responsible for transferring student records in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).Visit these resources for useful information and instructions on how to: