Use the Study in the States glossary to define key terms throughout the F and M student process in the United States. If you are a current or prospective student, select “students” to see terms that specifically relate to you—from visas, to forms, benefits, and more. School officials should select “schools” to find more information on certification, responsibilities, and how to help their F and M students. You can also sort terms by selecting the letter of the alphabet a term begins with.


The process of petitioning the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to enroll F and M nonimmigrant students. Approved schools can issue these students Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”

Certification Expiration Date

The date two years from the date of a school’s previous Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certification or recertification expiration date on which a school is required to file a completed petition for SEVP recertification.

Related terms: Recertification

FAA Part 141/142 Certification

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification required for flight training providers to receive Student and Exchange Visitor Program certification.

Related terms: Certification


The process a school must go through every two years to re-establish its eligibility and compliance with regulations in order to maintain authorization from SEVP to enroll F‑1 and/or M-1 students.