The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) understands that international students studying in the United States may face emergency situations while attending their Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school. These emergencies can range from natural disasters to manmade events and can affect your safety and impact school operations.
It is important that F and M students maintain their nonimmigrant student status, even during emergency events. This means F and M students should continue to take all the necessary actions to remain in status, to the extent possible under the circumstances, and communicate with their designated school official (DSO) about the emergency plans on their campus.
Items to Keep Safe
F and M students should keep the following items in a safe, secure place so that they are easily accessible in the event of an emergency:
- Passport and visa.
- Important student forms like the Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status."
- DSO emergency contact information.
- Contact information for SEVP.
- Social Security card and Form I-766, "Employment Authorization Document," if applicable.
- Financial records.
- Travel-related documents like boarding passes and plane tickets, if applicable.
Preparing for Emergencies
Campus disruptions can range from natural disasters to manmade events, pandemics or campus violence. The impact of these events can be far-reaching and highlight the need for all students to have an emergency plan in place.
We encourage F and M students to take the following actions to begin making their own emergency preparedness plan while they study in the United Sates:
- Be Prepared, Build a Kit.
- Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.
- Explore Ready.gov’s Campus Ready resources.
- Follow FEMA’s popular accounts on social media.
- Sign up for campus emergency alerts and local information so you can remain informed about what to do while situations unfold and stay updated on the operational status of your school.
To learn more about DHS’ work to strengthen campus resilience and international student efforts on U.S. campuses, visit the DHS website.