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PDSO/DSO Annual Verification

Last updated 25-Jan-2018

Overview

SEVIS is a federal database subject to the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). FISMA requires the annual review and verification of every user with access to a federal system. Users must have both a business need and the authorization for system access. SEVIS users must comply with FISMA. That means all principal designated school officials (PDSOs) and responsible officers (ROs) must verify annually that every PDSO, designated school official (DSO), RO, and alternate responsible officer (ARO) who has SEVIS access:
 
  1. Is still employed by the organization and continues to be a PDSO, DSO, RO, or ARO.
  2. Requires continued access to SEVIS.

SEVP strongly encourages schools and sponsors to complete the verification process as soon as possible after December 2. The process is easy. There is no value to postponing the task.

Resources

 

 Key resources: 

Key Facts

SEVIS P/DSO Verification
Frequency of Verification Annually
Length of Verification Period 90 days
Verification Period
  • December 2 to March 2, if March 2 is in a non-leap year

  • December 3 to March 2, if March 2 is in a leap year

  • Deadline is March 3 at 12:01 AM (EDT)

Notification Methods
  • A message upon logging into SEVIS
  • An email from SEVP

Annual Verification Period at a Glance

December 2 Verification period March 2 March 3
  • Verification period begins
  • School/sponsor officials notified of verification requirement
  • PDSO and ROs log in to SEVIS; verify officials
  • Reminder notifications sent to unverified institutions
  • Verification deadline
  • Officials can still access SEVIS
  • DSOs and AROs at unverified schools and sponsors lose SEVIS access
  • Batch capability lost

Officials Authorized to Complete the DSO Verification

negative consequenceOnly PDSOs can validate DSOs.

  • If the PDSO on the school’s Form I-17 is no longer employed at the school or unable to complete annual verification, the school must act immediately to add a PDSO who can submit the verification. A SEVP Fact Sheet 8.1: Designated School Officials Submission is available to help with the process. The fact sheet describes in detail how to initiate a change of PDSO.
  • If a school has multiple campuses with different PDSOs any PDSO can verify all of the school’s P/DSOs at all of the school’s campuses.

Basic Verification Process

The annual verification message appears on both the Broadcast Messages and School Information pages.

1. PDSO navigates to either the Broadcast Messages or School Information page. The Next Verification Due By message displays with the final date of verification period and a required to verify link. 

The broadcast message alert

 

Image of Message board with verification notice displayed

negative consequenceThe Next Verification Due By message displays:

  • During the verification period, December 2 to March 2. 
  • Until all schools/campuses and associated DSOs are verified.

negative consequence

  • The required to verify link is enabled for PDSOs. 
  • DSOs see the same message. However, the required to verify link is not enabled.

4. PDSO clicks the required to verify link. The DSO Verification page opens:

Image of DSO Verification page with three sections identified as A, B, and C.

negative consequenceThe DSO Verification page contains:
A.    List of all the schools for which you are the PDSO.
B.    Names and contact information for school officials. This includes phone numbers and email addresses.

Note: This is a good time to verify contact information. Update the school’s Form I 17 to make corrections. Changes to contact information are immediate.

C.    Last day of the verification period.

  5. Begin the verification process for the displayed school, OR, click on the school name of another school/campus to verify.

Note: By default, the information for the first school or campus on the list displays on the DSO Verification page. However, PDSOs can verify schools or campuses in any order. 

Click the radio button next to your name as PDSO. 

  6. This radio button is not pre-populated. By clicking this radio button, you are verifying that you: 
  • Are still employed by the school/campus as a PDSO.
  • Need continued SEVIS access
Note: If you click Submit without populating the radio button next to your name, the following error message box opens:
Image of error message informing PDSO to indicate Yes or No for each DSO listed
 

7. Click Yes or No next to the name of each DSO:

  • Yes indicates the person is employed at the school/campus and requires continued SEVIS access as a DSO.
  • No indicates the person no longer serves as a DSO employed at the school. 
Note: Clicking No displays a warning message. The message states: The above user will no longer be able to access SEVIS as an official for <name of the school>.
 

Image of campus listing of officials section of the DSO Verification page with caution message displayed for DSO whose PDSO indicated “No.”

negative consequenceCAUTION: Check your entries on this page carefully before clicking Submit. Once you click Submit that DSO can no longer access SEVIS. Their access is disabled immediately. They are only allowed to finish an active session. No other warning messages will let you know an official has been removed.
Note: You can make a change at any time before you click Submit by clicking Clear Selection to start over.
 

8. Click Submit.

Note: Yes or No radio buttons must be selected for each listed individual. 
 
  • If the PDSO clicks Submit without populating the radio button next to every name or the PDSO radio button, the following error message box opens:

Image of error message informing PDSO to indicate Yes or No for each DSO listed.

  • Click OK
  • Once the PDSO designates every user as either Yes or No, SEVIS allows the PDSO to submit the verification. A confirmation message opens. It includes:
    • Name of the school/campus
    • Date and time of verification 

negative consequenceAs the officials at each school or campus are verified, that school or campus is removed from the School Name – Campus Name list.

9. Return to Step 4 to repeat the process for each remaining school or campus on the list. Once every school or campus is verified, no more names are shown under the School name – Campus Name list.

negative consequenceSUCCESS: You are done until next year.
SEVIS will notify all school and sponsor officials when the verification process is finished.

 

Variations on the Process

Schools with Only a PDSO, and Without Any DSOs

Only the PDSO’s name will display on the list of school officials requiring verification. The PDSO must click the radio button next to their name. This verifies the need for continued SEVIS access.

Multiple Campuses - Schools with Different PDSOs at Different Campuses

Any PDSO can complete the verification process for any or all of a school’s campuses. This includes verifying other PDSOs. Schools must decide how to manage the verification process for the school and its campuses.

PDSOs/DSOs Who Use the Same User Name and Password as ROs/AROs

Many organizations manage both F/M and J programs. Users who access both F/M and J SEVIS with the same SEVIS User ID must open the Broadcast Messages or Program Information page in order to see the annual verification notice for the program RO/AROs.

  • Click the required to verify link. for the PDSO (the top message). The DSO ARO Verification page opens.

  • Complete the RO/ARO verification, as described from Step 4 in the Basic Verification Process.

Failure to Verify by March 2

A school is “done” with the verification process when the officials at ALL of its campuses are verified by March 2.

negative consequenceWARNING: Failure to complete the verification process results in EVERY SEVIS official for that school on EVERY campus being locked out on March 3.

Even DSOs at previously verified campuses will be locked out of SEVIS. Access to SEVIS will be restored only after a PDSO verifies their continued need for SEVIS access.

A school is considered out of compliance with record keeping and reporting regulations, if all its officials are not verified by March 2. It may be withdrawn from participation in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

Notifications to School Officials

School officials will be notified of the need to complete the verification process.

Notifications within SEVIS

SEVIS reminds PDSOs and DSOs of the verification deadline on the:


A.Next User Verification Date: Indicates the next verification deadline date.
B.Campuses Verified: Shows how many of the schools’ campuses have been verified. 
  • This indicator displays during the verification period.
  • ​DSOs can use this information to monitor the PDSO’s progress in completing the annual verification.

negative consequenceReminder: Message displays during the verification period. Only the PDSO has an active link to access the DSO Verification page.

SEVIS-Generated Emails

SEVIS sends the following emails to any unverified SEVIS school and program users at the listed intervals.

  • 60 and 15 Days Before Deadline:
Subject: PDSO/DSO and RO/ARO Annual Verification 60-Day Count Down

Text:

This email serves as a reminder that 60 days remain in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Annual PDSO/DSO and RO/ARO Verification Period. All SEVP-certified schools and Department of State (DoS)-designated sponsors must complete the PDSO/DSO and RO/ARO Annual Verification by March 2, YYYY.

As a federal database, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is subject to the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). FISMA requires the annual review and verification that all users who access federal systems 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 every PDSO, designated school official (DSO), RO and alternate responsible officer (ARO) who has access to SEVIS:

  1. Is still employed by the organization and continues to be the nominated PDSO, DSO, RO or ARO.
  2. Requires continued access to SEVIS.

The verification period began on December 2nd and will end March 2, YYYY.

If your institution does not have a PDSO/RO or if your PDSO/RO will not be available during the verification period, begin the process of designating another individual to act in the capacity of a PDSO or RO. Call the SEVIS Help Desk (1-800-892-4829) for assistance, if needed.

Additional information and resources on the annual verification process is available on Study in the States (https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sevis-help-hub/update-records/manage-school-records/pdsodso-annual-verification).

  • 45 and 10 Days Before Deadline:
    For Schools
Subject: PDSO/DSO Annual Verification <45 or 10> Day Count Down

Text:

PDSO/DSO Annual Verification <45 or 10> Day Count Down

This email serves as a reminder that <45 or 10> days remain in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Annual PDSO/DSO Verification Period. All SEVP-certified schools must complete the Annual Verification by March 2, YYYY.

As a federal database, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is subject to the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). FISMA requires the annual review and verification that all users who access federal systems have both the business need and the authorization to access the system. To comply with FISMA, principal designated school officials (PDSOs) must annually verify that every PDSO and designated school official (DSO) who has access to SEVIS:

  1. Is still employed by the organization and continues to be the nominated PDSO or DSO.
  2. Requires continued access to SEVIS.

This verification period began December 2, YYYY and will end March 2, YYYY.

Note: The PDSO must log in to SEVIS in order to see the verification prompts.

  • If you remember your user ID but have forgotten your password, please click Request Password Reset on the SEVIS Login page.
  • If you have forgotten both your user ID and your password, please contact the SEVIS Help Desk at 800-892-4829, for a user ID and password reset.
    Important: Consequences of not Verifying by March 2nd
  • DSOs at schools with any unverified officials lose access to SEVIS
  • Batch access is lost
  • The only further action PDSOs can take is to verify their DSOs.
  • School is considered out of compliance with reporting requirements and may receive a Remedial Action Plan
  • For Programs
Subject: RO/ARO Annual Verification <45 or 10> Day Count Down

Text:

RO/ARO Annual Verification <45 or 10> Day Count Down

This email serves as a reminder that <45 or 10> days remain in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Annual RO/ARO Verification Period. All program sponsors complete the RO/ARO Annual Verification by March 2, YYYY.

As a federal database, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is subject to the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). FISMA requires the annual review and verification that all users who access federal systems have both the business need and the authorization to access the system. To comply with FISMA, responsible officers (ROs) must annually verify that every RO and alternate responsible officer (ARO) who has access to SEVIS:

  1. Is still employed by the organization and continues to be the nominated RO or ARO.
  2. Requires continued access to SEVIS.

This verification period began Dec. 2, YYYY and will end March 2, YYYY.

Note: The RO must log in to SEVIS in order to see the verification prompts.

  • If you remember your user ID but have forgotten your password, please click Request Password Reset on the SEVIS Login page.
  • If you have forgotten both your user ID and your password, please contact the SEVIS Help Desk at 800-892-4829, for a user ID and password reset.
    Important: Consequences of not Verifying by March 2nd
  • AROs at sponsors with any unverified officials lose access to SEVIS
  • Batch access is lost
  • The only further action ROs can take is to verify their AROs
  • 30 and 15 Days Before Deadline:
Subject: RE: Take Action to Maintain SEVIS Access.
Text: *** DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL ***
 
This is a reminder from SEVP. The PDSO must log into SEVIS and verify that all DSO(s) still require access to SEVIS and remain employed by your school.
 
Users not verified by 03/02/<year> will be locked out of SEVIS. For batch schools, this could affect the ability to submit batch updates.
  • 5 Days Before Deadline:
     
Subject:RE: CRITICAL -- Take Action to Maintain SEVIS Access.
Text:*** DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL ***
 
This is a reminder from SEVP. The PDSO for campus: <name of campus> must log into SEVIS and verify that all DSO(s) listed for your campus still require access to SEVIS and remain employed by your school.
 
Users not verified by 03/02/<year> will be locked out of SEVIS. For batch schools, this could impact the ability to submit batch updates.
If locked out, regaining SEVIS access will require evidence of continuing employment and need for access to SEVIS.
  • 1 Day After Deadline: 
     
Subject: RE Verification Deadline - SEVIS DSO Access Blocked.
Text: *** DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL ***
 
The purpose of this email is to inform you that you no longer have access to <name of campus> because a PDSO associated with that school has not verified your information in the SEVIS system. If you need continued access to the school, please contact the PDSO of your campus to inform them that you no longer have access to SEVIS. The PDSO must verify all school users.
 
Please do not contact the SEVP Response Center regarding this matter unless your PDSO is unavailable.

Broadcast Messages

SEVP will send two broadcast messages to schools:

  • Thirty days before the verification period starts
  • One day before the verification

Icon Guide

See the SEVIS Help Icons on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.