Form I-17 - Recertification
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will notify certified schools every two years from the date of their initial certification or last certification expiration date (CED) to apply for recertification to ensure they have:
- Remained eligible for certification.
- Complied with all recordkeeping, retention, reporting, and other requirements, in accordance with the regulations.
The certification expiration date (CED) is the date by which the school must apply for recertification. SEVIS assigns the CED based on when your received initial certification or last recertification approval.
180 days before a school’s CED, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) notifies designated school officials (DSOs) that the school is eligible to apply for recertification.
DSOs should keep their email address up-to-date to ensure they do not miss any important notices
School officials must be familiar with the federal regulations and policies, which govern schools that sponsor international students for F-1 or M-1 status. These regulations detail the school’s:
- Responsibilities for managing their programs.
- Legal reporting requirements.
The following resources provide useful information to guide you through the recertification process:
Resources on ICE.gov:
Articles on Study in the States:
To submit for recertification, principal designated school officials (PDSOs) at the main instructional site must:
- Pay the recertification filing fee
- Log in to SEVIS to apply for recertification from the School Information page.
- Edit the Form I-17 to reflect any changes to the petition
Note: Schools must submit a petition update to change ownership or any instructional site. SEVP will cancel any recertification filing that includes edits to this information.
- Upload a complete recertification package through SEVIS to SEVP at the same time you apply for recertification.
- If you need to make edits to ownership information or to an instructional site, submit a petition update prior to applying for recertification.
- If your school has a petition update pending, the PDSO will not be able to apply for recertification in SEVIS.
- For more information about uploading evidence in SEVIS, see the Upload Evidence: Form I-17 article on the SEVIS Help Hub.
SEVIS reminds the DSOs of their school’s recertification deadline in three ways:
SEVIS sends several email notifications to school officials, informing them of the need to apply for recertification. Emails are sent at 180, 90, and 30 days before the filing deadline. SEVP sends the emails to all the school’s DSO-email addresses that are listed in SEVIS.
DSOs should keep their email address up-to-date to ensure they do not miss any important notices
Notice Upon Login
180 days before a school’s certification expiration date, SEVIS displays a recertification notice upon login. All DSOs at the school see this message.
Flag on the Listing of Schools Pages
SEVIS displays a star icon next to the name of the school that must apply for recertification.
Failure to Submit a Complete Petition
SEVP will serve a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) to the school 30 days prior to a school's certification expiration date. If the school does not petition for recertification, abandons its petition, or does not submit a complete recertification petition package by the certification expiration date, SEVP will immediately withdraw the school’s certification.
8 CFR 214.4(a)(3) details the criteria for automatic withdrawal.
Effective June 24, 2019, there is a $1,250.00 fee associated with submitting for recertification. You must upload proof of payment at the time you submit your petition for recertification.
For details on fee amounts and how to pay the fee, refer to the Form I 17 – Pay Fees article.
Apply for Recertification
To start the recertification application, navigate to the School Information page.
1. Click the Apply for Recertification link. The Recertification Electronic Attestation page opens.
- Only PDSOs can submit the recertification application and will see the Apply for Recertification link.
- If you want to submit a recertification with edits:
- You must click the Apply for Recertification link.
- Do NOT click the Update School Information link. You can update most fields on the Form I 17 while the recertification is pending.
2. Click Cancel or Continue:
- Cancel – Returns you to the School Information page without filing the recertification petition.
- Continue – Opens the Form I-17 petition for edits. The Edit School Information: Contact Information page opens.
Note: Click Continue even if you do not need to make any edits to the petition.
3. Make any necessary edits on the Form I-17. When finished, or if there are no changes, click Submit from the left navigation pane. The Submit page opens.
4. Click View Edits to open a review page that displays the changes you made to the Form I-17. Click Close when finished viewing.
5. Ensure all supporting documentation is ready to upload. If the petition update requires a signed Form I-17, click Print Petition at the bottom of this page, and collect the required signatures.
Note: If the petitioner does not print the form before leaving this page, schools will be unable to upload a signed Form-I-17. If the school needs to gather more supporting documentation, use the left navigation pane to return to the form and save the petition as a draft.
6. Complete the PDSO Attestation and enter your SEVIS password to sign the recertification petition.
7. Click Continue only when the school is ready to submit the petition along with ALL required supporting documentation. The Upload Evidence: Form I-17 page opens.
Note: Ensure that your school is ready to submit all evidence before you click Continue. If the school is not ready to provide evidence once they reach the Upload Evidence page, the only option will be to cancel the recertification petition and begin the process again.
Upload Complete Recertification Package
Completing the petition is the first step.
You must upload a complete recertification package in SEVIS. A complete recertification package includes:
- Signed Form I-17, which requires signatures on the Form I-17-A Record of Designated School Officials
Note: The PDSO, all designated school officials, and the president, owner, or head of school must sign the Form I-17.
- Payment Tracking ID from pay.gov for proof of payment of the recertification filing fee.
- Additional required evidence based on your school type and accreditations.
- Evidence supporting any petition edits made during recertification.
- Click Upload Evidence.
- Click Browse to select a file. Select an Evidence Type from the drop down list.
Remember to upload proof you have paid the $1,250.00 recertification filing fee.
3. Click Upload to send the file to SEVP. Click Cancel to cancel upload.
Note: Once a user uploads a document, the user cannot remove it.
- Repeat steps 2-3 until you provide all documentation.
- Click Submit Petition to certify that all evidence has been uploaded. A message displays confirming the completion of the process.
- Click OK to return to the School Information page.
- If the PDSO is not ready to provide evidence at this time, click Cancel Petition to cancel the recertification petition.
Note: PDSOs must provide the complete recertification package at the same time as they apply for recertification in SEVIS. School officials must ensure that all required documentation is ready at the time of filing.
For more information about uploading evidence, read the Form I-17: Upload Evidence article on the SEVIS Help Hub.
Form I-17 Required Signatures
The PDSO, all DSOs, and the head of school must sign where appropriate.
President, Owner, or Head of School Certification and Signature Page
DSO’s Form I-17-A Record of Designated School Officials Page
Additional Required Documents for Non-Accredited Schools
If your school does not hold accreditation by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency or an SEVP-identified accrediting agency, you must submit additional evidence based on your school type. Refer to the Additional Evidence Guide to determine what evidence you should submit. Include this evidence with the signed Form I-17.
SEVP Review for Completeness
SEVP will review your submission for completeness.
- If you correctly submit a complete recertification package, you will receive a Notice of Confirmation of Complete Filing within two or three days of submission. This notice informs you the petition is in the queue for review and adjudication.
- If there are errors, you will receive a Notice of Rejection of Complete Filing within two or three days. This notice states the errors in your package and requests that you make changes and resubmit. SEVP recommends that you correct any errors and submit a new package as soon as possible.
- If you have submitted a recertification package and not received either a notice of confirmation or rejection, email email@example.com.
If your school has received a recertification notification or has submitted for recertification and wants to voluntarily withdraw certification, submit a withdrawal letter on the school’s letterhead stationery to SEVP. The school’s president or owner and the PDSO must sign the withdrawal letter. Send the letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your school can continue to operate while adjudication is pending.
Request for Evidence
If the adjudicator requires additional information, you will receive a request for evidence (RFE). RFEs describe what you need to do. You will have 15 days to respond to the request. Failure to respond to a Request for Evidence may result in the denial of your school’s recertification petition.
RFEs have a strict response deadline. SEVP will deny your petition, if you do not respond to the RFE by the deadline.
If no additional evidence is needed, SEVP will notify you of its decision.