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Form I-17 - Recertification

Last updated 14-May-2018

Overview

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 file for recertification to ensure they have:

  • Remained eligible for certification.
  • Complied with all recordkeeping, retention, reporting, and other requirements, in accordance with the regulations.

Certification Expiration Date

The certification expiration date is the date by which the school must apply for recertification. SEVIS assigns the certification expiration date based on when your received initial certification or last recertification approval.

180 days before a school’s certification expiration date (CED), the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) notifies designated school officials (DSOs) that the school is eligible to apply for recertification.

Icon - Pay attention to an important point DSOs should keep their email address up-to-date to ensure they do not miss any important notices

Resources

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:

Information icon Regulations:

Information icon Resources on ICE.gov:

Articles on Study in the States:

General Process

To file for recertification, principal designated school officials (PDSOs) at the main instructional site must:

  • 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 file a petition update in order 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.

Information icon 

  • If you need to make edits to the 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.

Electronic Notifications

SEVIS reminds the DSOs of their school’s recertification deadline in three ways:

Email Notices

SEVIS sends several email notifications to school officials, informing them of the need to file for recertification. Emails are sent at 180, 90, and 30 days before the filing deadline. SEVP sends the emails to all of the school’s DSO-email addresses that are listed in SEVIS.

Information icon 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 page

SEVIS displays a star () icon next to the name of the school that must apply for recertification.

Failure to File 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.

Information icon8 CFR 214.4(a)(3) details the criteria for automatic withdrawal.

General Process

To file for recertification, principal designated school officials (PDSOs) at the main instructional site must:

  • 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 file a petition update in order 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.

Icon - Pay attention to an important point 

  • 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.

Electronic Notifications

SEVIS reminds the DSOs of their school’s recertification deadline in three ways:

Email Notices

SEVIS sends several email notifications to school officials, informing them of the need to file for recertification. Emails are sent at 180, 90, and 30 days before the filing deadline. SEVP sends the emails to all of the school’s DSO-email addresses that are listed in SEVIS.

Icon - Pay attention to an important point 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.

Recertification application notice upon login

Flag on the Listing of Schools Pages

SEVIS displays a star icon next to the name of the school that must apply for recertification.

SEVIS displays a star icon next to the name of the school that must apply for recertification.

Failure to File 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.

Icon - Regulatory or policy resources8 CFR 214.4(a)(3) details the criteria for automatic withdrawal.

Recertification Process

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

Information icon Only PDSOs are able to submit the recertification application and will see the Apply for Recertification link.

recertification page screenshot

  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.

 

Icon - Additional information is available For more information about updating the Form I-17 petition, read the Form I-17 Petion Update Overview article on the SEVIS Help Hub.

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.

  • Additional required evidence based on your school type and accreditations.
  • Evidence supporting any petition edits made during recertification

  1. Click Upload Evidence.
  2. Click Browse to select a file. Select an Evidence Type from the drop down list.
  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. 

  1. 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.

Icon - Additional information is availableFor more information about uploading evidence, read the Form I-17: Upload Evidence article on the SEVIS Help Hub.

 

Form I-17 Required Signatures

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 sevp@ice.dhs.gov

Voluntary Withdrawals

If your school has received a recertification notification or has filed 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 sevp@ice.dhs.gov

 

Next Steps

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.

time sensitive iconRFEs have a strict response deadline. SEVP will deny your petition, if you do not respond to the RFE by the deadline.

Adjudication

If no additional evidence is needed, SEVP will notify you of its decision.

Icon Guide

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