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Address Standards

Last updated 19-Sep-2019


The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) uses a U.S. Postal Service (USPS)-certified software product to ensure all U.S. addresses in the system are valid.

SEVIS Address Fields

The SEVIS Address entry modal has five fields: Street Address, Other, City, State, and Zip; with only the Street Address and Zip fields being required. The fields are described in the following table:

U.S. Address Field Name Description
Street Address*

* Required field

  • SEVIS validates field text for a valid street name within the Zip Code area
  • Add any apartment or suite numbers in the Street Address field
  • Follows USPS street and secondary unit abbreviations
  • 64-character limit
  • SEVIS does not validate Other field text
  • Allows university names, residence names, hotel names, room numbers, PO Box numbers, or any non-standard address designations
  • 64-character limit
Note: If the Street Address is accepted, the Other field text never rejects.
  • SEVIS validates field text for a valid city name
  • SEVIS validates field text for a valid U.S. state or possession name
  • Follows USPS states and possessions abbreviations
Note: The State field is a drop-down list selection.
* Required field
  • Zip code must be five digits
Note: SEVIS will automatically add the plus four zip routing number, where available.
  • If the zip code is incorrect, the address will be considered invalid, even if all the other address fields are correct.

Icon - Pay attention to an important point

  • Only street address and zip code are required.
  • SEVIS will not validate Foreign Address fields.

SEVIS Address Entry

Users can add and edit a U.S. addresses on these pages:
  • Initial Registration
  • Registration
  • Create New Student
  • Update Personal Information
  • Student Reinstatement
  • Form I-17: Contact Information
After a user enters an address in the Address modal, SEVIS uses its address check software to verify if the address is valid. If the address is valid, the address will display in the U.S. Address section of the Student Information page.
If the address is not valid, SEVIS will suggest an address. The user may:
  • Choose the suggested address.
  • Return to edit the address.
  • Use the address as entered and provide a reason. (A valid city, state, and zip code are required.)
  • Cancel the entry.
The “Other” field can be used for school residences or other places with non-standard U.S. addresses. For example, for a school residence, enter the school name, residence hall, and room number in the "Other" field. (Example: Book University, Random Hall, Room 215.)

Adding SEVIS Address

To add a student’s U.S. address in SEVIS: (We will use the SEVIS Initial Student Registration process as an example.)

1. Go to the Registration: Initial Student page.

Screen shot of Registration page with the Add Address hyperlink for U.S. addresses circled.

2. Click Add Address under the U.S. Address section of the Registration page. The Add Address modal opens.

Add Address modal with Student Address added in and Submit button called out.

3. Enter the student’s address in the Add Address modal.
Icon - Pay attention to an important point Text may be upper or lower case. Numbers in a street address should always be entered numerically. For example: One Nassau Place should be entered 1 Nassau Place.
Icon - Pay attention to an important point Use the Other field to add campus residence information or other special location information.
4. Click Submit. The Add Address selection modal opens.  
a. If the address is recognized, the DSO will have the option to select the Suggested Address (default Address Doctor address format) or override the suggested address for the originally Entered Address.
  • Select: Accepts the SEVIS Suggested Address (default address).
  • Over-ride Suggested Address: Allows the DSO to choose the originally entered address.
  • Edit Address: Allows the DSO to change the address.

Note: The Over-ride Suggested Address link will only be available for addresses with a valid City, State, and Zip code.

Once the address is selected and the student record is updated, the address displays in the U.S. Address section of the Student Information page.

Student Record page with Edit Address called out on the added address.

b. If the zip code or street address was not entered, an error message displays, “The zip code is required as part of the address.” The DSO must either Cancel the address or enter the Zip code and click Submit.

b. If the zip code or street address was not entered, an error message displays, “The zip code is required as part of the address.” The DSO must either Cancel the address or enter the Zip code and click Submit.

c. If the address is not accepted and SEVIS does not suggest an address, it is because the address could not be found. SEVIS displays an Edit Address modal. Options include:

Edit Address modal with address could not be found error called out.

  • Cancel: Allows the DSO to cancel this Edit Address attempt and return to the Registration page.
  • Submit: Allows the DSO to edit the City, State or Zip fields.
  • Over-ride Validation: Allows the DSO to maintain the entered address.
Note: The Over-ride Validation link will only be available for addresses with a valid City, State, and Zip code.
d. When choosing Over-ride Validation, the DSO must select a reason from the Reason for using address as entered drop-down list: 
Edit Address modal with Over-ride Address reason drop-down list displayed.
  • New address, mailing
  • New address, physical location
  • On-campus business address
  • On-campus housing address
  • On-campus mailing address
  • Other: If Other is selected, enter the reason in the Explanation field for over riding the address validation with between 5 and 200 characters.

5. Click Submit.

6. Click Update Information at the bottom of the page to complete updating the nonimmigrant’s address. 

Campus Addresses

Some campus addresses may not be recognized by the SEVIS address check software. Many large schools have their own zip code. The zip code is associated with a specific street address or set of addresses. Typically, this is the main mailing address for the school, the president’s office, or the emergency address used in the 911 system. If one of those “official” street addresses is not entered, the address is not recognized. Campus addresses validate if entered in the following format:

Official street address
Residence hall name and number
City, State Zip code
2131 Frist Center
123 Scully Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
3700 O Street
Georgetown Univ., 123 Kennedy Hall, Box 550077
Washington, DC 20057
negative consequenceSince the Other field does not validate, the school name, the residence hall address, and the mail box can be entered here.
negative consequence To find the U.S. Postal Service’s address for your school:
1. Go to the USPS web site.
2. Click Quick Tools.
3. Click Look Up a Zip Code. The Zip Code look up tool displays.
4. Click Find By Address.
5. Enter:
a. School name
b. Street address that you have
c. City
d. State
6. Click Find.


Address Status and Type in Student Records

Once a U.S. address is entered in a student SEVIS record, it will appear on the Student Information screen. The address status and type that are displayed in the Address Status field help to classify the address.

Student Information page with Address Status and Type called out.

Address Status

The address status indicates whether the address was recognized immediately by SEVIS as an existing, valid address or if a DSO had to override the default address to enter it. 

Address Status Explanation
  • SEVIS verified the address upon initial entry.


  • Campus business address
  • Campus housing address
  • Campus mailing address
  • New address, mailing
  • New address, physical location
  • Other (When selected, the DSO must enter an override explanation between 5 and 200 characters in length.)
  • DSO requested an override of the SEVIS address. This confirms that the address is valid based on the chosen reason.
Un-validated; no override
  • Address was entered during an outage of the SEVIS address check and must be validated later.

Address Type

The Address Type indicates the type of mail receiving facility or dwelling to which the address belongs.

Address Type Definition
B Mailbox at a building
F Mailbox at a company or firm
G General delivery address
H High-rise default address
L Mailbox at a large volume receiver
M Military address
P Post office box in the address
R Rural route mailbox
S Mailbox at a street address


Icon Guide

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