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SEVIS Releases before June 2015


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SEVIS Releases before June 2015

Last updated: March 31, 2020

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The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on F and M students in the United States and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools that enroll them. SEVIS also maintains information on Department of State designated exchange visitor program sponsors and J-1 visa exchange visitor program participants. SEVIS is a critical tool in our mission to protect national security while supporting the legal entry of the more than one million F, M and J nonimmigrants to the United States for education and cultural exchange.

For F and M nonimmigrants, SEVIS is used to:

  • Petition SEVP for certification that allows the school to offer programs of study to nonimmigrant students
  • Update school information and apply for recertification of the school for continued ability to issue Certificates of Eligibility (Forms I–20) to nonimmigrant students and their dependents
  • Issue Forms I–20 to specific individuals used by nonimmigrants to obtain F or M status while enrolled at the school
  • Fulfill the school’s legal reporting responsibility regarding the student’s address, course of study, enrollment, employment, and compliance with the terms of the student status
  • Transfer the student SEVIS record to another institution

For J nonimmigrants, SEVIS is used to:

  • Petition the Department of State for designation that allows the sponsor to offer educational and cultural exchange programs to exchange visitors
  • Update sponsor information and apply for redesignation every two years
  • Issue Forms DS–2019 to specific individuals to obtain J status
  • Fulfill the sponsor’s legal reporting responsibility regarding the exchange visitors address, site of activity, program participation, employment, and compliance with the terms of the J status
  • Transfer the exchange visitor’s SEVIS record to another institution


SEVP is improving SEVIS to make it a more effective and efficient system for users. In the coming months, users can look forward to the following SEVIS enhancements:.

  • Improved system performance and peak time responsiveness for school and program users
  • Standardized information requirements for enhanced searching, reporting, and data matching, allowing schools and programs to generate reports from SEVIS on their F, M and J nonimmigrants and print the information as a PDF or export it to an Excel file
  • Address validation that will provide consistency and accuracy and ensure U.S. addresses are complete and real
  • Improved ways to identify and correct incorrect data in SEVIS and eliminate duplicate records

Implementation Date: 6/26/2015

SEVIS Release 6.21 represents the largest update to SEVIS in recent years. SEVIS will be down for a minimum of 48 hours while the release is deployed.

Anticipated Outage: 8 p.m. EDT Friday, June 26, 2015 to 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 28

Refer to the Release Planning Guide (revised 5/21/15) for more details on the release and its effect on other government systems as well as batch processing.

The release contains the following:

  • SEVIS name standardization which introduces new name fields to SEVIS and imposes a strict set of character limits on certain name fields,
  • Email address standardization,
  • Student and Exchange Visitor U.S. address conversion and validation,
  • Revised Form I-20 (F-1),
  • Revised Form DS-2019 (J-1),
  • Mass Reprint Request functionality that allows school and sponsor officials to reprint forms for multiple nonimmigrants,
  • SEVIS Downloads page where school and sponsor officials can download reports on nonimmigrants whose names or addresses were changed during the conversion. They can also access the forms generated through a mass reprint request,
  • Improved Search functionality to search on all SEVIS name fields, and
  • Form DS-7002 (Trainee/Intern Placement Plan) (J SEVIS only).

Release Resources

  • SEVIS Downloads/Form I-20 Mass Reprint User Guide (resource outdated)
  • J SEVIS New Look and Feel Demo (resource outdated)
  • J SEVIS New Look and Feel Script (resource outdated)
  • Training/Internship Placement Plan Demo (resource outdated)
  • Training/Internship Placement Plan Script (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Addresses User Guide (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Nonimmigrant Search User Guide (resource outdated)
  • Demo: F/M Nonimmigrant Search (resource outdated)
  • Revised Form DS-2019 (resource outdated)
  • Release Planning Guide (revised 6/24/15) (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Name Standards User Guide (revised 8/17/2015) (resource outdated)
  • Revised Form I-20 (F-1) (resource outdated)
  • Revised Form I-20 (M-1) (resource outdated)
  • Redesigned Form I-20 Fact Sheet (resource outdated)
  • Redesigned Form I-20 FAQ (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Names and Social Security Fact Sheet (resource outdated)
  • Demo: SEVIS Name Standards (resource outdated)
  • Demo: Redesigned Form I-20 (resource outdated)
  • Demo: Request Mass Reprint (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Email Standards Job Aid (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Name Standards FAQ (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Name Fields Job Aid (resource outdated)
  • FAQ on Addresses (resource outdated)
  • USPS Two-Letter State and Possession Abbreviations (resource outdated)
  • USPS Street Suffix Abbreviations and Secondary Unit Designators (resource outdated)

Note: These links have been disabled. You can find the most recent versions of these articles in the Help Hub Site Map.

Implementation Date: 4/24/2015

With SEVIS Release 6.20, DSOs and government users will be able to access a new student employment information page, which will display all employment authorizations granted for a student under a specific SEVIS ID. Information available on the employment page will include:

  • Employment type;
  • Whether the employment is full-time or part-time;
  • DSO-recommended employment start and end dates;
  • Actual start and end dates;
  • The student’s school;
  • The student’s level of study;
  • The status of the request; and
  • The receipt number, if applicable.

Release Resources

  • SEVIS Release 6.20 Pre-Release FAQ (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS F-1 Employment User Guide (More updated information is available on the Employment Overview page)

Note: These links have been disabled. You can find the most recent versions of these articles in the Help Hub Site Map.

Implementation Date: 10/31/2014

SEVIS Release 6.18 contains enhancements that implement an annual verification of school and sponsor officials who access SEVIS. The Federal Information System Management Act 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, Primary Designated School Officials and Responsible Officers must annually verify that every PDSO, Designated School Official, Responsible officer and Alternate Responsible Officer is still employed by the institution and requires access to SEVIS.

SEVIS Verification of PDSOs, DSOs, ROs, and AROS
Frequency of Verification Annually
Length of Verification Period 90 days
Verification Period December 2 to March 2
First Verification Window December 2, 2014 to March 2, 2015

Failure to verify school/sponsor officials by March 2 will result in the following:

  • DSOs at unverified schools or sponsors will lose access to SEVIS.
  • Unverified schools and sponsors will be unable to use batch processing
  • Unverified schools will be considered out of compliance with recordkeeping and reporting regulations.

Direct any questions regarding SEVIS release 6.18 to

Release Resources

  • DSO Annual Verification Guide (.pdf) (resource outdated)
  • RO ARO User Verification Quick Reference Guide (resource outdated)
  • DSO-ARO Verification FAQ (.pdf) (resource outdated)
  • DSO Update Process Fact Sheet (.pdf) (resource outdated)
  • Demo: DSO Verification (.mp4) (resource outdated)
  • October 24, 2014 Webinar Recording (resource outdated)

Note: These links have been disabled. You can find the most recent versions of these articles in the Help Hub Site Map.


Implementation Date: 8/1/2014

SEVIS Release 6.17 contains enhancements that address several concerns from a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audit surrounding Optional Practical Training (OPT). This release also lays the groundwork for several major initiatives, including the Name standardization. Release 6.17’s system enhancements include:

  • OPT will show three distinct sets of dates in SEVIS, including:
    • Principal designated school official (PDSO) and designated school official (DSO) Recommended Start and End Dates,
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-approved Start and End Dates, and
    • Actual Start and End Dates for OPT.
  • OPT status indicator will indicate if a student is actively engaged in OPT.
  • SEVIS Name Standardization Impact Report will allow school officials to see how the name standards will be implemented and provide feedback on concerns.
  • Search Result Enhancements will display more information in easy to read columns.
  • Exchange Visitor Validation Alerts will be streamlined.
  • Multiple Addresses for Exchange Visitors can include both physical and mailing addresses for J Exchange Visitors.
  • Enhance Password Security rules.

Direct any questions regarding SEVIS release 6.17 to

To view previous SEVIS enhancements, please see the SEVIS Archive page.

  • Redesigned Form I-20 FAQs (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS OPT Dates Job Aid (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Release 6.17 Final System Changes (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Names Report Job Aid – F/M (.pdf) (resource oudated)
  • SEVIS Names Report Job Aid – J (.pdf) (resource outdated)
  • Demo: SEVIS Names report (.mp4) (resource outdated)

Note: These links have been disabled. You can find the most recent versions of these articles in the Help Hub Site Map.

  • FAQ Form I-17 Accreditations and Recognitions (.pdf) (resource outdated)
  • Updating School Accreditations and Recognitions User Guide (.pdf) (resource outdated)

Note: These links have been disabled. You can find the most recent versions of these articles in the Help Hub Site Map.

  • SEVIS 2015 Roadmap Webinar FAQ (.pdf) (resource outdated)
  • History of SEVIS
  • SEVIS Way Ahead: A Message to the Academic Community (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Enhancements: Frequently Asked Questions (resource outdated)
  • SEVIS Enhancements Webinars (resource outdated)

Note: These links have been disabled. You can find the most recent versions of these articles in the Help Hub Site Map.

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