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Cancel SEVIS Record in Initial Status

Last updated 18-May-2018

General Information

When a student in Initial status decides not to study at your school, the designated school official (DSO) must cancel the student’s SEVIS record to:

  • Help insure school compliance.
  • Prevent the student from using your school’s Form I-20 to enter the country later.

You should cancel the student’s SEVIS record within 30 days of the Initial Session Start Date if:

  • Student will not attend the school.
  • Student has not entered the United States using the Form I-20 your school issued.

Icon - Pay attention to an important point 

  • If a school fails to meet the reporting deadline, SEVIS will automatically cancel any initial records without port of entry data 60 days after the record’s Program Start Date.

  • Any SEVIS I-901 fee payments linked to a canceled Form I-20 can be moved to another form using the I-901 Fee Transfer process.

  • If the student has used your school’s Form I-20 to enter the United States and plans to:

    • Transfer to another SEVP-certified school, you should initiate a student transfer.

    • Note: See the SEVIS Help Hub article Initiate Transfer for Students in Initial Status.

    • Depart the United States immediately, you should register the SEVIS record and terminate the student for authorized early withdrawal.

This article explains how to cancel a SEVIS record in Initial status.

Icon - Regulatory or policy resources For relevant federal regulations and additional information, see:

Cancel SEVIS Record

To cancel a SEVIS record in Initial status:

1. Search SEVIS to find and open the student record. (For search options, see Nonimmigrant Search article on the SEVIS Help Hub.)

2. Navigate to the Student Information page.

Student information page with Cancel Student function in red.

3. Click Cancel Student. The Cancel Student page opens. 

4. Select the reason for cancelation from the Cancelation Reason drop-down menu (required). Options include:

  • Offer withdrawn
  • Record created in error
  • Student arrived under different SEVIS ID
  • Student not attending
  • Student registered under different SEVIS ID
  • Visa issued for different SEVIS ID

5. Enter any relevant information regarding the cancelation in the Remarks field.

6. Click one of the following:

  • Cancel: Cancels the action and returns to the Student Information page.
  • Reset Values: Clears all fields.
  • Cancel Student: Cancels the SEVIS record. Opens the Update Successful page.

7. Click Return to View Record to return to the Student Information page. The record status is now canceled.

Correcting Cancelation

To correct a student record canceled in error:

  • PDSOs can return a canceled record to Initial status within 15 days of the record cancelation. (See the SEVIS Help Hub article, PDSO Record Correction.)

  • DSOs can submit a correction Change to Student Status

  • For more complicated data fixes, the DSO can submit a SEVIS Help Ticket (Data Fix) by emailing ( or calling the SEVIS Response Center (SRC) at 1-800-892-4829.

Icon Guide

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