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The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the web-based system that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information regarding:

On behalf of DHS, SEVP manages SEVIS. The system is a critical tool in SEVP’s mission to protect national security while supporting the legal entry and stay of the more than one million F, M and J nonimmigrants coming to the United States for educational and cultural exchange programs.


SEVP-Certified Schools and SEVIS


U.S. schools apply for SEVP certification by using SEVIS to submit their initial Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student.” If SEVP accepts the school’s Form I-17 and grants it certification, the school may begin using SEVIS to issue Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” to nonimmigrant F and M students and their accompanying dependents.

Once certified, principal designated school officials use SEVIS to update their school’s Form I-17 and apply for SEVP recertification every two years. Additionally, designated school officials at SEVP-certified schools use SEVIS to:

  • Fulfill the school’s legal reporting responsibility regarding student addresses, courses of study, enrollment, employment and compliance with the terms of F and M student status.
  • Transfer F and M student SEVIS records to other institutions.

School officials can find SEVIS resources, including step-by-step guides, video demonstrations and updates about SEVIS enhancements and webinars, on the SEVIS Help Hub.


Exchange Visitor Programs and SEVIS


Exchange Visitor programs use SEVIS to petition the U.S. Department of State for designation that allows the sponsor to offer educational and cultural exchange programs to exchange visitors. Responsible officers (ROs) of designated Exchange Visitor Programs use SEVIS to:

  • Update sponsor information and apply for re-designation every two years.
  • Issue Forms DS-2019, “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status,” to nonimmigrants to obtain J status.
  • Fulfill the sponsor’s legal reporting responsibility regarding exchange visitor addresses, sites of activity, program participation, employment and compliance with the terms of J status.
  • Transfer exchange visitor SEVIS records to other institutions.

ROs and alternate responsible officers can find more information about how SEVIS relates to their responsibilities by visiting the U.S. Department of State’s website.

For more information about SEVIS, including its history and specific guidance for federal SEVIS users, please visit

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