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Trends and Improvements

The Trends and Improvements section of Study in the States is the central repository for tracking and monitoring the government’s progress on feedback received from the international student community.

This section aims to increase transparency by providing the most up-to-date information about the government’s response to stakeholders’ feedback. Within this section, we categorize each piece of feedback into four topic areas:

  • School Certification: Topics relate to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) School Certification Life Cycle and Form I-17, "Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student," updates.
  • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS): Topics relate to SEVIS functionality and enhancements.
  • Policy: Topics relate to clarifying SEVP's interpretation of federal regulations and guidance for school and student compliance.
  • Customer Service and Outreach: Topics relate to improving the government's direct interaction with stakeholders via the SEVP field representatives, SEVP Response Center, Study in the States and other outreach platforms.

Each piece of feedback includes a description of the concern, the government’s response and any action taken to address the concern, along with any related content available on Study in the States, ICE.gov/SEVP or other government websites.

We will update the Trends and Improvements section regularly to reflect progress made on identified issues and to include any new feedback the government receives. To explore this section, you can filter the below feedback by the categories listed above.

Recently Updated

SEVIS
Last Updated: February 2019
International students must notify their school’s designated school official (DSO) within 10 days of any changes to their personal or employment information.
Policy
Last Updated: January 2019
As the trend toward nontraditional, dynamic educational programs continues, stakeholders recognize the need to address innovative shifts to the way programs are structured in higher education. However, they suggest that SEVP provide guidance that accommodates and facilitates modern and innovative educational programs.
School Certification
Last Updated: August 2018
Stakeholders note that long processing delays for Form I-17 updates can affect a school’s ability to properly function and serve students. SEVP made reducing processing times for adjudicating PDSO and DSO updates on the Form I-17 a top priority.
School Certification
Last Updated: May 2018
Stakeholders requested that SEVP improve and provide greater transparency about the Form I-17 process.
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Customer Service and Outreach
Last Updated: September 2017
Stakeholders note areas of improvement for SEVP field representatives, specifically requesting a more strategic approach to visiting SEVP-certified schools and more consistent training across the board.
Policy
Last Updated: October 2016
As the demand for experiential learning increases, stakeholders request clearer federal guidance to facilitate curricular practical training (CPT) in accordance with the existing regulations.
Policy
Last Updated: October 2016
Stakeholders ask that SEVP develop and release guidance that addresses recent advances in education and nontraditional programs, namely for secondary postgraduate year programs, commonly referred to as Grade 13.
Policy
Last Updated: October 2016
Stakeholders note concerns regarding when a new student requests to transfer to another school or program prior to the program start date or soon after beginning a program of study.
School Certification
Last Updated: August 2018
Stakeholders note that long processing delays for Form I-17 updates can affect a school’s ability to properly function and serve students. SEVP made reducing processing times for adjudicating PDSO and DSO updates on the Form I-17 a top priority.
Policy
Last Updated: October 2016
Stakeholders request a longer time period for international students to submit optional practical training applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after issuance of the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”
Policy
Last Updated: October 2016
Stakeholders express concern over the lack of F-3 regulations for border-commuting students, noting that students are reportedly admitted into the United States on F-3 visas. 
Policy
Last Updated: October 2016
After the regulatory change, “Adjustments to Limitations on Designated School Official Assignment and Part-time Study by F-2 and M-2 Nonimmigrants,” stakeholders requested more specific guidance on the F-2 study requirements.

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Questions?

For general and case-specific questions, call 703-603-3400 or email SEVP@ice.dhs.gov and include Trends and Improvements in the subject line. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, except holidays.