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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, 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

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.
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.
Filter Catalog By:
Last Updated: October 2016
Stakeholders note that reduced course load regulations should recognize the additional professionals that consult with students about health-related issues, allow for long-term conditions and disabilities, and provide designated school officials greater discretion in authorizing a reduced course load for students.
School Certification
Last Updated: October 2016
Stakeholders note that SEVP denied some, but not all, Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” updates filed by schools to add a new instructional program. Stakeholders reported that SEVP cited the program’s future start date as a cause for denial.
Last Updated: November 2017
SEVP stakeholders continue to express interest in further clarification from SEVP on guidance for pathway programs.
Last Updated: October 2016
Stakeholders note the temporary absence process could be more efficient for students, schools and SEVP. The process, they explain, adversely impacts students that travel abroad, often to further their education in the United States.
Customer Service and Outreach
Last Updated: August 2017
Stakeholders identified more consistent information from the SEVP Response Center as an area for program improvement.  



For general and case-specific questions, call 703-603-3400 or email 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.