Regulations require Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified institutions to report any changes to the Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student.” SEVP-certified institutions are required to keep all Form I-17 sections up to date in order to ensure the Form I-17 reflects the institution’s current operating status.
Any changes to the information on the Form I-17 or the program of study listed on it require an update to the form within 21 days of the change. Failure to follow this regulation may result in withdrawal of a school’s SEVP certification. SEVP recommends that designated school officials (DSOs) review the institution’s Form I-17 on a regular basis to ensure it reflects the school’s most up-to-date information.
Please note that school officials’ email addresses in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) must be current in order to receive proper adjudication notifications and any requests for evidence (RFEs).
Process for Updating the Form I-17
Principal designated school officials (PDSOs) at an institution with a Form I-17 that does not match the institution’s current operating status must update the petition in SEVIS within 21 days of the change(s). Below is a brief outline of the process for updating the Form I-17.
- An update to the school’s Form I-17 requires editing the currently approved Form I-17 in SEVIS.
- If an update requires supporting evidence, school officials also must upload the evidence required for adjudication at the same time they submit their updates in SEVIS.
- The evidence a school needs to provide to SEVP depends on accreditation status and the type of program offered by the school. If a school fails to upload evidence at the same time it submits the update in SEVIS, SEVP may cancel the request and ask that the school resubmit the request with the required evidence.
- SEVP may ask your school to provide additional evidence for adjudication through an RFE notice that will be sent via a SEVIS-generated email.
- Unless specifically requested by SEVP, please submit updates and supporting documentation electronically. Submission of Forms I-17 or supporting documentation by other than specified electronic means delays adjudication and complicates record keeping.
- SEVP will use SEVIS to send a notification regarding the adjudication decision.
- A complete list of fields that require adjudication upon updating.
- Guides detailing what the minimum evidence required is for each update submitted for adjudication.
- Instructions for how schools must electronically submit this evidence.
- Applicable fees.
Updating a Locked Form I-17 While Pending an Update Adjudication
Once a Form I-17 petition update is submitted in SEVIS, the petition is then locked for most edits while pending adjudication. If the petition is locked and a material change occurs, the school should report these changes by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their school name, school code, a brief explanation of what they are requesting to do and any accompanying evidence they may have supporting their request.
However, if a school is updating PDSO or DSO information and has a locked petition, then they must send an email to FormI17SupportingEvidence@ice.dhs.gov. The email should include an attached letter signed by the current PDSO or by the head of school, if the current PDSO is unavailable. The letter should be on your school’s official letterhead and should include the following information about all new PDSOs or DSOs:
- Position title.
- School address.
- School code.
- Work address.
- Office telephone number.
- Email address.
- Existing SEVIS user name, if known.
- Reason the current PDSO is unable to submit the update in SEVIS.
- Role assignment (PDSO or DSO) for each campus the school official will serve, including campus address.
Note: If you are assigning a new PDSO, add information about whether the outgoing PDSO will be removed from the Form I-17 or reassigned as a DSO.
For more information about what supporting evidence you must include, download and print the DSO Update Process Fact Sheet.
Notes on Processing Time
- SEVP adjudicators review updates and evidence for approval or denial in the order in which they are received.
- Processing times for updates vary depending on the type of submitted update.