Student and Exchange Visitor Program

A Brief History of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)

SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F (academic) and M (vocational) visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.

SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.

SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A Brief History of SEVIS

SEVIS came online in the summer of 2002. It converted what was a complicated manual procedure into a centralized, web-based, automated process. SEVIS improves data collection and reporting, enhances customer service, facilitates compliance with regulations and helps ICE better monitor school and exchange programs.

SEVIS grew from a pilot program known as the Coordinated Interagency Partnership Regulating International Students (CIPRIS). The former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) developed CIPRIS in partnership with the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (formerly the United States Information Agency), the Department of Education and members of the educational and exchange program community. This multiagency effort then incorporated information obtained from the CIPRIS pilot program into what we know today as SEVIS.

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