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Student and Exchange Visitor Program
04/22/2014

SEVIS updated, Release 6.16 now live

SEVP-certified schools must complete mandatory task as part of system update

WASHINGTON — The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), housed within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), implemented an update to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Friday. SEVIS Release 6.16 includes improved search functionality and a mandatory data migration.

The updates make it easier to search for nonimmigrant students by SEVIS ID numbers and work with lists of nonimmigrant students within SEVIS. For the first time since SEVIS was launched in 2003, SEVIS users will be able to open a nonimmigrant record from any list in SEVIS, take action on that record and return directly to the same list without having to re-navigate to it.

"This improved functionality makes it much easier for school officials, especially during busy times such as reporting registration at the start of each term, to locate critical data and perform searches within the system," said Lou Farrell, SEVP program director.

As part of the update, SEVP-certified schools must complete a mandatory task by July 18. This one-time task migrates data from the Form I-17, "Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student," into reformatted fields. The reformatted fields capture more complete information about accreditations or recognitions held by a school, including any applicable expiration dates. If a school does not complete the task by July 19, their accreditations will be listed as "none" in the new fields.

"The task is not a difficult one and can be completed in a matter of minutes if all needed information has been collected in advance, and it will ensure a greater level of data integrity within the system," said Farrell.

SEVP has developed a series of tools to walk users through SEVIS Release 6.16.

Have question about the latest SEVIS updates? Email SEVISTechnicalFeedback@ice.dhs.gov.

SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.

Both agencies use SEVIS to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with U.S. laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including CBP and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.

HSI reviews potential SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with potential national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. HSI has reviewed more than two million records since SEVIS was introduced in 2003. Additionally, SEVP's Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.