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A message for international students enrolled at Micropower Institutes and affiliated schools:

On May 29, 2014, SEVP removed all Principal Designated School Officials and Designated School Officials (P/DSOs) from the following schools:

  • Micropower Career Institute in New York, New York
  • Micropower Computer Institute in Linden, New Jersey
  • The Institute for Health Education in Jersey City, New Jersey and
  • International School of Health, Beauty & Technology in Lauderhill, Florida

Both Micropower Career Institute and The Institute for Health Education have since added new PDSOs.

Nonimmigrant students who have questions about their options should call the SEVP Response Center (SRC) at 703-603-3400 or email sevp@ice.dhs.gov. This number is staffed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Students who call the SEVP Response Center should provide the following information to the SEVP staff:

  • First and last name
  • SEVIS ID number
  • Address
  • Telephone number where you can be reached
  • Email address

On March 27, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to automate Form I-94.  The new Form I-94 automation process took effect on April 30, 2013. With the new automated Form I-94 process, the CBP Officer will create an electronic automated arrival Form I-94 record during the admissions process for nonimmigrants entering the United States at an air or sea port, with information already available in various law enforcement databases. A paper Form I-94 will still be issued at the land border ports of entry, and CBP intends to continue to provide a paper Form I-94 to certain classes of aliens, such as refugees, certain asylees and parolees, and whenever CBP determines the issuance of a paper form is appropriate.

For more information regarding the Form I-94 automation please review the list of resources below:

This content was last updated May 1, 2013.

 

SEVIS by the Numbers

SEVIS by the Numbers is a quarterly report using data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The report is a snapshot of relevant and useful information including the number of nonimmigrant students in the United States, top places of origin, and nonimmigrant student demographics.

The data in this report was retrieved in October 2014.

SEVIS by the Numbers Glossary

F and M SEVP-Certified School Status

F AND M SEVP-CERTIFIED SCHOOL STATUS
 Description
ApprovedSchool certified by SEVP to enroll foreign nationals into F and/or M programs of study
Denied certificationSchool that SEVP has certified to not be eligible to enroll foreign nationals into F and/or M programs of study for any reason given in 8 CFR 214.4
Denied recertificationSchool previously certified by SEVP to enroll foreign nationals into F and/or M programs of study which has filed for recertification but which is no longer eligible to enroll F and M students for any reason given in 8 CFR 214.4
WithdrawnSchool from whom SEVP has removed certification because the school is found to be no longer eligible to enroll foreign nationals into F or M programs of study for any reason given in 8 CFR 214.4, or the school has chosen to relinquish certification.

Immigration Statuses

IMMIGRATION STATUSES
 Description
F-1Nonimmigrant status conferred on a student pursuing a full program of study in a college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, private elementary school, other academic school or language training program in the United States that is SEVP-certified to enroll F and/or M students.
F-2Nonimmigrant status conferred on a foreign national who is the accompanying or joining dependent of an F-1 student.
M-1Nonimmigrant status conferred on a foreign national pursuing a full program of study at a SEVP-certified vocational school or other recognized non-academic school (other than in language training programs).
M-2Nonimmigrant status conferred on a foreign national who is the dependent of an M-1 student.
J-1Foreign national selected by a DoS-designated program to participate in an exchange visitor program.
J-2Foreign national who is the dependent of a J-1 exchange visitor accompanying or joining the J-1.

Student SEVIS Statuses

STUDENT SEVIS STATUSES
 Description
ActiveStudent has registered and is currently in status.
CancelledDSO issued the student a Form I-20 for initial attendance at the school, but student did not register to attend classes, and the school has no record that the student has entered the United States to attend this school. Generally, this is a student who was issued a Form I-20, but chose not to attend the school that issued the Form I-20.
CompletedStudent has completed the program of study at the school.
DeactivatedStudent has transferred to a new school or has changed educational level. The student’s SEVIS record is released to the new school and the original student record is deactivated.
InitialDSO has created the student’s record, but the student has not yet registered at this school.
DraftDSO has saved the student record but has not submitted it to SEVIS.
TerminatedRemoved from Active or Initial status prior to program completion for a reason other than completion of the program of study (e.g., death, violation of status or expulsion from school). Either SEVP or the DSO can take this action.

Exchange Visitor Statuses

EXCHANGE VISITOR STATUSES
 Description
ActiveSponsor has validated the exchange visitor's participation in the program.
DraftRO or ARO has saved the record but has not submitted it to SEVIS.
Inactive
  • Exchange visitor has completed the program as scheduled
  • Exchange visitor has an approved COS and has a different visa type
  • RO or ARO ends the program (e.g., exchange visitor completes program early or withdraws)
  • RO or ARO ends status of J-2 dependent because or divorce or dependent death
InitialRO or ARO has submitted the record to SEVIS, but the program sponsor has not validated it.
Invalid
  • Exchange visitor chooses not to use the Form DS-2019
  • Exchange visitor uses the Form DS-2019 to get a visa but does not enter the United States within 30 days of the program start date
  • Exchange visitor is in Initial status with an approved COS request and has a different visa type
  • Exchange visitor in Initial status has a pending COS to J visa, and either the exchange visitor withdraws the request or USCIS denies it
No-ShowProgram sponsor has not validated the SEVIS record thirty days after the program start date or effective date of transfer (the RO or ARO makes this change).
TerminatedRemoved from Active or Initial status prior to program completion for a reason other than completion of a program (e.g., death, violation of status or expulsion from school).

Forms

FORMS
 Description
Form DS-2019
  • "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status"
  • RO issues to a prospective J exchange visitor
Form DS-3036
  • "Exchange Visitor Program Application"
  • Program official submits to DoS to become DoS-designated to enroll J exchange visitors
Form DS-3037
  • "Update of Information on Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor"
  • Program official submits to DoS to change or update Form DS-3036 information
Form G-845
  • "Supplement, Document Verification Request Supplement"
  • Federal, state, or local agency official files in order to verify a nonimmigrant’s status via SAVE
Form I-102
  • "Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document"
  • Nonimmigrant who misplaces the Form I-94 files to request a replacement
Form I-129
  • "Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker"
  • Employer uses to petition for an alien to temporarily enter the United States to perform services or labor or to receive training under particular nonimmigrant visa classes
Form I-17
  • "Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student"
  • School official must complete to apply for SEVP certification and admittance of F and/or M students
Form I-20
  • "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – For Academic and Language Students" or "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status – For Vocational Students"
  • DSO generates through SEVIS; lists the current status, program dates and personal information of an F or M nonimmigrant, and also is necessary to complete the Form DS-160, "Online Application for Nonimmigrant Visa"
Form I-485
  • "Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status"
  • Nonimmigrant uses to change from a nonimmigrant status to immigrant status or from immigrant status to LPR status
Form I-515see Form I-515A
Form I-515A
  • "Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor"
  • CBP officer issues to a nonimmigrant at a port of entry if the nonimmigrant lacks the necessary documents, such as a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
Form I-539
  • "Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status"
  • Nonimmigrant uses for applying to change to a different nonimmigrant visa status or to apply to remain in the United States for a longer period of time
Form I-765
  • "Application for Employment Authorization"
  • Nonimmigrant uses for applying for eligibility to work while in the United States
Form I-766
  • "Employment Authorization Document" (EAD)
  • USCIS issues
  • Proves that a nonimmigrant has permission to work in the United States for a specific period of time and under certain circumstances
Form I-797
  • "Notice of Action"
  • Receipt that SEVIS generates for many different SEVIS-related fees
Form I-94
  • "Arrival/Departure Record"
  • Proves legal entry into the United States; a CBP officer issues at a port of entry to all nonimmigrants, regardless of visa type
Form I-901
  • "Fee Remittance for Certain F, J and M Nonimmigrants"
  • Nonimmigrant files when paying the administrative fee to SEVP

Glossary Terms

TERMS
TermDescription
Abandonment of the AOSIf the student leaves the United States with a pending AOS petition, USCIS automatically denies the AOS petition
Academic yearSchool year divided in one of the following ways:
  • Program of study measuring a program’s length in clock hours – a minimum of 26 weeks of instructional time
  • Program of study measuring a program’s length in credit hours – a minimum of 30 weeks of instructional time
  • Program of study measuring academic progress in clock hours – 900 clock hours
  • Undergraduate program of study measuring academic progress in credit hours – 24 semester or trimester credit hours or 36 quarter credit hours
  • Program measured in clock hours – 900 clock hours
Adjustment of status (AOS)Formal, documented request to change from one nonimmigrant status to another
Advance parolePrevious permission granted by USCIS to return to the United States after leaving the United States with a pending Form I-485 (for someone who wants to change from nonimmigrant status to LPR status)
Alternate responsible officer (ARO)
  • The person designated by the head of DoS - designated exchange visitor program to maintain SEVIS records
  • The J exchange visitor’s point of contact at the program for information and help
  • Only manage J exchange visitors and dependents
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or an LPR
Authorized benefitsAny advantage or legal status assistance (e.g., OPT, a driver’s license and employment)
Authorized breakSpecific time period in which an F or M student has official DHS permission not to enroll in classes.
(e.g., DHS allows an F or M student to take one annual vacation break per year (usually during the summer) in which the student does not have to enroll in classes)
Authorized early withdrawalPermission a DSO can give to the F or M student seeking to officially stop a program of study before the program end date
Authorized overseas studyFormal, academic education opportunity, including graduate research and formal classes or programs, before the end of the authorized period of stay
A DSO must give permission for an F-1 student to pursue this in a country other than the United States, and the study must contribute to the completion of a program of study.
Authorized period of stayAmount of time an F or M student may stay in the United States for a program of study, including one of the following:
AvocationalEducational activity relating to a hobby or pursuit of interest (purely for enjoyment) but not for a particular academic or vocational goal
Benefits applicationDocuments with which a nonimmigrant applies for specific programs and permissions open to a nonimmigrant who maintains active status (e.g., an F or M student must complete a benefits application to obtain a driver’s license or Social Security number)
Border commuter studentCertain Canadian or Mexican citizens/residents who continue to live no more than 75 miles inside the border of that country but who cross the border daily to attend an SEVP-certified school in the United States
CampusA subset of a school; regulations do not require to have its own Form I-17 to be SEVP-certified
Cap gap extensionAutomatic extension of status and OPT authorization (If granted, the cap gap extension allows F-1 student to maintain status during the time between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status)
Cap gapThe period of time between an F-1 student’s program end date and the start date of H-1B status
Change of status (COS)Moving from one type of visa status to another (e.g., a change of visa status from F-1 to H-1B requires adjudication from USCIS)
COS applicationForm I-539 to officially request permission to change from one visa status to another
Class of admissionCategories within a visa type (e.g., the F visa has several categories including the F-1 student and F-2 dependent)
Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code
  • Developed by U.S. Department of Education’s NCES
  • "provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity"
  • DHS has designated STEM degrees for the purpose of approving a 17-month STEM extension of OPT under the provisions of 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C).
Clock hourA period of time consisting of one of the following:
  • A 50 to 60 minute class, lecture or recitation in a 60-minute period
  • A 50 to 60 minutes faculty-supervised laboratory, shop training or internship in a 60-minute period
Community collegePost-secondary, undergraduate educational school offering lower-level (freshman (first year) and sophomore (second year)) classes
These schools gear their operations more toward commuter students and do not usually have on-campus living arrangements.
Computer-Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS)Computer system USCIS uses to track immigration status for the purpose of benefit application authorization or employment authorization
Continuing exchange visitorA J-1 exchange visitor who maintains status in a single program
Continuing studentAn F or M student who has terminated or not completed enrollment in a program of study and has maintained status
Control numberNumber at the top of the payment coupon, or document, printed when a prospective F or M student chooses to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee by check or money order
CouponDocument (payment coupon) printed when a prospective F or M student chooses to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee by check or money order.
SEVP matches this document’s payment information with information the student fills out online at FMJfee.com.
Courier serviceA for-profit company (not the United States Postal Service or the postal service of any other country or nation) that provides mail and document delivery. (e.g., FedEx, UPS and DHL are for-profit delivery services)
Current informationRelevant personal data about an individual (e.g., an F or M student must provide the DSO or RO with personal data (name, address, phone number, etc.) and report any changes to that data promptly)
Current statusMeasurement of whether or not a nonimmigrant followed the requirements DHS and DoS set for a visa classification
Curricular practical training (CPT)Alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education required as a part of an F or M student's curriculum and offered by a sponsoring employer through cooperative agreement with a school (See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i))
The DSO must authorize CPT before a student begins work
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officerU.S. government official stationed at a port of entry who examines travel documents and interviews a prospective immigrant or nonimmigrant who wants to enter the United States
Data fixManual change DHS makes in SEVIS. A DSO cannot change all data in SEVIS; some data only a DHS official can change.
Deferred inspection locationArea or office at a port of entry where a nonimmigrant may need to go for further questioning
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)U.S. government department that contains, among others, USCIS, CBP and ICE
Department of State (DoS)U.S. government department that issues visas at consulates and embassies as well as manages the J visa programs within the United States
DependentSpouse or minor child with F-2, M-2 or J-2 status in SEVIS
Designated school official (DSO)
  • The person designated by the head of an SEVP-certified school to maintain SEVIS records
  • The F or M nonimmigrant’s point of contact at the school for information and help
  • Only manage F and M nonimmigrants
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or an LPR
Distance/online educationF or M student attends class and completes requirements "principally through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, or computer conferencing" 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)
Duration of status (D/S)Admissions designation stamped on the Form I-20 or the Form I-94 allowing an F or M student to stay in the United States while maintaining status (no exact date because the F or M student has the option to transfer among schools, change education levels or change visa status)
Educational levelPhase in an F or M student’s studies leading to a specific educational goal (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate or certificate programs)
ElementaryIn compulsory education, whether public or private, generally includes kindergarten through sixth grades
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)USCIS automated system that "collect(s) such information … necessary to issue a travel authorization, as reflected by the I-94W" (see 8 CFR 217.5(c)) for visitors who travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
ESTA application can be any time prior to travel, but DHS recommends early application.
Eligibility benefitsQualification to receive an advantage or assistance because of a visa status
Emergent circumstanceWorld event that negatively impacts a group of citizens in a country other than the United States
The DHS Secretary can issue guidelines that offer "special student relief" to F or M nonimmigrants from that country residing in the United States.
Employment authorizationPermission to work in the United States for a specific period of time and under certain circumstances (authorization sometimes from USCIS and sometimes a DSO or RO)
E-VerifyInternet-based system for employers to "determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States"
E-Verify employerEmployer who uses E-Verify
Exchange visitorNonimmigrant with J-1 status for a specific purpose (e.g., temporary faculty, business trainees, medical trainees, etc.) DoS administers the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
Exchange visitor program sponsor"Legal entity designated by the Secretary of State … to conduct an exchange visitor program" (see 22 CFR 62.2)
Fiscal year"Accounting period for the federal government which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30"
Flag removalDHS removes warning or notice from nonimmigrant’s SEVIS record after a DSO’s formal request via Form DS-160
Full program of studyNumber of credit hours or clock hours DHS requires an F or M student to enroll in and attend
Full-time employmentScheduled work for more than 20 hours per week
Full-time studyNumber of credit hours or clock hours DHS requires an F or M student to enroll in and to attend during a term
GigEntertainer’s engagement or job for a limited period of time
Grace periodAmount of time after or before a program end date in which a nonimmigrant must leave the United States
H-1BNonimmigrant visa class for temporary employment that requires a theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as science, engineering or computer programming
H-1B capLimit on the number of people who may receive H-1B status from USCIS per year
High schoolGenerally includes grades nine through 12 (sometimes also known as senior high school) in compulsory education, whether public or private
I-901 SEVIS feePayment required for an F, M or J nonimmigrant, which covers processing and administrative costs
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)U.S. government tax collection agency that "administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress"
Junior collegePost-secondary, undergraduate school offering lower-level (freshman (first year) and sophomore (second year)) classes (usually have on-campus living arrangements)
Lawful permanent resident (LPR)Immigrant with official, documented permission to live in the United States
Maintain statusComply with regulatory requirements to remain in the United States or to continue to receive a benefit
Minor childDependent under 21 years of age
  • Under the age of 18 (generally in the United States)
  • Under the age of 21 (for an F or M dependent, according to DHS and DoS)
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)"Primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education"
Non-academic study
  • Educational activity related to learning a skill or trade
  • Educational activity related to a hobby or pursuit of interest (purely for enjoyment) (e.g., cosmetology, radiology, massage therapy, computer programming, aviation, culinary arts, etc.)
  • Not core courses such as math, social studies, English and science
  • An M-1 visa is necessary
NonimmigrantPerson entering the United States to visit, study or work (depending on the type of visa) temporarily but not to stay permanently in the United States
Normal academic progressThe standard amount of time it takes an average student to complete a particular program of study (listed on the F or M student’s Form I-20)
School officials determine the time it takes to complete a program of study.
National Security Entry/Exit Registration System (NSEERS)DHS required nonimmigrants from certain countries to register upon entry to and exit from the United States but suspended the program on April 29, 2011.
Off-campus employmentWork that does not take place on the campus whose DSO issued the Form I-20 to the F-1 student (see 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(ii))
Off-campus employment authorizationOfficial permission for an F-1 student to work off campus (see 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(ii))
On-campus employment
  • Takes place on the campus whose DSO issued the Form I-20 to the F-1 student
  • Must be an integral part of the student’s educational program

See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i)

  
Optional practical training (OPT)Employment that directly relates to a student's program of study.

See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii) and 8 CFR 214.2(m)(13).

Part-time20 hours or fewer per week (see 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i))
PassportOfficial document from a person’s country of citizenship that attests to the person’s identity and status as a citizen
Payment couponDocument (coupon) printed when a prospective F or M student chooses to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee by check or money order.
SEVP matches this document’s payment information with information the student fills out online at fmjfee.com.
Port of entry (POE)DHS-designated place where a person may apply for entry into the United States (i.e., international airports, seaports and land border crossings)
Post-completion OPTOPT that occurs after the F or M student’s program end date
Pre-completion OPTOPT that occurs before the F or M student’s program end date
Principal designated school official (PDSO)
  • Employee of a school that is SEVP-certified to enroll F and/or M students
  • Has primary responsibility for communication with F and M students in that program
  • Maintains SEVIS records
  • Trains and supervises DSOs
  • Advises and assists F and M nonimmigrants
  • Point of contact for ICE in communications that relate to the school

(the equivalent of the RO for J exchange visitor programs)

Private primaryPre-kindergarten through eighth grade in a non-public (not government-run) school
Program end dateThe final day of a program of study and the last day an F or M nonimmigrant may stay in the United States (not including the departure grace period)
Program of studyOrganized plan of coursework a school requires for a degree or certificate
Program start dateDate by which an F or M student or J exchange visitor must report to a SEVP-certified school and begin a program of study
Public high schoolGovernment-run secondary school (generally grades nine through 12 and may be called senior high school to differentiate from a middle school (grades six through eight) or a junior high school (grades seven and eight)
RecreationalClass or classes taken for fun, not for official academic, vocational or professional gain (available to any F, M or J nonimmigrant)
Reduced course load (RCL)F or M student enrolled in and taking classes or credits less than the full amount normally required for an F or M student (but "at least six semester or quarter hours, or half the clock hours required for a full course of study") (must have official, documented permission and may only do so for a limited time)
See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(H)(iii)
RegulationsRules with the force of law
Rehabilitation ActFederal legislation that authorizes the following:
  • Authorizes formula grant programs of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living and client assistance
  • Authorizes a variety of training and service discretionary grants administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration
  • Authorizes research activities administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the work of the National Council on Disability
  • Includes multiple provisions focused on rights, advocacy and protections for individuals with disabilities
Reinstatement applicationFormal, documented process in which an F or M student can appeal for a return from Cancelled or Terminated status to Active status
Request for redressA system to request a solution for a nonimmigrant who consistently encounters difficulties at U.S. ports of entry
Responsible officer (RO)Employee of an exchange visitor program sponsor who has primary responsibility for the following:
  • Communicating with J exchange visitors in that program
  • Maintaining SEVIS records
  • Training and supervising AROs
  • Advising and assisting exchange visitors
  • Being the point of contact for DoS and ICE in communications that relate to the program

(the RO is the equivalent of the PDSO for F or M schools)

SchoolAn SEVPcertified institute of learning whose officials must submit a Form I-17 to be SEVP-certified to enroll F and/or M students.
Secondary inspectionA more intense investigation that a nonimmigrant may encounter upon entry to the United States; this investigation usually takes place if a CBP officer cannot verify the nonimmigrant’s information or if the nonimmigrant does not have all the necessary paperwork at the time of entry into the United States
Secondary schoolGenerally speaking, grades seven through 12
Section 508Part of the 1998 Rehabilitation Act that "requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities"
Severe economic hardshipA financial condition making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for an F or M student to continue education in the United States
SEVIS Help Desk ticketA formal request made to SEVP by a DSO, PDSO or nonimmigrant seeking help either in answering a question or in addressing a SEVIS-related problem
SEVIS ID numberThe unique number that SEVIS assigns to a nonimmigrant and that appears on the Form I-20 for an F or M nonimmigrant or on the Form DS-2019 for a J nonimmigrant
SEVIS recordCollection of student information gathered by a DSO or RO from a nonimmigrant and input into SEVIS
SEVIS school codeThe unique identification number assigned to a SEVP-certified school
SEVPcertifiedA school whose officials have submitted a Form I-17 to SEVP and that has official permission from SEVP to enroll F and M students
Social Security number (SSN)A nine-digit number assigned by the Social Security Administration to U.S. citizens and to approved nonimmigrants and noncitizens eligible to work in the United States
Special student reliefGuidelines the DHS Secretary issues in response to a world event that negatively impacts a group of citizens in a country other than the United States (also called emergent circumstance). The Secretary issues these guidelines to nonimmigrants from that country but who are residing in the United States.
STEMScience, technology, engineering and mathematics
STEM CIP codesThe designation given to CIP codes in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)An Internet-based system (managed by SEVP) that does the following:
  • Maintains accurate and current information on F, M and J nonimmigrants
  • Enables DSOs and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to ICE and DoS throughout a program of study
  • Reflects F, M or J nonimmigrant status changes, such as admission at POE, change of address, change in program of study and other details
  • Provides system alerts, event notifications and basic reports to the end-user DSOs, program sponsors and immigration-related field offices
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)Part of Homeland Security Investigations in ICE that administers the process by which F, M and J nonimmigrants enter, study and work in the United States
Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) programA "web-based service that helps federal, state and local benefit-issuing agencies, schools, and licensing agencies determine the immigration status of benefit applicants so only those entitled to benefits receive them"
Transfer-in schoolA school to which an F or M student wants to transfer
Transfer-out schoolA school from which an F or M student wants to transfer
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)U.S. government agency within DHS that oversees lawful immigration to the United States
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)U.S. government agency within DHS that investigates and enforces related elements of federal law
Unauthorized employmentAny paid work that a nonimmigrant takes without proper permission
Unauthorized withdrawalFor an F or M student to leave the United States without permission before the program end date
Unsubsidized per capita costThe monetary value of a student’s education, as divided per student (how much a school or school system spends each year per student on that student’s education); this amount does not take into account any money received by the federal government to subsidize the cost of education. Speak with officials at the individual school system to find out the cost due.
Verification Information System (VIS)A computerized system that provides immigration status information both to federal, state, and local government agencies when nonimmigrants and naturalized U.S. citizens apply for government benefits and to potential employers seeking employment eligibility verification to government agencies
VisaAn indication that a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate reviewed your application and determined that you are eligible to entry the United States for a specific purpose
  • Nonimmigrant
  • Someone who has permanent residence outside the United States but wants to be in the United States on a temporary basis (i.e., tourism, business, temporary work, study or medical treatment)
  • Immigrant
  • Someone who intends to live permanently in the United States
Visa waiver countryOne of 36 countries, according to DoS, whose citizens are not required to have a visa to enter the United States for the purpose of visiting but do need a visa to study: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
Visa-exemptCitizens of certain countries described in 8 CFR 212.1(a) that do not need a visa to enter the United States and may apply at the port of entry for F, M or J nonimmigrant status

Who?

Exempt From what?

Citizens of Canada or Bermuda

Applying for F or M student or J exchange visitor status upon entry

Bahamian nationals

British subject residents in the Bahamian, Cayman, Turks and Caicos Islands

Entering the United States without a visa as described in 8 CFR 212.1a and applying for F or M student or J exchange visitor status upon entry

Visa-exempt countryA country whose residents do not need a visa to enter the United States (i.e., Canada or Bermuda, Bahamas, British subjects residing in the Bahamas, Cayman, or Turks and Caicos Islands)
Vocational
  • Related to learning a skill or a trade
  • Not academic learning
  • M student visa is appropriate for these students
1099 employmentWorking for someone as an individual contractor, not because of a formal employer/employee relationship
17-month extensionPeriod of time that USCIS extends OPT beyond the original time limit