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August 3, 2014Washington, DCUnited StatesStudent and Exchange Visitor Program

SEVIS updated, Release 6.17 now live

Includes name standardization report, enhanced search results, optional practical training indicator

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 6.17 includes a name standardization impact report, enhanced search results, an indicator for students engaged in optional practical training and streamlined exchange visitor validation alerts.

The SEVIS 6.17 release includes a name standardization impact report, which provides school and exchange visitor program officials with a list of names that do not meet the naming standards that SEVP plans to implement in April 2015. Names with special characters, non-Roman alphanumeric characters and extra spaces will not meet the new standards. The report will show the current name, along with the revised, standardized version of the name. This will provide school and program officials insight on how to comply with upcoming SEVIS student and exchange visitor name standardization requirements.

This release of SEVIS includes enhanced search results, primarily for exchange visitors, so SEVIS users can create targeted searches in the system.

It also includes an indicator for students engaged in optional practical training, which is employment directly related to an international student’s major or course of study. SEVIS will display a yellow bar on the student information page, which includes the type of optional practical training the student is authorized to participate (e.g. pre-completion, post-completion, etc.). The indicator bar will automatically disappear at the end of an international student’s authorized period of employment. This allows SEVIS users to more closely monitor international student compliance with optional practical training end dates.

Program sponsors must validate multiple alerts in SEVIS on behalf of exchange visitors. SEVIS 6.17 streamlines exchange visitor validation alerts into one alert list. This list includes all exchange visitors who need to be validated, regardless of whether they are in initial or transferred status.

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 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. 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.

Updated: 12/05/2014