WASHINGTON – International students who come to the United States must follow a specific set of rules. However, different rules apply depending on the student’s education level and program of study. That’s why, on Feb. 28, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), launched a revamped Guide to Studying in the States.
This updated educational tool allows users to create a customized guide with information on the international student life cycle specific to their visa type (F-1 or M-1) and education level. Each guide contains information about preparing to enter the United States, traveling, studying, student benefits, change of status and departing the United States. Users can skip directly to a specific section in each guide or print a custom guide based on their selections.
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 the 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 SEVP and the Department of State use the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (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 U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.
HSI reviews SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with possible national security risks 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.