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Student and Exchange Visitor Program

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Click here to go to the SEVIS Students webpage
Click here to go to the SEVIS Schools webpage
Click here to go to the SEVIS Overview webpage
 

SEVP Overview

Welcome to the official SEVP and SEVIS website. Here you can find the latest information and resources for F (academic) and M (vocational) students, as well as designated school officials (DSOs).

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a part of the National Security Investigations Division and acts as a bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on nonimmigrants whose primary reason for coming to the United States is to be students.

On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), SEVP manages schools, nonimmigrant students in the F and M visa classifications and their dependents. The Department of State (DoS) manages Exchange Visitor Programs, nonimmigrant exchange visitors in the J visa classification and their dependents. Both SEVP and DoS use the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to track and monitor schools; exchange visitor programs; and F, M and J nonimmigrants while they visit the United States and participate in the U.S. education system.

Background: SEVP and SEVIS

What is SEVP?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that administers the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). It ensures that government agencies have essential data related to nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors to preserve national security. SEVP provides approval and oversight to schools authorized to enroll F and M nonimmigrant students and gives guidance to both schools and students about the requirements for maintaining their status.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States. It is the core technology for the DHS in this critical mission. SEVIS implements Section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which requires DHS to collect current information from nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors continually during their course of stay in the United States. In addition, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act; Public Law 107-56, amended Section 641) mandated implementation of SEVIS prior to Jan. 1, 2003.

What is the purpose of SEVIS?

SEVIS tracks and monitors nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors. If accepted by an SEVP-certified school, foreign students may be admitted to the United States with the appropriate F or M nonimmigrant status. If accepted for participation in a Department of State-verified exchange visitor program, exchange visitors may be admitted to the United States with J nonimmigrant status. Records of these nonimmigrant admissions and continued participation in these educational programs are maintained in SEVIS. Further, SEVIS enables SEVP to assure proper reporting and record keeping by schools and exchange visitor programs, thereby ensuring data currency and integrity. SEVIS also provides a mechanism for student and exchange visitor status violators to be identified so that appropriate enforcement is taken (i.e., denial of admission, denial of benefits or removal from the United States).

Who are F and M nonimmigrant students?

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for the admission of different classes of nonimmigrants who are foreign nationals seeking temporary admission to the United States. The purpose of the nonimmigrant’s intended stay in the United States determines his or her proper nonimmigrant classification. Some classifications permit the nonimmigrant’s spouse and qualifying children to accompany the nonimmigrant to the United States or to join the nonimmigrant here. To qualify, a child must be unmarried and under the age of 21.

F-1 nonimmigrants, as defined in section 101(a)(15)(F) of the INA, are foreign students coming to the United States to pursue a full course of academic study in SEVP-approved schools. An F-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an F-1 student.

M-1 nonimmigrants, as defined in section 101(a)(15)(M) of the INA, are foreign nationals pursuing a full course of study at an SEVP-approved vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution (other than in language training programs) in the United States. An M-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an M-1 student.

 

SEVIS by the Numbers

View the latest annual SEVIS By the Numbers report, which uses SEVIS data from calendar year 2018 and compares that to data from calendar year 2017. Visit Mapping SEVIS by the Numbers, the interactive mapping tool where users can explore international student data from SEVIS by the Numbers.

You can find previous SEVIS by the Numbers reports in Freedom of Information Act Library, under Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

SEVIS Fact Sheets

View SEVIS's Fact Sheets.

SEVIS Help Hub

The SEVIS Help Hub is a central location for designated school officials to access information regarding student records, school records and SEVIS release updates. Visit the SEVIS Help Hub to find user guides, fact sheets, job aids and FAQ documents related to SEVIS.

SEVIS Data Library

When an individual enrolls at a U.S. school as an F-1 or M-1 international student, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) captures certain information about that individual in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The data included in this data set has been extracted from SEVIS and provides an overview of SEVP-certified schools and active international students during a specific calendar year. This data is updated annually.

On Sept. 16, 2011, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton launched the Study in the States Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A key aspect of this initiative seeks to enhance coordination between the various federal agencies that play a role in implementing our international student visa and exchange visitor programs.
The launch of the Study in the States website was part of this initiative. Sponsored by DHS and managed by SEVP, this website provides a wealth of information and resources to encourage the best and brightest international students to study and learn about expanded post-graduate opportunities in the United States.

The Study in the States website allows ICE and its partner agencies, as well as DoS, to more effectively communicate information to international students, exchange visitors and their dependents. The site features dynamic and interactive content in a user-friendly manner and uses social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to provide updates to visitors around the globe.

SEVP collects, maintains, analyzes and provides information so 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 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), as well as a number of other federal enforcement agencies with "need to know."

Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/06/2020