Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE


  • Email icon
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Google Plus icon

SEVIS Schools

Requirements of Schools Seeking F & M Certification

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) maintains the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and oversees SEVP-certified schools and their F and M students and dependents in accordance with governing regulations, found in the following parts of the Code of Federal Regulations. Schools and F and M nonimmigrants are subject to these regulations.


Helpful Documents

  • A Guide to the Form I-17 Fact Sheet (PDF | 384 KB) (December 2015)
  • Adjustments to Designated School Official Limits and Dependent Study FAQ: Read these frequently asked questions for important information that relates to the Final Rule that went into effect May 29, 2015. The rule allows for increased opportunities for study by spouses and minor children of F-1 and M-1 students, as well as offer greater flexibility for SEVP-certified schools in determining how many designated school officials to nominate.
  • Postsecondary Schools: These are the Department of Education Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies for postsecondary schools.
  • Private Elementary and Secondary Schools: These are the Student and Exchange Visitor Program-identified accrediting bodies for private elementary and secondary schools (Direct questions regarding this list to
  • Dear Colleagues Letter: The letter provides a format for DSOs to confidentially report sensitive information to SEVP. (PDF | 47 KB)
  • List of Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Offices
  • Approved Schools: Editing/Updating Form I-17 (PDF | 97 KB)

How Schools Apply for F & M Certification


Technical Guidance & Information

Emergency Information

School Reporting Requirements

I-17 Frequently Asked Questions

How to File an Appeal or Motion


Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) Offices



Selected New Readings for DSOs

  • FBI / Secret Service Report on Campus Violence (PDF | 255 KB)

Useful Links

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • USCIS Forms and Fees — Copies of forms and instructions to use when filing with USCIS for a benefit. This includes links to electronic filing.
  • USCIS — General information on U.S. immigration policies.

Department of State

Social Security

Social Security Administration (SSA) — Information on how and when you can obtain a Social Security Number.

Federal Income Tax Information

Tax Information for Foreign Students and Scholars — Foreigners temporarily present in the United States as students, scholars, teachers, researchers, exchange visitors, and cultural exchange visitors are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of their income. This web page contains extensive information on the rules and requirements for those individuals.

Department of Education

Postsecondary Educational Institutions and Programs Accredited by Accrediting Agencies and State Approval Agencies Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education — The database lists approximately 6,900 postsecondary educational institutions and programs, each of which is accredited by an accrediting agency or state approval agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a "reliable authority as to the quality of postsecondary education" within the meaning of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The database does not include a number of postsecondary educational institutions and programs that elect not to seek accreditation but nevertheless may provide a quality postsecondary education. The U.S. Department of Education recommends that the database be used as one source of qualitative information and that additional sources of qualitative information be consulted.

Immigration Laws and Regulations

  • Federal Register Home Page — Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
  • Electronic Version of 8 CFR 214 — Links to all CFR(8 CFR 214 is the section of the immigration regulations dealing with nonimmigrant status.)


Do not submit any documentation unless your school has received a 180-day notice via the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools must go through the recertification process every two years to ensure they remain eligible for certification and have complied with all record keeping, retention and reporting requirements, and all other requirements, in accordance with the regulations.

One hundred and eighty days before a school’s Certification Expiration Date (CED), designated school officials (DSOs) will receive notice from SEVP through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) that the school is eligible to apply for recertification.

Quick Recertification Filing Tips

  • The Form I-17 must be signed in its entirety. This includes signatures by the principal designated school official (PDSO), all DSOs, the owner, and head of school or chancellors.
  • Successfully filing for recertification consists of submitting for recertification via SEVIS and submitting a complete recertification package via email.
  • Upon receipt of your complete recertification package and submission in SEVIS, you will receive a Notice of Confirmation of Complete Filing from the Recertification Team.
  • If you have not received a Notice of Confirmation of Complete Filing by your school’s Certification Expiration Date your school will be automatically withdrawn.
  • The Recertification Team strongly recommends that you file your package for recertification as soon as possible and no later than 30 days prior to the Certification Expiration Date.
  • Your school’s SEVP certification expires at 12:01 a.m. on the Certification Expiration Date listed in SEVIS.
  • If a package is received on the day prior to the Certification Expiration Date, your school may be temporarily withdrawn from SEVIS.
  • Please submit your recertification package via e-mail only. SEVP no longer accepts submissions via fax or U.S. mail.
  • Recertification forms are located at the bottom of this page.

Recertification Instructions

Once you have been notified via SEVIS that your school is within the 180 days of the Certification Expiration Date, your school must submit a completed recertification package prior to the Certification Expiration Date.

Please review the Recertification Checklist to assist you in completing the recertification process. Do not submit the checklist with your recertification package. This is strictly for your use to ensure all required documentation and procedures are included and completed.

In order to file for recertification, you must electronically submit the following at the same time:

Form I-17

Print a copy of the Form I-17 from SEVIS and sign the petition, including any continuation pages and supplemental pages A and B. Obtain signatures for all designated school officials listed. If the information contained within the Form I-17 accurately reflects your school and its operations, and you are not required to submit additional evidence, submit all documentation via email to: In the subject line type in "Recertification Package" followed by your school code. If edits need to be made to the Form I-17, submit a petition update prior to submitting for recertification.

Additional Evidence (For Non-Accredited Schools)

If your school is not accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency or an SEVP-identified accrediting agency, additional evidence must be submitted based on your school type. Refer to the Additional Evidence Guide below to determine what evidence is needed. Submit this evidence together with the signed Form I-17. If your school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized or SEVP-identified accrediting agency, you do not need to submit additional evidence.

SEVIS Submission

You must also submit for recertification via SEVIS by clicking the SUBMIT button to send an electronic petition to SEVP. Only the PDSO can file for recertification. The PDSO must submit for recertification via SEVIS at the same time as he/she submits the recertification package.


Computing the Filing Time Period

When computing the period of time for filing for recertification, SEVP counts every calendar day (including Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) beginning with the first calendar day after the date of notice. If the last day of the filing period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the period to file for recertification runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. See 5 USC 6103 for a listing of legal holidays.

After Submitting the Petition for Recertification

If you correctly submit a complete recertification package, you will receive a Notice of Confirmation of Complete Filing. This notice serves to inform you that SEVP received your petition for recertification and that the petition has entered the queue for review and adjudication.

If your submission is incorrect, you will receive a Notice of Rejection of Complete Filing. This notice will state the errors in your package and request that you make the corrections and resubmit your recertification package. SEVP recommends that you correct any errors and submit a new package as soon as possible.

Remember: You only have a total of 180 days to resubmit a complete package. No extensions will be granted.

Once your recertification package is in adjudication, you may receive a Request for Evidence. You will have 15 days to respond to the request. Failure to respond to a Request for Evidence may result in the denial of your school’s recertification petition. If no additional evidence is needed and your school continues to operate in accordance with the federal regulations governing SEVP, you will receive a Notice of Recertification.


Incomplete Package or Failure to File

Federal regulation 8 CFR §214.3 (h)(2)(ii) Consequence of failure to petition. SEVP will serve a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) to the school 30 days prior to a school's certification expiration date. SEVP will no longer accept a petition for recertification from the school and will immediately withdraw the school's certification if the school does not petition for recertification, abandons its petition, or does not submit a complete recertification petition package by the certification expiration date, in accordance with the automatic withdrawal criteria in 8 CFR 214.4(a)(3). The school must comply with 8 CFR 214.4(i) upon withdrawal.

Voluntary Withdrawals

If your school would like to have its SEVIS certification voluntarily withdrawn, you must complete the Voluntary Withdrawal Form below. The School President or Owner must sign the form. If you have any nonimmigrant students attending your school they must first transfer or depart the United States before your Voluntary Withdrawal Form is processed. Submit this form-request to


Recertification Forms


If you have any questions concerning the recertification process, please call the SEVP Response Center at (703) 603-3400.



SEVP recommends that you review your Form I-17 as soon as possible to determine if it is current and accurate. If you identify a change not previously reported to SEVP you must file the update in SEVIS immediately. The update must be adjudicated prior to filing for recertification. The update adjudication process typically ranges from 60 to 90 days, but could take longer depending on the nature of the update. Filing an update does not change the Certification Expiration Date.

Petition updates are a priority for the SEVP Recertification Team and will be adjudicated as quickly as possible. However, the time needed to process this update does not grant the school an extension for recertification.

Web-based Training Course for Designated School Officials

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) offers a web-based training course titled "SEVIS Training for School Officials." This training provides instruction on the responsibilities and obligations for both school officials and nonimmigrant students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The course provides guidance on completing the various actions required to update and maintain student information in SEVIS for new and veteran designated school officials. Enjoy the course!

Field representatives are part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and serve as direct day-to-day liaisons between SEVP and SEVP-certified schools.

The SEVP Field Representative Unit (FRU) enhances national security by fostering an understanding of regulatory adherence and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) data integrity.

Additionally, SEVP field representatives:

  • Ensure SEVP-certified schools understand SEVP rules and regulations.
  • Answer general questions related to the nonimmigrant student process.
  • Provide training and assistance to principal designated school officials and designated school officials.
  • Meet in-person with each SEVP-certified school in their geographical area at least twice per year.
  • Help school officials with the SEVP recertification process by conducting scheduled school visits.
  • Attend conferences and meetings in their territories that pertain to nonimmigrant students.

As a reminder, SEVP-certified schools are subject to on-site review at any time, per 8 CFR 214.3 (h)(3)(iv). Please note that these reviews are not related to the SEVP field representatives and are not part of their duties.

Prior to deployment, all SEVP field representatives must complete a comprehensive eight-week training program and pass a final exam before deploying to their territory. FRU training courses include the following key elements:

  • Legislative and regulatory training,
  • SEVP processes, policies and procedures, and
  • Frequently asked questions.

In addition to classroom instruction, SEVP field representatives visit and talk to other federal entities, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Counter Terrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit, and the U.S. Department of State to stay informed of government partner updates and relevant policies and processes. FRU leadership also adds to and updates training topics based upon stakeholder feedback.

SEVP has now deployed four groups of field representatives for a total of 58. SEVP plans to deploy a total of 60 field representatives nationwide. There are three regional groups — eastern, central and western — comprised of 20 field representatives in each region. Each field representative will spend four days each week in the field with schools and one day in their “home office.” SEVP will continue to provide updates about the field representatives on a regular basis.

Please note that there are two field representative territory vacancies – San Jose, CA and Kansas City, MO. If your school falls within either of these two territories, please continue to contact the SEVP Response Center for assistance with questions and concerns by calling (703) 603-3400 or emailing