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What is SEVIS and what does it mean to you?

As of January 30, 2003, all sponsoring organizations are required to register students on the Student Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS). We have prepared this information sheet to help you understand SEVIS and your responsibilities.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is an internet-based database that allows schools and other sponsoring organizations to transmit data regarding students to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Information (see list below) is logged into the database to notify the INS about any significant change or pertinent action taken in the student's academic career in the United States. U.S. embassies and consulates also have access to SEVIS.

Why SEVIS?

The INS has long required reporting of most of the student information they will be getting through SEVIS, but the paper-based system that was in place created problems in coordination among schools and governmental agencies. In 1996, Congress passed legislation directing the INS to move towards an electronic data collection system in order to organize better all of the information about international students in the U.S. Then, in October 2001, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, authorizing additional funding for implementation of SEVIS and set the required compliance date as January 30, 2003.

What is the SEVIS process?

  • AMIDEAST issues the incoming student a DS-2019 form (formerly called IAP-66) by putting all of the student's information into the SEVIS system and printing out a form with a unique barcode on it.
  • Previously issued paper DS-2019 forms will be accepted until August 30, 2003 for visa issuance and admission as long as the form was issued prior to January 30, 2003.
  • Separate DS-2019 forms must be issued for all dependent spouses and children.
  • The student goes to the U.S. consulate abroad, and the consular officer confirms through SEVIS that the student's DS-2019 is a valid document. The consulate can then issue the student a visa.
  • Throughout the student's academic career, updates have to be entered into the SEVIS system by AMIDEAST. A list of 'reportable events' that must be logged into the system is included in the next section. Student records in SEVIS will be updated every semester.
  • SEVIS records when a student departs the United States after finishing studies.

What data does SEVIS collect?

There are several 'reportable events' that AMIDEAST must enter into the SEVIS database. These include changes in a student's personal information, such as address or legal name, a change in academic information, and change in employment information.

 

The following is a list of reportable events. If these "events" are not reported, a student is out of status:

  • Academic admission
  • Personal information (full name, birth date and place, country of citizenship) changes
  • Financial information (amount of scholarship - CASP and other - and amount of personal funds)
  • Academic program information (university, degree, and major) and updates
  • Transferring to another university
  • U.S. address and changes to this
  • Dropping below full course load (except in the last semester of your program)
  • Resumption of full course load
  • Disciplinary action
  • Academic training
  • Student employment
  • Premature termination of studies
  • Extension of program participation
  • Completion of study program
  • Dependent information

What does "failure to maintain status" mean?

This means that a student is deviating from the prearranged plan of study. Some examples of failure to maintain status are:

  • Dropping from full-time to part-time enrollment without prior approval from the international student advisor, except for the final semester when a student may carry a reduced credit program
  • Attending a school other than the authorized one
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Failure to apply in a timely manner for a transfer, an extension or a change in level of study
  • Failure to report a change in address
  • Failure to enroll at your university within 30 days of your entry into the U.S.

What happens if you are out of status?

Students who fail to maintain status will lose their student visas and may be deported. Consequences may also include denial of re-entry to the U.S., inability to move from undergraduate to graduate status, denial of requests for academic training, and possible denial of all future visa applications.

Can a student regain legal status?

Students can apply to INS for reinstatement if the violation of status was result of circumstances outside their control. Reinstatement is intended to be a rare benefit for exceptional cases, so should not be counted on as an easy way out of trouble after making mistakes. If the INS denies the reinstatement, the student may not appeal the decision. Additionally the student cannot apply for reinstatement after being out of status longer than five months.

What should you do?

 

  • Read any e-mail updates we send you, and make sure to read the CASP Quarterly each time it comes out for important reminders and new information.
  • Learn how to maintain lawful status in the U.S., and ask your school international office or your AMIDEAST advisor any questions you have.
  • Apply for a visa well before your departure date.
  • Make travel arrangements early, and anticipate delays at points of entry and border crossing. Always remember, as usual, to send your DS-2019 in to AMIDEAST for signature well before traveling out of the U.S.
  • Alert your AMIDEAST advisor of all changes in your information, such as a new address, a legal change of name, a change in your graduation date, etc.
  • Make sure to report any changes in your address directly to the INS. Details on this process can be found below.
  • Use the International Student Office on your campus as a resource for information about these issues. They are keeping updates on new changes, just as we are.

How do I report changes in my U.S. address?

 

United States immigration regulations require "non-citizens" of the U.S. who are in the country for over 30 days to register any change of address with the INS within 10 days of the change of address. This rule has been in effect for a long time, but is now going to be seriously enforced. This is something you will need to get used to thinking about, since failure to report changes in address result in your becoming "out of status" and subject to deportation from the U.S. You MUST register your changes of address with the INS, as well as with AMIDEAST.

To report a change in your address, fill out the AR-11 form, which can be found on the INS website. Fill out this form and send one copy to the INS at the address listed on the form (also listed below), and one copy to your advisor at AMIDEAST.

Immigration and Naturalization Service, Change of Address P.O. Box 7134, London, KY 40742-7134.

More information about this process, including possible updates, can be found at the following INS website.

What requirements does AMIDEAST have?

 

The INS is required to audit AMIDEAST's compliance with these new requirements every two years. Failure to comply with federal regulations could result in the loss of our ability to administer student scholarships.

Are there resources where I can get more information about SEVIS?

 

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