A Brief Introduction to SEVIS for Institutions of Higher Education

SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, and it was created to allow schools to work with the Department of Homeland Security to gather, store, and exchange data on legal non-immigrants. This applies to those with the status of F1 and J1 as well as any F2 and J2 dependents.

What Information is Collected for SEVIS

Universities must report a variety of different pieces of information on every student that is enrolled using one of the above mentioned visas types. When the designated school official enters the report on a student, it must include the following:

  • Has the student enrolled or failed to enroll
  • All changes to the student’s name or address
  • Early completion of any program
  • Any disciplinary actions (academic or otherwise) that are related to a criminal conviction
  • Any unauthorized drop to less than full-time student status
  • Any termination of study
  • Failure to complete their study program as scheduled
  • Other Events

Essential for Educational Institutions

In order to accept non-immigrant students into an educational program, the university or other educational institution must comply with the SEVIS system. The government performs audits on each school every two years to ensure full and proper compliance. In addition to being a strict requirement from the government, this program also offers the students some significant benefits.

For example, since this system is entirely electronic, it can help get the students their immigration forms much more quickly than would otherwise be possible. It can also help them to qualify for certain types of practical training employment.

Seeking Legal Assistance

All educational institutions should consider seeking legal assistance from experienced immigration attorneys in order to ensure they don’t run into any problems. The SEVIS program puts a variety of requirements on the schools in order to remain in compliance, and failing to live up to these requirements can result in the school facing fines or losing the authorization to accept the students covered by the program.

Ford Murray Law has worked with a variety of educational institutions to help them achieve and maintain the needed compliance for this program. Whether you are already in the SEVIS program or you’re looking to apply, we can help you every step of the way. Please reach out to us to learn more or set up a consultation right away.