Universities, colleges, private schools, and public high schools seek to enroll foreign national students in order to create cultural experiences for the U.S. student body as well as to expand sources of tuition revenue. In order to enroll international students with an F or M student visa, schools are required to obtain certification from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), and must stay compliant with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). FordMurray provides immigration support to in-house counsel and international student programs – contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
Higher education institutions begin the SEVP certification process by submitting an I-17 petition. During the I-17 petition process, your institution must prove the following:
- That it is a qualified academic institution
- The purpose and scope of the foreign student program (FSP)
- Identity and immigration status of the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) and additional Designated School Officials (DSOs)
- The requirements for completion of the FSP, including the full-time curriculum
- Sufficient funding and facilities
FordMurray has worked with schools across the nation to successfully navigate the I-17 Certification process. Our services include assistance with preparation and filing of the I-17 petition as well as training of school administrators in F-1 visa regulations as required for successful completion of the site visit and interview by SEVP agents.
Once your institution has received SEVP Certification, FordMurray attorneys provide support to human resource professionals, in-house counsel and those in your education institution who are navigating the SEVIS system. Institutions are required to report the following information in the SEVIS system, and to keep the information up to date:
- Date of birth
- Country of citizenship
- School ID number
- Residential and mailing addresses
- Credits, grades, course ID code, and term for each course taken
- Date of withdrawal from any course
- Cumulative credits or clock hours
- GPA for each term and cumulatively
- Unabridged academic transcript
- Written application
- Documentation of student acceptance
- Documentation of student payment and expenses
- Medical documentation used to substantiate reduced course load
It is important that all faculty, staff and administration in your institution are aware of and receive training regarding the specific stipulations for foreign students. Additionally, schools should be ready to assist students as they transition from their student visas to employment visas or as they return to their home countries.
In addition to consultations and training, we help clients remain in compliance with the program requirements of SEVIS and prepare for biannual compliance audits. FordMurray clients include colleges, universities, research organizations, private and public high schools, and alternative secondary education institutions across the country. For more information, download our detailed guide, How to Admit Foreign Students into Your School, or visit our blog for a look at the latest news in immigration and higher education. Contact us today to if you have a question and would like to schedule a complimentary consultation to talk with an attorney.