What is SEVIS?
- Program Description
SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System), is an internet-based system requiring authorized schools and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to exchange information on the immigration status of international students, scholars, and their dependents while in the United States. Effective August 1, 2003, Morehead State University must electronically transmit immigration, academic, and dependent information to the USCIS throughout an F-1 or J-1 Student's/Visiting Scholar's Academic/Professional career in the United States. J-1 scholars and their dependents are also included in the SEVIS reporting requirement. U.S. Embassies and Consulates will also have access to SEVIS.
- How does SEVIS work?
After the university admits an international student, MSU will enter that student/students and any accompanying dependent's information into SEVIS. If everything is correct, USCIS will electronically approve the university's request to issue an I-20 (or DS-2019, for J-1 students or scholars). An assigned, barcoded, numbered SEVIS I-20 will be assigned to each student and dependent. The designated school official (DSO) will download and deliver the approved I-20 to the student/scholar and each accompanying dependent. The student/scholar will visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where they will verify through SEVIS that the I-20 or DS-2019 the individual presents is a valid document. If everything is in order the Immigration Officer will issue the requested visa.
- Arrival in the United States
A USCIS officer at the port of entry will use the barcode on the SEVIS I-20 to report to the SEVIS database that the student/scholar has entered the United States. MSU will then have access to this information.
- Arrival on Campus
Upon arrival on campus, the student/visiting scholar must report to the Office of International Education (OIE). The DSO at MSU will then confirm through SEVIS the individual's arrival on campus. Electronic reports must be provided to SEVIS in a timely manner throughout the student/scholar's academic career.
- Departure from the U.S.
Finally, SEVIS will record the student/scholar's departure from the U.S.
- Information MSU must report to SEVIS
1. Student/Visiting Scholar has enrolled within 30 days at MSU or notification of failure to enroll.
2. All changes of legal names or addresses.
3. Graduation prior to end date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019.
4. Academic or disciplinary action taken due to criminal conviction.
5. A student's drop below a full course of study without prior authorization from the DSO.
6. Dismissal or withdrawal date and reason for dismissal or withdrawal.
7. Procedures such as program extensions, school transfers, changes in level of study, employment authorizations and reinstatement.
8. Any student who fails to maintain status or complete his or her program for any reason.
- MSU will not be able to rectify any situation resulting from a student's/exchange visitor's failure to maintain status
Once a deadline has passed, the SEVIS system will not accept applications for F-1 students' benefits
or changes in registration. Failure to comply will result in the termination of the legal status of the
student or exchange visitor who has missed a deadline.
- Consequences of failure to maintain status
Students' records are updated in SEVIS at specified intervals or at a time a student commits a technical violation of the regulations. Failure to maintain status will result in the student or exchange visitor being subject to deportation. Some specific consequences include inability to work in the United States, denial of re-entry to the United States, inability to move from undergraduate to graduate status, denial of request for optional practical training, denial of request to change visa status, and possibly denial of future visa application.
- Can a student who falls out of status regain legal status?
If a student falls below a full course of study without prior approval from OIE, then MSU must report that to the USCIS through SEVIS, recording the student as out of status. The student may apply to the USCIS for reinstatement only if the violation resulted from circumstances beyond his or her control. And only if the student has been out of status for less than 5 months. Students are advised that reinstatement will only be available to very few students who meet the specific requirements, for example serious injury or illness. Student oversight will no longer be accepted as reason for reinstatement. For example, students who forget to renew their I-20 or DS-2019 forms before they expire, or fail to enroll within 30 days of the start of the semester will not be able to apply for reinstatement. USCIS will terminate the records of these students in the SEVIS database and record them as out of status (they become illegal aliens). Those students who fall out of status with the USCIS and are ineligible or have been denied reinstatement must leave the United States, apply for a new visa at the U.S. Embassy and re-enter the United States in order to regain legal status.
- Benefits of SEVIS to Students & Scholars
With this system, data should move faster through the electronic SEVIS system than before (paper-based system). USCIS will be able to approve applications for benefits such as OPT much faster.
- Students/Scholars' Responsibilities
1. Review your I-20 or DS-2019 Forms
2. Make sure you are still in the academic program shown in your document.
3. Is your I-20 or DS-2019 about to expire? If so, please call 783-9305 for an appointment.
4. Monitor this site for updates on SEVIS and for the latest information from USCIS, as it becomes available.
5. Refer to the Maintenance of Status page to make sure you follow the regulations pertaining to class schedules, travel outside the United States, or employment opportunities.
- Missing certain deadlines may result in denied opportunities
Read and understand the terms and conditions on the back of your I-20 or DS-2019 form. These conditions are strongly enforced under SEVIS. It is your responsibility to comply with the regulations that govern your status in the United States.
Consult the Office of International Education (783-9305), if you have any immigration questions or problems. Please do not rely on your friends or rumors for information about USCIS regulations and SEVIS.
Pamella D. Jaisingh
International Student Services Director
Office: 422 University Blvd, Brumagen House
Phone: (606) 783-9305