Understanding SEVIS

SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, an electronic system by which student and scholar data is transmitted directly to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. On October 1, 2001, a U.S. law passed called the "Patriot Act" that mandated schools to use SEVIS to report certain data on individuals with F-1 and J-1 status to the government.

There are three main components of SEVIS:

  1. Production of the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)
  2. Maintaining current F-1 and J-1 records 
  3. Reporting events

Visa Document Production at Florida Tech

To create an I-20 or DS-2019, a Designated School Official (DSO) in the Florida Tech International Student & Scholar Services Office must enter the pertinent information into the schools database. These new document requests are sent to SEVIS through the Internet on a daily basis. The requests are processed and transmitted back as .pdf files. The documents are printed, signed and prepared for delivery to the student or scholar.

Reporting Events

The University is required by law to notify SEVIS of certain "events" during a student or scholar's stay in the U.S. The requirements are slightly different for each category:

STUDENT event information

  • I-20 (F-1) or a DS-2019 (J-1) information
  • Registration and full-time enrollment every semester 
  • Local, residential address 
  • A change of major or degree level 
  • A withdrawal from the study program before completion 
  • Completion of the study program 
  • Extensions of the I-20 or DS 2019 to complete the study program 
  • F-1 CPT employment 
  • F-1 OPT (periods of employment and unemployment) 
  • J-1 on-campus employment and Academic Training

SCHOLAR event information

  • DS-2019 information
  • Confirmation of arrival 
  • Local, residential address 
  • Extensions of the program 
  • Completion of the program before the end date of the DS-2019

Students and scholars are urged to make note of these reportable events and seek advising before making any changes that may affect your status.

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