Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the Web-based system that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools, F-1 and M-1 students who come to the United States to attend those schools, U.S. Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsors and J-1 visa Exchange Visitor Program participants. It is a critical tool in our mission to protect national security while supporting the legal entry of more than one million F, M and J nonimmigrants to the United States for education and cultural exchange.
Schools use SEVIS to petition SEVP for certification, which allows the school to offer programs of study to nonimmigrant students. Designated school officials of SEVP-certified schools use SEVIS to:
- Update school information and apply for recertification of the school for continued ability to issue Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” to nonimmigrant students and their dependents
- Issue Forms I-20 to specific nonimmigrants to obtain F or M status while enrolled at the school
- Fulfill the school’s legal reporting responsibility regarding student addresses, courses of study, enrollment, employment and compliance with the terms of the student status
- Transfer the student SEVIS records to other institutions
Exchange Visitor programs use SEVIS to petition the Department of State for designation that allows the sponsor to offer educational and cultural exchange programs to exchange visitors. Responsible officers of designated Exchange Visitor programs use SEVIS to:
- Update sponsor information and apply for re-designation every two years
- Issue Forms DS-2019, “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status,” to specific individuals to obtain J status
- Fulfill the sponsor’s legal reporting responsibility regarding exchange visitor addresses, sites of activity, program participation, employment and compliance with the terms of the J status
- Transfer exchange visitor SEVIS records to other institutions
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is constantly evolving to:
- Address national security and public policy concerns
- Improve the user experience
- Improve system performance
SEVIS users should be aware of planned changes to the system that could affect schools and programs. Details of planned changes can be found on the SEVIS Enhancements page on the SEVIS Help Hub .
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 authorized the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to create an electronic system to collect information on F, M, and J nonimmigrants to address the problem of F, M, and J nonimmigrants who are out of status and remain in the United States without authorization. The system was intended to support INS’ efforts to determine how many F, M, and J nonimmigrants are in the country, where they are, and what they are studying. After September 11, 2001, Congress updated the legislation to mandate the use of an electronic system to collect information on all F, M, and J nonimmigrants.
To meet this mandate, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State deployed SEVIS in January 2003. SEVIS is a web-based information system that tracks and monitors F, M, and J nonimmigrants and dependents throughout the duration of approved participation within the U.S. education system or designated exchange visitor program. SEVIS maintains records on these nonimmigrants and receives updated information from schools and sponsors, such as changes of domestic address and in program study. SEVIS also maintains information on the schools, exchange visitor program sponsors, and their representatives (i.e. designated school officials, responsible officers, and alternate responsible officers).
- SEVIS Access Instructions (PDF | 222 KB)
SEVIS User Profiles for Government Users
After obtaining a SEVIS user name and creating a password, all government users must create a user profile when logging into SEVIS for the first time. The user profile allows:
- Compliance with Federal Information Security Management Act requirements for users to verify their continued need to access SEVIS annually.
- Improved SEVP communications with government users about SEVIS system changes and outages.
- Government users to reset their passwords more quickly.
SEVIS Webinar: Create Government User Profile AMT
SEVP hosted a webinar on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 to demonstrate the functionality of the new government user profiles.
- Webinar Slides SEVIS User Profiles (PDF | 1.5 MB)
- Webinar Recording
SEVIS User Manuals
Note: SEVIS Release 6.29 deployed on Sept. 30, 2016. Enhancements included in this release may impact the accuracy of some SEVIS user manuals. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to SEVIS Release 6.29 Planning Guide on the SEVIS Help Hub .