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What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is a web-based system administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program office. SEVIS was established to track and monitor the status and activities of all nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors (i.e. all those in F or J status) entering the United States. SEVIS links electronically U.S. colleges and universities, DHS, U.S. embassies and consulates, the Department of State, exchange visitor programs and U.S. ports of entry with information and updates.

What information is maintained for students on SEVIS?

While not a complete listing, Dartmouth is required to report and update the following events:

  • Whether a student has enrolled at the College, or failed to enroll
  • Start date of student’s next session
  • Any student who graduates prior to the I-20 program end date
  • Termination date and reason for termination
  • Change of legal name or address (U.S. residential address)
  • Other data such as program extensions, transfers, changes in level of study, employment authorizations, and reinstatement.
  • Any failure to maintain status or complete program
  • Dependent (F-2 information)

What information is maintained for J-1 exchange visitors on SEVIS?

Information tracked and reported in SEVIS for J-1 exchange visitors includes

  • Validation of program (when a student or scholar confirms their presence on campus, and their participation in the exchange program)
  • Exchange program start and end dates
  • Field of study and or research
  • Category of participation (student, degree, or non-degree; student – intern; research scholar, long or short-term; Professor; Specialist)
  • Funding information; amount and sources
  • Data regarding program extensions, work authorizations, transfers and reinstatement.
  • Any failure to maintain valid J-1 status
  • Dependent (J-2 information)

How does my school or sponsoring institution use SEVIS?

Schools or institutions authorized to admit F-1 students, or host J-1 Exchange Visitors are required by U.S. regulations to use SEVIS to report certain academic and biographical information to the Department of Homeland Security. The school can then issue a Form I-20 for the admitted student, or Form DS-2019 for an exchange visitor. This form proves the student or scholar is eligible to apply for an F-1 student visa or a J-1 student or scholar visa.

What does “failure to maintain status” mean?

“Failing to maintain status” means that an individual has not adhered to the terms of their visa, as defined by the U.S. government. Student/scholar immigration records are updated with valid status information in SEVIS every term.

Some examples of failure to maintain status for an F-1 student would include:

  • Dropping from full-time to part-time enrollment without prior approval from your OVIS advisor
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Attending a school other than the one the student was authorized to attend
  • Failure to complete a timely school transfer procedure or program extension
  • Failure to report a change of address

Some examples of failing to maintain status for a J-1 student or scholar would be:

  • Withdrawing from classes, or quitting a research program
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Transferring to attend or work at a different school, without following SEVIS transfer procedures
  • Failing to extend a program on time
  • Failing to report a change of address

If I fail to maintain status, what are the consequences?

Students and Exchange Visitors who fail to maintain status lose the privileges of their student visa and become subject to sanctions from the US. Government, such as a denial of re-entry to the U.S., inability to move from undergraduate to graduate status, denial of requests for Practical Training (F-1 student benefit) or Academic Training (J-1 student benefit)), denial of request to change visa status, possible denial of future visa applications, and removal from the U.S..

Can a student or scholar who is “out of status” regain legal status?

If a student or scholar fails to maintain valid status, he or she may apply for reinstatement if the violation resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control. Reinstatement is intended to be a rare benefit for exceptional cases. The student or scholar may not apply for reinstatement under any circumstances if he or she is out of status longer than five months. If USCIS (for F-1 students) or the Exchange Visitor Program (for J-1 visitors) does not approve the reinstatement, the student tor scholar may not appeal that decision. Your immigration advisor can assist you with a reinstatement application, if you qualify.

What is the SEVIS fee?

See our government fee information sheet, here:

Where can I get more information on SEVIS?

Last Updated: 3/16/17