The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) is a program within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to manage foreign students and exchange visitors in the United States through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.
SEVIS is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States. It is the core technology for the DHS in this critical mission.
SEVIS implements Section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which requires DHS to collect current information from nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors continually during their course of stay in the United States.
In addition, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act; Public Law 107-56, amended Section 641) mandated implementation of SEVIS prior to Jan. 1, 2003.
SEVIS tracks and monitors nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors. If accepted by an SEVP-certified school, foreign students may be admitted to the United States with the appropriate F or M nonimmigrant status.
If accepted for participation in a Department of State-verified exchange visitor program, exchange visitors may be admitted to the United States with J nonimmigrant status. Records of these nonimmigrant admissions and continued participation in these educational programs are maintained in SEVIS.
Further, SEVIS enables SEVP to assure proper reporting and record keeping by schools and exchange visitor programs, thereby ensuring data currency and integrity. SEVIS also provides a mechanism for student and exchange visitor status violators to be identified so that appropriate enforcement is taken (i.e., denial of admission, denial of benefits or removal from the United States).
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for the admission of different classes of nonimmigrants who are foreign nationals seeking temporary admission to the United States. The purpose of the nonimmigrant’s intended stay in the United States determines his or her proper nonimmigrant classification.
Some classifications permit the nonimmigrant’s spouse and qualifying children to accompany the nonimmigrant to the United States or to join the nonimmigrant here. To qualify, a child must be unmarried and under the age of 21.
F-1 nonimmigrants, as defined in section 101(a)(15)(F) of the INA, are foreign students coming to the United States to pursue a full course of academic study in SEVP-approved schools. An F-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an F-1 student.
M-1 nonimmigrants, as defined in section 101(a)(15)(M) of the INA, are foreign nationals pursuing a full course of study at an SEVP-approved vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution (other than in language training programs) in the United States. An M-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an M-1 student.
Student and Exchange Visitor Program Data Library
When an individual enrolls at a U.S. school as an F-1 or M-1 international student, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) captures certain information about that individual in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
The data included in this data set has been extracted from SEVIS and provides an overview of SEVP-certified schools and active international students during a specific calendar year. This data is updated annually.
SEVIS International Student Classification
Congratulations on your decision to study in the United States. International students who come to the United States to study must follow specific rules. However, different rules apply depending on your student type and education level. Learn what student type and education level applies to you below:
- F-1: International students enrolling in academic programs at a university, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or another academic institution, including an English language program.
- M-1: International students enrolling in a technical program at vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program.
Kindergarten to Grade 12: In the United States, students usually begin a formal educational program around age five or six in kindergarten. Children then complete primary and secondary school which spans from first grade through grade 12.
Postsecondary: In the United States, students usually enroll in postsecondary schooling as adults (over the age of 18) and this category includes technical and community colleges, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
English language training: In the United States, non-native English speaking students enroll in intensive training programs that have the sole purpose of increasing fluency in the language. Students of all ages can enroll in English language training programs.