Schools seeking authorization to enroll international students on a Student (F-1) Visa based on a SEVIS Form I-20 must seek approval from the US Department of Homeland Security. The application procedure involves completing a Form I-17, paying an application fee, providing supportive documentation, and hosting a school site visit.

To receive SEVIS authorization, schools must attest that one or more staff members have a working knowledge of the federal regulations application to international student enrollment. These regulations are found in the US Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR Part 214).

After receiving SEVIS approval, schools must adhere to certain federal regulations, which include ensuring applicants meet the school’s financial, academic, and language requirements, maintaining proper records of all enrolled international students, ensuring that all F-1 students are enrolled in a program of study “full-time,” registering students each academic term on the SEVIS database, and properly closing out the SEVIS records of students who transfer, depart the US prematurely, fail to complete their program of study.

Assistance in understanding and applying federal regulations is available from various organizations and on various websites, starting with government websites themselves.

An on-line training program providing a basic introduction to federal regulations and the SEVIS system can be found here.

NAFSA: The Association of International Educators is a professional organization that provides many resources to those involved in all facets of international education.

Please contact M&W Global Services if you would like to become a SEVIS authorized school or if you a SEVIS authorized school and have questions concerning the process of generating I-20’s or ensuring your international students remain ‘in status.’