Student and Exchange Visitor Program guidance on COVID-19 and nonimmigrant students on F and M visas

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released guidance on 9 March 2020 regarding potential procedural adaptions that SEVP-certified schools may take to address COVID-19. On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), SEVP oversees nonimmigrant students on F and M visas that are pursuing programs of study within the United States.

SEVP administers Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the U.S. The SEVP guidance – which relates only to students who are currently enrolled in a program of study in the U.S. – addresses how SEVIS users should report operational changes and accommodations that will be made for F and M visa students. As with the recent U.S. Department of Education COVID-19 guidance, which we described in our 9 March advisory, SEVP appears to be signaling that it will be flexible with respect to application of its rules in light of COVID-19 developments. At the same time, the guidance focuses largely on process and does not expressly waive regulatory requirements. As institutions address COVID-19, the guidance describes steps to address potential compliance risks related to institutional regulatory obligations.

Read More: Student and Exchange Visitor Program guidance on COVID-19 and nonimmigrant students on F and M visas


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