COVID-19: Information for Students and Schools

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student and exchange visitor program

Welcome to News and Updates from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This message provides useful information for the international student and academic communities.

Important news regarding COVID-19

Read about SEVP adaptations for COVID-19

As COVID-19 impacts international students and SEVP-certified schools, SEVP is closely monitoring key developments and will provide further information and important updates as necessary. SEVP's priority is ensuring that F and M students can make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations.

In all cases, schools and students must document any changes made and be prepared to provide this information to SEVP upon request. SEVP intends to be flexible and create special adaptations during this time. Please note that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is the primary resource for up-to-date information on COVID-19.

Look for any official updates from SEVP on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) COVID-19 Guidance page. The Nonimmigrant Students and SEVP-Certified Schools tab includes guidance from SEVP, including links to all guidance documents and time-stamped frequently asked questions.


Learn More

Students: Learn About Important COVID-19 Guidelines

Follow these tips to ensure you are able to maintain your F or M status, continue practical training and/or travel safely.

  • Maintain status: It is important that F and M students maintain their nonimmigrant student status, even during emergency events. This means you must continue to take all the necessary actions to remain in status, to the extent possible under the circumstances. You must also communicate with your designated school official (DSO) about the emergency plans on your campus, including any changes to your address.
  • Communicate with employers: If you are participating in practical training, work with your employer to maintain practical training agreements. If changes have been made to your workplace environment, you should consult with your employer to seek alternative ways to maintain training agreements, such as teleworking or other arrangements.
  • Be cautious traveling: Refer to guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for specific port-of-entry screening processes, as well as any travel restrictions.

Schools: Fulfill Your Reporting Requirements

  • Report Procedural Changes: Any procedural changes must be reported to SEVP within 10 business days of the change. If your school plans to provide online instruction or instruction at an alternate physical location, please see COVID-19 and Potential Procedural Adaptations for F and M nonimmigrant students for instructions for when and how to report changes to SEVP. Download the Optional Coronavirus School Reporting Template to help you fulfill your SEVP reporting requirements.
  • Manage Student Records: Refer to these instructions for managing student records of F and M students impacted by COVID-19. Please make sure all information in SEVIS is up to date, including addresses.

Resources from Government Partners

Our government partners are working to provide the public with accurate information. Please refer to the below websites of other agencies involved in the international student life cycle to learn more about COVID-19 and stay informed.

Don't Miss the March Edition SEVP Spotlight

SEVP Spotlight is the program's quarterly newsletter to the academic community. Don't miss the March edition for updates from the program and a letter from Director Canty on COVID-19. Sign up to receive SEVP Spotlight via GovDelivery.

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