SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.  It is a secure internet-based system operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  This monitoring system allows schools and ICE to exchange data on the visa status of international students and scholars.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS),  as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and American Embassies and Consulates overseas also have access to SEVIS.  Accurate and current information is transmitted electronically prior to and throughout an F-1 or J-1 student/scholar's academic program in the United States.


This is how SEVIS works:

  1. After Pace University admits an international student, SEVIS is notified and ICE approves the University's request to issue a Form I-20 or DS-2019.  The Office of Admissions prints and issues the new bar-coded Form I-20 (or DS-2019) to the student.
  2. The student visits the U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad, and the Consular Officer verifies through SEVIS that the student’s I-20 (or DS-2019) is a valid document.  If everything is in order, the Consulate issues the F-1 (or J-1) visa.
  3. An Immigration Officer at the port of entry inspects the student’s documents and reports to SEVIS the student’s entry to the U.S.  The SEVIS system, in turn, notifies Pace that the student has entered the country.
  4. When the student arrives on campus, he/she reports to the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) and registers for classes.  The ISSO then verifies the student's enrollment through SEVIS.
  5. The ISSO continues to provide regular electronic reports to SEVIS throughout the student's academic career (see below).
  6. Finally, SEVIS records the student's departure from the United States.

Pace University must report:

  • Whether the student has enrolled ful time at the school or failed to enroll.
  • A change of the student or dependent's legal name or address.
  • Any student who graduates prior to the end date listed on the Form I-20.
  • Academic or disciplinary actions taken due to criminal conviction.
  • When a student drops below full-time and whether the less-than-full-time study is authorized by a DSO (immigration regulations refer to international student advisers as "Designated School Officials" or DSO's).
  • Any form of employment authorization, including Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training.
  • Other data generated by standard procedures such as program extensions, change of major, school transfers, changes in level of study, and reinstatement.
  • Any student who fails to maintain status or complete his or her program.
  • Termination date and reason for termination.