Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 02062444 (posted Jun. 24, 2002)"
R 120118Z JUN 02
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR
SPECIAL EMBASSY PROGRAM
UNCLAS STATE 113328
VISAS, FOR CONSULS, ALSO FOR PAO'S
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: SEVIS and New Student and Exchange Visitor Forms
1. Summary: The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is beginning the
implementation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
SEVIS is an internet-based system that collects current information on
nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors. SEVIS will be introduced as a
voluntary system on July 1, 2002, and will become fully implemented and
mandatory sometime early in 2003. This cable provides some background on SEVIS
and serves as notification of a new version of the Form I-20 A-B/I-20ID,
Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - For Academic
and Language Students, Form I-20 M-N/I-20ID, Certificate of Eligibility for
Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status - For Vocational Students, and the re-numbered
Form DS-2019, the former IAP-66 - for exchange visitors. From now until SEVIS is
mandatory, officers in the field will be receiving from student and exchange
visitor visa applicants multiple versions of forms I-20 A-B, I-20M-N, IAP-66,
IAP-66P and DS2019. All of these versions of the documents are acceptable until
SEVIS becomes mandatory. At that time, only the SEVIS-compatible Form I-20
A-B/I-20ID, Form I-20 M-N/I-20ID, and Form DS-2019 will be acceptable.
2. The State Department is not yet linked to the SEVIS system; detailed
instructions will be cabled to all posts prior to State's linkage to the system.
See para 5 for a brief description of how SEVIS will affect student (F, M and J)
and exchange visitor (J) visa issuance. The main processing reform is that,
under SEVIS, each F-2, M-2 and J-2 dependent will receive his or her individual
Form I-20A-B, I-20M-N or DS-2019. End summary.
3. Background: SEVIS (the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is
an internet-based INS system that will track F, M and J visa participants from
the time they receive their documentation until they graduate/leave school or
conclude/leave program. The legislative mandate for SEVIS is Section 641 of the
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (P.L.
104-208), which requires that INS, in consultation with State and Education,
establish a reporting and tracking system, preferably electronic, for collecting
and maintaining data and information on foreign students and exchange visitors.
Other significant legislative milestones are Public Law No. 106-396, which gave
INS the responsibility for imposing and determining the amount of the mandated
SEVIS user fee (currently deferred), and the USA PATRIOT Act of October 2001
(P.L. 107-56), which allots $36.8 million to support the nationwide deployment
of SEVIS by the end of calendar year 2002. In addition, Part V of the Enhanced
Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-173) establishes a
requirement for a transitional program of data sharing between schools and
sponsors, the Department and INS to be in place 120 days after passage of the
act, and the collection of certain data. Issues related to the Enhanced Border
Security and Visa Reform Act will be addressed septel.
4. INS plans to launch SEVIS as a voluntary interactive website on July 1,
2002. Batch-mode enhancement, enabling schools to transfer information through
software linkages, is due by fall. Academic institutions' participation in SEVIS
at first will be voluntary; according to INS draft regulations currently in the
comment period, participation will be mandatory on January 30, 2003. (The
academic community likely will request more time; ECA will issue separate
regulations establishing a compliance date for exchange visitor programs.) Once
SEVIS participation is mandatory, all I-20s and DS 2019s will have to be printed
from SEVIS to be valid.
5. The SEVIS internet-based application will be accessible by INS, DOS,
certified schools and certified sponsors. The SEVIS database will collect and
make accessible to authorized users the major events associated with
international students' and exchange visitors' status, from the issuance of I-20
or DS-2019 forms through visa application and issuance to graduation/departure
from the U.S./change of status. Data pushed from the SEVIS database to the field
will allow consular officers to confirm I-20 and DS-2019 provenance. Upon visa
issuance, existing DOS-INS data share links will be used to record that event to
the SEVIS database. End background.
6. Until the use of SEVIS is mandatory, consular officers and academic
advisors in the field, as well as INS inspectors at the ports of entry, will
receive multiple versions of the basic forms that indicate eligibility for
student and exchange visitor status. All of these versions are valid until the
SEVIS mandatory compliance date.
7. With respect to the F and M student visas, the SEVIS-compliant versions of
the I-20 are the Form I-20A-B/I-20ID, Certificate of Eligibility for
Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - For Academic and Language Students, and Form
I-20M-N/I-20ID, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status
- For Vocational Students (hereafter referred to as the "SEVIS I-20"). The SEVIS
I-20 will no longer be a two-page form with a student copy and a school copy.
Rather, the SEVIS Form I-20 will have only the student page. The SEVIS Form I-20
will contain a two-dimensional (2D) bar code on the right hand corner of the
form, and will have the word "SEVIS" printed above the bar code. Dependents will
each have their own SEVIS Form I-20. The student copy of the SEVIS Form I-20
should be endorsed in the same manner as is currently done and returned to the
student. In instances of travel a student with a SEVIS Form I-20 will have a
separate page for the DSO (Designated School Official) signature authorizing
8. In addition to the new SEVIS Form I-20 and the "traditional" Form I-20,
officers will also encounter, and should accept, earlier-version Forms I-20-P
(as well as IAP-66-P) issued by the twenty-one Coordinated Interagency
Partnership Regulating International Students (CIPRIS, an earlier version of
SEVIS) pilot schools and exchange programs in the southeastern United States.
Form 1-20-P is a single page, blue or white form. Officers also will encounter
Forms I-20 from the ten SEVIS test schools and programs located in the Boston,
Massachusetts area. See para 12 for a list of these schools and exchange
9. Officers will also encounter multiple versions of the form IAP-66/DS-2019
for exchange visitors. The paper Form IAP-66 - Certificate of Eligibility for
Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status: the 4-page color-coded (white, yellow, pink and
green) document that has been in place for many years. J-1 program sponsors have
been instructed to exhaust existing stocks of IAP-66 forms before using the new
DS-2019. Form DS-2019 will exist in two formats until such time as the
Department requires all program sponsors to participate in SEVIS. The paper Form
DS-2019 is a 4-page color-coded (yellow, white, pink, and green) document. The
content of the form is identical to the form IAP-66. However, the following
changes have been made: 1) The form reflects the Department of State rather than
the United States Information Agency; 2) the letter prefix in the upper right
hand corner of each form is "G"; and 3) the order of the colors has been
switched with the yellow copy on top, followed by the white, pink and green
copies. The handling of the non-SEVIS version of the DS-2019 is no different
from the way the Form IAP-66 is handled today, the white copy is for the INS,
the yellow is for the Department, and the pink is for the J-1 visitor.
The electronic Form IAP-66-P that was used in CIPRIS: this is a one-page
The electronic Form DS-2019 that will be used in SEVIS: this is a one-page
document that contains a two-dimensional (2D) bar code in the top, right hand
corner. Dependents will each have their own SEVIS Form DS-2019. The form
differentiates the J-1 participant and the J-2 dependent by indicating the
appropriate status (J-1 or J-2) above the bar code. The form issued to the J-2
will include the name of the J-1 primary.
10. J-2 dependents: the concurrent validity of multiple versions of Form
IAP-66/DS-2019 has implications for the admission of J-2 dependents. The process
currently utilized to admit dependents of J-1 exchange visitors documented with
the IAP-66 or the paper form DS-2019 involves the sponsor attaching a list of
dependents (typed on their letterhead) to the IAP-66/DS-2019. Dependents of J-1
exchange visitors documented with the IAP-66-P may have their own IAP-66-P.
However, for any J-2 dependent so documented after the close of the CIPRIS pilot
program, the sponsor may attach a list on their letterhead to the principal
alien's IAP-66P as described above. Once implemented, SEVIS will generate
individual Forms DS-2019 for both the J-1 and J-2 categories.
11. When SEVIS is initially implemented all J-2 forms will reflect "Begin new
Program" for initial entry including situations where the J-2 is entering
separately following the J-1 primary. This will be corrected in a subsequent
release of SEVIS.
12. CIPRIS and SEVIS pilot schools:
CIPRIS PILOT SCHOOLS
- Anderson College, Anderson, SC
- Auburn University, AL
- Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC
- Brenau University, Gainesville, GA
- Clemson University, Clemson, SC
- Georgia Perimeter College, Clarkston, GA
- Duke University, Durham, NC
- ELS Language Centers, Marietta, GA
- Guilford Technical CC, Jamestown, NC
- Mercer University, Macon, GA
- Methodist College, Fayetteville, NC
- Midlands Technical College, Columbia, SC
- North American Institute of Aviation, Conway, SC
- Oakwood College, Huntsville, AL
- Samford University, Birmingham, AL
- Shaw University, Raleigh, NC
- State University of W. Georgia, Carrollton, GA
- University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
- University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
- University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
- Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC
BOSTON SEVIS TEST
SCHOOLS AND EXCHANGE
- Center for Blood Research
- Arthur D. Little School, Inc.
- Emmanuel College
- Framingham State College
- Hellenic College
- Lasell College
- Middlesex Community College
- NE College of Optometry
- Worcester State College
- New England Conservatory of Music
13. Minimize considered.