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July 2, 2002

INS Begins SEVIS Preliminary Enrollment
First Steps in Enhancing Monitoring of Foreign Students

WASHINGTON, DC – The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced the successful start on July 1, 2002, of a preliminary enrollment period to enable INS approved schools to begin using the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to accept foreign students.

SEVIS is an Internet-based computer system that will enable schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications to INS and the Department of State throughout a foreign student’s or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States.

The preliminary enrollment period is limited to postsecondary, language, and vocational schools accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education; public high schools with certification from the appropriate public official that the school meets the requirements of the state or local public educational system; and private elementary and private secondary schools that are accredited by an organization holding membership in the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) or the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS). In addition, all schools must have been approved by INS to accept academic (F visa) and vocational (M visa) foreign students for the past three years.

There is no fee for preliminary enrollment. The preliminary enrollment period will remain open until at least August 16, 2002. At that time, INS plans to issue a new interim rule governing the certification process for all schools seeking to participate in SEVIS. Upon issuance of the new interim rule, all schools will pay a standard certification fee. The rule will further provide that every two years there will be an on-site review of each school that desires to accept or continue to accept foreign students.

“The beginning of this enrollment period brings us one step closer to implementing SEVIS,” said INS Commissioner James Ziglar. “SEVIS promises to revolutionize the way information about foreign students is shared between schools and INS.”

- INS -

Last Modified 07/02/2002