The SEVIS implementation deadline is barely two weeks old, but the Immigration and Naturalization Service is still fixing glitches. In addition, the Aug. 1 deadline for schools to register their foreign students saw the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a bureau of the Department of Homeland Security, putting agents in the field to make sure foreign students were registered in the new tracking system.
SEVIS, short for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, is designed to track foreign students entering the country and enrolling at U.S. colleges and universities. The government’s computerized database is supposed to track foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay. U.S. educational institutions with foreign students had until Aug. 1 to be certified participants in SEVIS, which entails having information about these students entered in the SEVIS database.
But according to ICE, more than 600 schools had yet to file applications, or filed them late, missing the Aug. 1 deadline. “Because of late filings by these schools,” the ICE announcement said, “there is concern that foreign students attending schools that have failed to meet the SEVIS deadline will be denied entry into the United States.”
In other words, all foreign students entering the country after the Aug. 1 deadline must have been registered in SEVIS by their schools.
ICE also created a command center that will operate 24/7 to coordinate with schools across the nation. They will also work with DHS inspectors at U.S. ports of entry to address those foreign students impacted by the law and whose universities have not yet registered them.
According to statistics supplied by ICE, about one million foreign students come to the U.S. every year.
For more information on SEVIS and its implications, see CR80News February 2003 article titled “Tracking foreign students under the SEVIS rule: How the new requirements impact card offices.”