Social Security: i17 process

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SEVP Certification Process WELCOME! The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) School Certification Branch (SCB) is responsible for evaluating Form I-17, Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student, to determine whether educational institutions meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). When a school’s petition is approved, the school can issue Forms I-20, Certificate for Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Stu
  SEVP Certification Process WELCOME! The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) School Certification Branch (SCB) is responsible forevaluatingForm I-17, Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student, to determinewhether educational institutions meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). When a school’s petition is approved, the school can issueForms I-20, Certificate forEligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status in order to enroll nonimmigrant students in an F (academic) and/or M(vocational) visa classification. While a school’s certification is pending, it may not issue I-20s nor enrollnonimmigrant students on an F and/or M student visa.The Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, adjudicates applications of sponsors whowish to issue Form DS-2019 for the J-1 exchange visitor (EV) program, a different designation from SEVPcertification. Exchange Visitors are nonimmigrants issued a J visa classification in order to participate inprograms offering the opportunity for visitors to participate in cultural exchange as au pairs, researchers, teachers,etc.Certification entails a great deal of responsibility for monitoring, tracking, reporting, and recordkeeping of nonimmigrant foreign students. Certified schools are responsible for ensuring international students aremaintaining lawful nonimmigrant status and reporting information on those students to SEVP, through the Studentand Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), when they are not maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status.It is imperative the school understands the resources, roles, and responsibilities required for being a certifiedschool. After reviewing all information on the website, if you still have questions on the certification process,send an email to the SCB atschoolcert.sevis@dhs.gov.   Student and Exchange Visitor Program (page 1 of 13) November 2006    SEVP Certification Process   Does my school qualify for certification? 8 CFR 214.3defines the criteria for consideration for approval of any school applying for certification. To be considered  for approval, a school must be: ã A bona fide school; ã An established institution of learning or other recognized place of study; ã In possession of the necessary facilities, personnel, and finances to conduct instruction in recognizedcourses; and ã Engaged in instruction of those courses. This means before a school applies, it: ã Must have already opened its doors and begun instructing students in the courses/programs for which itis seeking approval; ã Must have the necessary facilities conducive to teaching and educating, have qualified personnel, andadequate finances to operate; ã Must meet all state requirements to operate as an institution of learning or be exempt from all such staterequirements; ã Must provide instruction to students to fulfill a professional, educational, or vocational objective, orpursuing a degree; and ã Will have had to graduate students before applying or be accredited by a nationally recognizedaccrediting agency (recognized by the U.S. Department of Education). Certain schools are not eligible for approval : ã Home schools; ã Pre-school (Pre-K) and/or day care institutions; ã Public elementary or junior high schools (grades K-8); ã Schools whose programs are primarily distance education or online (i.e. Internet based); ã Adult education program, if the adult education program is funded in whole or in part by a grant underthe Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, or by any other federal, state, county or municipalfunding; ã Flight schools not Part 141 or Part 142 certified by the Federal Aviation Administration;  ã Programs that are recreational and/or avocational in nature; and ã Short-term programs, weekend programs, or summer programs. Student and Exchange Visitor Program (page 2 of 13) November 2006  SEVP Certification Process   The Certification Process Certification is a process consisting of a series of steps that require very specific understanding of all applicablefederal regulations. Certification is achieved through an adjudicative process that includes a review of theapplication, site visit inspection, research, review of supporting documentation, and adjudication of the entiresubmitted package. The certification process takes a minimum of 16 weeks before a decision is reached and SCBprocesses petitions on a first-in, first-served basis. (This time-frame does not include delays that result when acertification package is incomplete and additional requests for evidence are required.) The steps in this processare detailed in the web pages that follow. Steps in the Certification Process File I- 17Step 1. Is Certification the Right Choice?Step 2. Roles and Responsibilities Step 3. Application Process   File I-17Pay fees  Step 4. VerificationStep 5. Site VisitStep 6. Review of the PetitionStep 7. AdjudicationStep 8. The Appeals ProcessStep 9. Maintaining CertificationStep 10. Recertification   ReviewCompletePetitionPackage   InitialReviewUpdatesCertifiedOrNotCertified Pre-Adjudication SiteVisitI-17 OnlinePay fee ategovResearch Student and Exchange Visitor Program (page 3 of 13) November 2006      SEVP Certification Process   Is Certification the Right Choice?   Immigration law and regulations provide for non-immigrant visitors to attend school in the United States.Individuals entering the United States for the sole purpose of attending school on a full-time basis must enter theU.S. on a student visa (F or M), must attend a school/campus certified by SEVP, and must either pursue a degreeprogram or attend a program for the attainment a specific educational, professional, or vocational objective.SEVP certification/approval conveys no other recognition or endorsement of a particular school or institution.Non-immigrant students who come to the United States to pursue full-time academic or vocational/ technicaltraining are usually admitted in one of two non-immigrant categories. ã The F-1 category includes academic students in colleges, universities, seminaries,conservatories, academic high   schools, other academic institutions, Fine Arts, andlanguage training. For Federal regulations concerning F-1 students visit8 CFR 214.2(f) Academic and Language Students   ã The M-1 category includes vocational, technical training, flight schools, and non-academic schools. For Federal regulations   concerning M-1 students visit8CFR  214.2 (m) Vocational StudentsSchools should carefully consider the decision to petition for certification. It is a business decision that requires afinancial commitment, significant personnel commitment, and strict reporting and recordkeeping requirements,and should be considered within the context of the schools strategic direction and planning, and ability to conformto regulatory requirements.Dependents of nonimmigrant visa holders in categories other than F, M or J may attend school incidental to theirderivative visa status. If you are considering certification because of a specific student or have questions on whattype of a visa a student may attend school, review theWho Can Studydocument to determine if the school needsto apply. Dependents of certain visa classification may attend on the visa they entered and do not have to beregistered in SEVIS.   STEP 1 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (page 4 of 13) November 2006
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