SEVIS Release 6.21 Transition Resources

July 15, 2015

 

SEVIS Release 6.21 was implemented on June 26-28, 2015.

Updates

July 15, 2015. SEVP and DOS will present a SEVIS 6.21 post-release webinar focusing on "SEVIS issues, concerns or questions related to the release." SEVP "will discuss what went right, what went wrong and lessons learned. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide their own feedback on the release and its changes." DATE: July 24, 2015; TIME: 2 – 3 p.m. (EDT). Register for the webinar on the Study in the States website.

July 14, 2015. SEVP sent Broadcast Message 1507-05 to SEVIS users on July 14, 2015 to inform them that SEVP "will upgrade the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to Release 6.21.1. This upgrade requires an outage of the Production environment. The SEVIS Production environment will not be available from Wednesday, July 15, 2015, from 8 p.m. EDT to Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 12 a.m. EDT. During the outage, users will not have access to the Production environment. SEVP will not send a follow-up email regarding system availability." This emergency release should address the issues outlined below.

June 29, 2015. SEVP is working on two known technical issues that were discovered after SEVIS 6.21 was placed into production. Both issues are expected to be addressed in an upcoming emergency release planned for mid-July.

  • Issue with new Downloads feature. The Downloads feature, which will allow bulk I-20/DS-2019 printing, a name change report, etc.), is not working properly, and was causing extreme system slowness. Until the issue is fixed in an upcoming emergency release, SEVP has asked that users not click on the new Downloads link on the Listing of Schools (F/M) or Listing of Programs (J) screens. On Monday afternoon, SEVP sent Broadcast Message 1306-13 to alert SEVIS users of the issue.
  • Issue with some campuses not appearing on a school's Listing of Schools screen. In some cases, a school with multiple instructional sites sharing the same name as the main campus cannot see the other campuses on its Listing of Schools screen. SEVP will be addressing this in the upcoming emergency release.
 

 

Background

SEVIS Release 6.21 (June 26, 2015)  includes the following change:

  • Newly designed Forms I-20 and DS-2019
  • SEVIS Names Standardization and Conversion (F, M, J)
  • Email Address Standardization/Conversion (F, M, J)
  • U.S. Address Standardization/Conversion (F, M, J)
  • New alerts called "Students Without Valid U.S. Addresses" and "Exchange Visitor(s) Without Valid U.S. Addresses." (F, M, J)
  • P/DSOs and A/ROs will have the ability to view the name fields related to a student or exchange visitor and their dependents to provide additional information when viewing or taking action on a student/exchange visitor or dependent record. (F, M, J)
  • Form DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP) is now in electronic format in SEVIS, and allows the A/RO to enter T/IPP data for an exchange visitor when they are creating a DS-2019 in a J category that requires the T/IPP (Intern, Trainee, or Student Intern).
  • Ability for PDSOs to add more than 10 DSOs on their Form I-17
  • Bulk printing of Forms I-20 and DS-2019

Schools and exchange programs will have to incorporate these changes into their business practices. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the Department of State (DOS) have made helpful information available on the Study in the States website and in several pre-release webinars, to assist schools in managing the transition to SEVIS 6.21. Links to those resources are also listed in the right sidebar of this page.

Schools should especially consider the following:

  • The impact of system unavailability over the weekend during which this release was implemented.
    • SEVIS RTI was not available from Friday evening, June 26 through Sunday evening, June 28, 2015. Government users (DOS, DHS, SAVE users) also did not have direct access to SEVIS data during this time, although they continued to have access to information that had been transmitted to their own systems from SEVIS prior to June 26.
    • For batch users, the deadline for schools and programs to upload batches to SEVIS prior to the implementation of SEVIS Release 6.21 was Friday, June 26, 2015 at 12 p.m. EDT. Transaction logs and PDFs were available for download on Friday, June 26, 2015 between 3 to 7:30 p.m. EDT. Transaction logs and PDFs of forms that were not downloaded by Friday, June 26, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. EDT should now be available for download since SEVIS access has been restored. Batches uploaded to SEVIS after Friday, June 26, 2016 while SEVIS was down were not be processed.
     
  • Data fix wait times expected to increase during transition to SEVIS 6.21. SEVP announced in Broadcast Message 1506-11 (sent to SEVIS users on 6/25/2015): "Beginning June 26, 2015, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Response Center (SRC) is expecting to receive a potential increase in data fix request processing times due to changes associated with SEVIS Release 6.21 and other seasonal spikes. As a result, the processing time for some data fix resolutions may exceed the current 30-day turnaround timeframe. If it is determined that a data fix request will exceed the normal processing time the requestor will be notified via email from the SRC."
  • The impact of new standardized naming conventions in F, M, and J SEVIS records
  • Revisions to Forms I-20 and DS-2019
    • The revised Form I-20 that accompanies this release has a reformatted visual design of the form and accommodates the new naming conventions. Since the change to the form is so substantial, SEVP has set a deadline of July 1, 2016 for schools to reissue the revised Form I-20 to students having the prior version of the form. Prior versions of Form I-20 issued before SEVIS release 6.21 will continue to be usable until that date.
    • There have also been revisions to Form DS-2019, including relabeling the name fields to conform to the new naming conventions, updating the form instructions to reflect Subpart A insurance changes, and clarifying that J-2 dependents should sign their own DS-2019. Unlike the new I-20, there is no deadline for reissuing the new DS-2019 to exchange visitors.
     

Resources