DHS System of Records Notice for SEVIS II

75 Fed. Reg. 412 (January 5, 2010)

On January 5, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office published a "System of Records Notice" (SORN) that identifies certain fields of data that will be maintained in the SEVIS II system once it is deployed. The notice also describes the "routine uses" that the Government will make of that data. This SORN modifies a 2005 SORN that described the data and uses of that data within SEVIS I. Also refer to DHS's December 4, 2009 SEVIS II Privacy Impact Assessment.

Public comments on the SORN are due to DHS on or before February 4, 2010. NAFSA commented on January 26, 2010 .

The SORN is divided into the following categories:

Expansion of routine uses of SEVIS information

The January 5, 2010 SORN (pp. 415-416) updates the 2005 SEVIS I SORN by adding 16 new "routine uses" of SEVIS records. A "routine use" allows information contained in the system to "be disclosed outside DHS as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3)." New paragraphs add since the 2005 SORN include paragraphs: E, G, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U. The remaining paragraphs in this section of the SORN are essentially the same as those in the 2005 SORN.

Expansion of individuals covered by the system

The January 5, 2010 SORN (p. 414) expands the categories of individuals covered by the SEVIS system to include:

  • "a proxy, parent or guardian of an F/M/J nonimmigrant"
  • "officials, owners, chief executives, and legal counsel of Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and designated exchange visitor sponsors."

Categories of records in the system

The January 5, 2010 SORN expands the categories of records the SEVIS system to include:

Biographical information
  • name,
  • date and place of birth,
  • country of citizenship,
  • current address where the student/exchange visitor and his or her dependents physically reside,
  • current academic status,
  • date of commencement of studies,
  • degree program and field of study,
  • whether the student has been certified for practical training, and the beginning and end dates of certification,
  • termination date and reason,
  • number of credits (if known) completed each semester, and
  • information from the Certificate of Eligibility, Forms I–20 or DS–2019.
"SEVIS also maintains records on the DHS certified schools and DoS designated sponsors in the United States that host F, M and J nonimmigrants, which includes
  • certified school/designated sponsor name,
  • status,
  • address,
  • course of study or program costs, Designated School Official/Responsible Officer contact information, and
  • programs and/or courses of study.
Biographical information for F/M/J nonimmigrants and school/sponsor officials, and proxies, used in the creation of SEVIS II user accounts, specifically:
  • names;
  • U.S. domestic address;
  • foreign address (F/M/J nonimmigrants only);
  • date of birth;
  • birth country and city;
  • country of citizenship;
  • country of legal permanent residence;
  • username;
  • e-mail addresses;
  • the DHS-assigned Immigrant Identification Number (IIN);
  • Alien Registration Number (A–Number) (for school/sponsor officials who are U.S. lawful permanent residents only);
  • National Identity Number (for F/M/J nonimmigrants only); and
  • Passport information (number, issuing country, expiration date).
F–1, M–1, or J–1 nonimmigrant educational and financial information, specifically
  • program of study;
  • school registration information;
  • program completion or termination information;
  • transfer information;
  • leave of absence information and study abroad;
  • extensions;
  • change of education level;
  • student ID number;
  • I–901 fee payment information; and
  • financial information (for F/M nonimmigrants, financial information includes data on source of funds—personal or school, and average annual cost—tuition, books, fees, and living expenses; for J nonimmigrants financial information includes total estimated financial support, financial organization name and support amount).
F/M/J nonimmigrant status and benefit information, specifically
  • The DHS-assigned Fingerprint Identification Number (for individuals 14 years of age and older);
  • U.S. visa number,
  • issuing country,
  • expiration date;
  • class of admission;
  • immigrant benefit application information (primarily reinstatement, employment authorization, 212e waiver, etc.); and
  • arrival and departure information (portof entry, date of entry/exit).

The notice also states, "New personal data elements will be collected from F/M/J nonimmigrants and school/exchange visitor sponsor officials; the new data will primarily be used to establish SEVIS II user accounts for these individuals. In addition, limited personal information that was collected and maintained in the original SEVIS system will not be used by SEVIS II and therefore will not be migrated to the new system (i.e., Social Security Numbers, driver’s license information)."

Characterization of the SEVIS system

The January 5, 2010 PIA states (p. 416),

"The Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted this system from the notification, access, and amendment procedures of the Privacy Act because it is a law enforcement system. However, ICE will consider requests to determine whether or not information may be released."

The rule underlying the claim of exemption from the Privacy Act [73 Fed.Reg. 63057 (Oct 23, 2008)], described the purpose of the SEVIS system as "to collect and maintain pertinent information on nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors and the schools and exchange visitor program sponsors that host them while in the United States in order to ensure that these individuals comply with the requirements of their admission, it is possible that the information in the record system may pertain to national security or law enforcement matters."

DHS System of Records Notice for SEVIS II DHS 2010-01-05 DHS System of Records Notice for SEVIS II PDF