8 CFR 214.3

Approval of schools for enrollment of F and M nonimmigrants

This resource is a reference aid for authorized users of the NAFSA Adviser's Manual. This is not an official edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. This resource is a reference aid for authorized users of the NAFSA Adviser's Manual. This is not an official edition of the Code of Federal Regulations. Last updated to reflect: 87 FR 75891 (December 12, 2022), Removal of Obsolete procedures and Requirements Related to F, J, and M Nonimmigrants. For information on the official edition of the Code of Federal Regulations published by the Government Printing Office, visit the Government Printing Office website.


214.3 Approval of schools for enrollment of F and M nonimmigrants.

8 CFR 214.3(a)

(a) Filing petition --

8 CFR 214.3(a)(1)

(1) General. A school or school system seeking certification or recertification for attendance by nonimmigrant students under sections 101(a)(15)(F) or 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act, or both, must file a petition for certification or recertification with SEVP, using the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), in accordance with the procedures at paragraph (h) of this section. The petition must state whether the school or school system is seeking certification or recertification for attendance of nonimmigrant students under section 101(a)(15)(F) or 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act or both. The petition must identify by name and address each location of the school that is included in the petition for certification or recertification, specifically including any physical location in which a nonimmigrant can attend classes through the school (i.e., campus, extension campuses, satellite campuses, etc.).

8 CFR 214.3(a)(1)(i)

(i) School systems. A school system, as used in this section, means public school (grades 9-12) or private school (grades kindergarten-12). A petition by a school system must include a list of the names and addresses of those schools included in the petition with the supporting documents.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(1)(ii)

(ii) Submission requirements. Certification and recertification petitions require that a complete Form I-17, Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student, bearing signatures, be included with the school's submission of supporting documentation. In submitting the Form I-17, a school certifies that the designated school officials (DSOs) signing the form have read and understand DHS regulations relating to: nonimmigrant students at § 214.1, 214.2(f), and/or 214.2(m); change of nonimmigrant classification for students at 8 CFR part 248; school certification and recertification under this section; withdrawal of school certification under this section and §§214.4; that both the school and its DSOs intend to comply with these regulations at all times; and that, to the best of its knowledge, the school is eligible for SEVP certification. Willful misstatements may constitute perjury (18 U.S.C. 1621).

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)

(2) Certification for F-1 or M-1 classification, or both--

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)(i)

(i) F-1 classification. The following schools may be certified for attendance by nonimmigrant students under section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Act:

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)(i)(A)-(G)

(A) A college or university, i.e., an institution of higher learning which awards recognized bachelor's, master's, doctor's or professional degrees.

(B) A community college or junior college which provides instruction in the liberal arts or in the professions and which awards recognized associate degrees.

(C) A seminary.

(D) A conservatory.

(E) An academic high school.

(F) A private elementary or middle school.

(G) An institution which provides language training, instruction in the liberal arts or fine arts, instruction in the professions, or instruction or training in more than one of these disciplines.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)(ii)

(ii) M-1 classification. The following schools are considered to be vocational or nonacademic institutions and may be certified for attendance by nonimmigrant students under section 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act:

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)(ii)(A)-(C)

(A) A community college or junior college which provides vocational or technical training and which awards recognized associate degrees.

(B) A vocational high school.

(C) A school which provides vocational or nonacademic training other than language training.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)(iii)

(iii) Both F-1 and M-1 classification. A school may be certified for attendance by nonimmigrant students under both sections 101(a)(15)(F) and 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act if it has both instruction in the liberal arts, fine arts, language, religion, or the professions and vocational or technical training. In that case, a student whose primary intent is to pursue studies in liberal arts, fine arts, language, religion, or the professions at the school is classified as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Act. A student whose primary intent is to pursue vocational or technical training at the school is classified as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)(iv)

(iv) English language training for a vocational student. A student whose primary intent is to pursue vocational or technical training who takes English language training at the same school solely for the purpose of being able to understand the vocational or technical course of study is classified as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(2)(v)

(v) Schools not qualified for attendance. The following may not be certified for attendance by foreign students:

(A) A home school,

(B) A public elementary or middle school, or

(C) An adult education program, as defined by section 203(1) of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Public Law 113-128, as amended, U.S.C. 3272(1), if the adult education program is funded in whole or in part by a grant under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, or by any other Federal, State, county, or municipal funding.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(3)

(3) Eligibility.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(3)(i)

(i) The petitioner, to be eligible for certification, must establish at the time of filing that it:

(A) Is a bona fide school;

(B) Is an established institution of learning or other recognized place of study;

(C) Possesses the necessary facilities, personnel, and finances to conduct instruction in recognized courses; and

(D) Is, in fact, engaged in instruction in those courses.

8 CFR 214.3(a)(3)(ii)

(ii) The petitioner, to be eligible for recertification, must establish at the time of filing that it:

(A) Remains eligible for certification in accordance with paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section; and

(B) Has complied during its previous period of certification or recertification with recordkeeping, retention, and reporting requirements and all other requirements of paragraphs (g), (j), (k), and (l) of this section.

8 CFR 214.3(b)

(b) Supporting documents. Schools petitioning for certification or recertification must submit the following supporting documents:

(1) Licensure, approval, and accreditation documents. A charter will not be considered a license, approval, or accreditation.

(i) Public Schools. A petitioning school or school system owned and operated as a public educational institution or system by the United States or a State or a political subdivision thereof must submit a certification to that effect signed by the authorized public official. The official must certify that they are authorized to do so.

(ii) Private elementary, middle, or secondary schools. A petitioning private elementary, middle, or secondary school or school system must submit a certification signed by the authorized public official that it meets the requirements of the State or local public educational system. The official must certify that they are authorized to do so.

(iii) Any other school. Any other petitioning school not included under paragraph (b)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section must submit a certification that -

(A) The school is licensed, approved, or accredited by the authorized official, who must certify that they are authorized to do so; or

(B) If the school offers courses recognized by a State-approving agency as appropriate for study for veterans under the provisions of 38 U.S.C. 3675 and 3676, in lieu of such certification provided in paragraph (b)(1)(i)(A) of this section, the school may submit a statement of recognition signed by the authorized official of the State approving agency, who must certify that they are authorized to do so.

(2) School operations information. Private schools that are not accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body or operated as part of a school that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body must submit a school catalog, if one is issued. If not included in the catalog, or if a catalog is not issued, the school must furnish a written statement containing the following information listed in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (vii) of this section:

(i) Size of its physical facilities;

(ii) Nature of its facilities for study and training;

(iii) Educational, vocational, or professional qualifications of the teaching staff;

(iv) Salaries of the teachers;

(v) Attendance and scholastic grading policy;

(vi) Amount and character of supervisory and consultative services available to students and trainees; and

(vii) Finances, including a certified copy of the accountant's last statement of school's net worth, income, and expenses.

8 CFR 214.3(c)

(c) Additional evidence -

(1) Vocational, business, and language schools, and American institutions of research. A petitioning vocational, business, or language school, or an American institution of research recognized as such by the Secretary of Homeland Security must submit evidence that its courses of study are accepted as fulfilling the requirements for the attainment of an educational, professional, or vocational objective, and have not been designated vocational or recreational through the appropriate licensing or approval officials.

(2) Unaccredited private elementary, middle, and secondary schools. A petitioning private elementary, middle, or secondary school that is not accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body or operated by a school that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body must submit evidence that attendance at the petitioning school -

(i) Satisfies the compulsory attendance requirements of the State in which it is located; and

(ii) Qualifies graduates for acceptance by schools of a higher educational level by a public school, a school accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body, or a secondary school operated by a school that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

(3) Unaccredited private institutions of higher learning. A private institution of higher learning that is not accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body must submit evidence that-

(i) It confers upon its graduates recognized bachelor, master, doctor, professional or divinity degrees; or

(ii) If it does not confer such degrees, its credits have been and are accepted unconditionally by at least three other institutions of higher learning that are public or accredited by a nationally recognized accredited body.

8 CFR 214.3(d)

(d) Interview of petitioner. The petitioner or an authorized representative of the petitioner may be required to appear in person before or be interviewed by telephone by a DHS representative prior to the adjudication of a petition for certification or recertification. The interview will be conducted under oath.

8 CFR 214.3(e)

(e) Notices to schools related to certification or recertification petitions or to out-of-cycle review-

8 CFR 214.3(e)(1)

(1) General. All notices from SEVP to schools or school systems related to school certification, recertification, or out-of-cycle review (including, but not limited to, notices related to the collection of evidence, testimony, and appearance pertaining to petitions for recertification encompassing compliance with the recordkeeping, retention and reporting, and other requirements of paragraphs (f), (g), (j), (k), and (l) of this section, as well as to eligibility) will be served in accordance with the procedures at 8 CFR 103.2(b)(1), (4)-(16), (18) and (19), with the exception that all procedures will be conducted by SEVP, the SEVP Director, and the Assistant Secretary, ICE, as appropriate, and except as provided in this section. All such notices will be served (i.e., generated and transmitted) through SEVIS and/or by e-mail. The date of service is the date of transmission of the e-mail notice. DSOs must maintain current contact information, including current e-mail addresses, at all times. Failure of a school to receive SEVP notices due to inaccurate DSO e-mail addresses in SEVIS or blockages of the school's e-mail system caused by spam filters is not grounds for appeal of a denial or withdrawal. The term ''in writing'' means either a paper copy bearing original signatures or an electronic copy bearing electronic signatures.

8 CFR 214.3(e)(2)

(2) SEVP approval notification and SEVIS updating by certified schools. SEVP will notify the petitioner by updating SEVIS to reflect approval of the petition and by e-mail upon approval of a certification or recertification petition. The certification or recertification is valid only for the type of program and nonimmigrant classification specified in the certification or recertification approval notice. The certification must be recertified every two years and may be subject to out-of-cycle review at any time. Approval may be withdrawn in accordance with 8 CFR 214.4.

8 CFR 214.3(e)(3)

(3) Modifications to Form I-17 while a school is SEVP-certified. Any modification made by an SEVP-certified school on the Form I-17 at any time after certification and for the duration of a school's authorization to enroll F and/ or M students must be reported to SEVP and will be processed by SEVP in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (f)(1), (g)(2) and (h)(3)(i) of this section.

8 CFR 214.3(e)(4)

(4) Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) SEVP certification-

8 CFR 214.3(e)(4)(i)

(i) Automatic withdrawal. SEVP will serve the school with an NOIW 30 days prior to a school's SEVP certification expiration date if the school has not submitted to SEVP a completed recertification petition, in accordance with paragraph (h)(2) of this section. The school will be automatically withdrawn immediately, in accordance with 8 CFR 214.4(a)(3), if it has not submitted a completed recertification petition by the school's certification expiration date.

8 CFR 214.3(e)(4)(ii)

(ii) Withdrawal on notice. SEVP will serve a Withdrawal on Notice, in accordance with 8 CFR 214.4(b), if SEVP determines that a school reviewed out-of-cycle has failed to sustain eligibility or has failed to comply with the recordkeeping, retention, reporting and other requirements of paragraphs (f), (g), (j), (k), and (l) of this section. When a school fails to file an answer to an NOIW within the 30-day period, SEVP will withdraw the school's certification and notify the DSOs of the decision, in accordance with 8 CFR 214.4(d). A withdrawal for failure to respond to a notice of intent may not be appealed.

8 CFR 214.3(e)(5)

(5) Notice of Denial. A Notice of Denial will be served to a school when SEVP denies a petition for certification or recertification. The notice will address appeals options. Schools denied recertification must comply with 8 CFR 214.4(i).

8 CFR 214.3(e)(6)

(6) Notice of Automatic Withdrawal. Schools that relinquish SEVP certification for any of the reasons cited in 8 CFR 214.4(a)(3) will be served a Notice of Automatic Withdrawal.

8 CFR 214.3(e)(7)

(7) Notice of Withdrawal. A school found to be ineligible for continued SEVP certification as a result of an out-of-cycle review will receive a Notice of Withdrawal. Schools withdrawn must comply with 8 CFR 214.4(i).

8 CFR 214.3(e)(8)

(8) Notice of SEVIS Access Termination Date. The Notice of SEVIS Access Termination Date gives the official date for the school's denial or withdrawal to be final and SEVIS access to be terminated. In most situations, SEVP will not adjust a SEVIS access termination date for that school when the appeals process has concluded and the denial or withdrawal has been upheld, in accordance with §214.4(i)(2). The school will no longer be able to access SEVIS and SEVP will automatically terminate any remaining Active SEVIS records for that school on that date.

8 CFR 214.3(f)

(f) Adjudication of a petition for SEVP certification or recertification-

8 CFR 214.3(f)(1)

(1) Approval. The school is required to immediately report through SEVIS any change to its school information upon approval of a petition for SEVP certification or recertification. Modification to school information listed in paragraph (h)(3) of this section will require a determination of continued eligibility for certification. The certification or recertification is valid only for the type of program and student specified in the approval notice. The certification may be withdrawn in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 214.4, is subject to review at any time, and will be reviewed every two years.

8 CFR 214.3(f)(2)

(2) Denial. The petitioner will be notified of the reasons for the denial and appeal rights, in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR part 103 and 8 CFR 214.4, if SEVP denies a petition for certification or recertification.

8 CFR 214.3(g)

(g) Recordkeeping and reporting requirements -

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)

(1) Student records. An SEVP-certified school must keep records containing certain specific information and documents relating to each F-1 or M-1 student to whom it has issued a Form I-20 or successor form, while the student is attending the school and until the school notifies SEVP, in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this section, that the student is no longer pursuing a full course of study at that school. Student information not required for entry in SEVIS may be kept in the school's student system of records, but must be accessible to DSOs. The school must keep a record of having complied with the reporting requirements for at least three years after the student is no longer pursuing a full course of study at that school. The school must maintain records on the student in accordance with paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this section if a school recommends reinstatement for a student who is out of status. The school must maintain records on the student for three years from the date of the denial if the reinstatement is denied. The DSO must make the information and documents required by this paragraph (g)(1) available, including academic transcripts, and must furnish them to DHS representatives upon request. Schools must maintain and be able to provide an academic transcript or other routinely maintained student records that reflect the total, unabridged academic history of the student at the institution, in accordance with paragraph (g)(1)(iv) of this section. All courses must be recorded in the academic period in which the course was taken and graded. The information and documents that the school must keep on each student are as follows:

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(i)

(i) Identification of the school, to include name and full address.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(ii)

(ii) Identification of the student, to include name while in attendance (record any legal name change), date and place of birth, country of citizenship, and school's student identification number.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(iii)

(iii) Current address where the student and his or her dependents physically reside. In the event the student or his or her dependents cannot receive mail at such physical residence, the school must provide a mailing address in SEVIS. If the mailing address and the physical address are not the same, the school must maintain a record of both mailing and physical addresses and provide the physical location of residence of the student and his or her dependents to DHS upon request.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(iv)

(iv) Record of coursework. Identify the student's degree program and field of study. For each course, give the periods of enrollment, course identification code and course title; the number of credits or contact hours, and the grade; the number of credits or clock hours, and for credit hour courses the credit unit; the term unit (semester hour, quarter hour, etc.). Include the date of withdrawal if the student withdrew from a course. Show the grade point average for each session or term. Show the cumulative credits or clock hours and cumulative grade point average. Narrative evaluation will be accepted in lieu of grades when the school uses no other type of grading.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(v)

(v) Record of transfer credit or clock hours accepted. Type of hours, course identification, grades.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(vi)

(vi) Academic status. Include the effective date or period if suspended, dismissed, placed on probation, or withdrawn.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(vii)

(vii) Whether the student has been certified for practical training, and the beginning and end dates of certification.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(viii)

(viii) Statement of graduation (if applicable). Title of degree or credential received, date conferred, program of study or major.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(ix)

(ix) Termination date and reason.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(1)(x)

(x) The documents referred to in paragraph (k) of this section.

Note to paragraph (g)(1): A DHS officer may request any or all of the data in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through (x) of this section on any individual student or class of students upon notice. This notice will be in writing if requested by the school. The school will have three work days to respond to any request for information concerning an individual student, and ten work days to respond to any request for information concerning a class of students. The school will respond orally on the same day the request for information is made if DHS requests information on a student who is being held in custody, and DHS will provide a written notification that the request was made after the fact, if the school so desires. DHS will first attempt to gain information concerning a class of students from DHS record systems.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)

(2) Reporting changes in student and school information.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(i)

(i) Schools must update SEVIS with the current information within 21 days of a change in any of the information contained in paragraphs (f)(1) and (h)(3) of this section.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)

(ii) Schools are also required to report within 21 days any change of the information contained in paragraph (g)(1) or the occurrence of the following events:

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(A)

(A) Any student who has failed to maintain status or complete his or her program;

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(B)

(B) A change of the student's or dependent's legal name or U.S. address;

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(C)

(C) Any student who has graduated early or prior to the program end date listed on SEVIS Form I-20;

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(D)

(D) Any disciplinary action taken by the school against the student as a result of the student being convicted of a crime; and

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(E)

(E) Any other notification request not covered by paragraph (g)(1) of this section made by DHS with respect to the current status of the student.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(F)

(F) For F-1 students authorized by USCIS to engage in a 24-month extension of OPT,

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(F)(1)

(1) Any change that the student reports to the school concerning legal name, residential or mailing address, employer name, or employer address; and

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(ii)(F)(2)

(2) The end date of the student's employment reported by a former employer in accordance with paragraph 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C)(6).

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(iii)

(iii) Each term or session and no later than 30 days after the deadline for registering for classes, schools are required to report the following registration information:

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(iii)(A)

(A) Whether the student has enrolled at the school, dropped below a full course of study without prior authorization by the DSO, or failed to enroll;

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(iii)(B)

(B) The current address of each enrolled student; and

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(iii)(C)

(C) The start date of the student's next session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter. For initial students, the start date is the "program start date" or "report date." (These terms are used interchangeably.) The DSO may choose a reasonable date to accommodate a student's need to be in attendance for required activities at the school prior to the actual start of classes when determining the report date on the Form I-20. Such required activities may include, but are not limited to, research projects and orientation sessions. The DSO may not, however, indicate a report date more than 30 days prior to the start of classes. The next session start date is the start of classes for continuing students.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(2)(iii)(D)

(D) Adjustment to the program completion date. Any factors that influence the student's progress toward program completion (e.g., deferred attendance, authorized drop below, program extension) must be reflected by making an adjustment updating the program completion date.

8 CFR 214.3(g)(3)

(3) Administrative correction of a student's record. In instances where technological or computer problems on the part of SEVIS cause an error in the student's record, the DSO may request the SEVIS system administrator, without fee, to administratively correct the student's record.

8 CFR 214.3(h)

(h) SEVP certification, recertification, out-of-cycle review, and oversight of schools.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(1)

(1) Certification. A school seeking SEVP certification for attendance by nonimmigrants under section 101(a)(15)(F) or 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act must use SEVIS to file an electronic petition (which compiles the data for the Form I-17) and must submit the nonrefundable certification petition fee on-line.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(1)(i)

(i) Filing a petition. The school must access the SEVP website at https://www.ice.gov/sevis to file a certification petition in SEVIS. The school will be issued a temporary SEVIS user ID and password in order to access SEVIS to complete and submit an electronic Form I-17. The school must submit the proper nonrefundable certification petition fee as provided in 8 CFR 103.7(d)(2).

8 CFR 214.3(h)(1)(ii)

(ii) Site visit, petition adjudication and school notification. SEVP will conduct a site visit for each petitioning school and its additional schools or campuses. SEVP will contact the school to arrange the site visit. The school must comply with and complete the visit within 30 days after the date SEVP contacts the school to arrange the visit, or the petition for certification will be denied as abandoned. DSOs and school officials that have signed the school's Form I-17 petition must be able to demonstrate to DHS representatives how they obtain access to the regulations cited in the certification petition as part of the site visit. Paper or electronic access is acceptable. DSOs must be able to extract pertinent citations within the regulations related to their requirements and responsibilities. SEVP will serve a notice of approval and SEVIS will be updated to reflect the school's certification if SEVP authorizes the school's certification petition.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(1)(iii)

(iii) Certification denial. SEVP will serve a notice of denial in accordance with paragraph (f)(2) of this section if a school's petition for certification is denied.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)

(2) Recertification. Schools are required to file a completed petition for SEVP recertification before the school's certification expiration date, which is 2 years from the date of their previous SEVP certification or recertification expiration date. The school must submit the proper nonrefundable recertification petition fee as provided in 8 CFR 103.7(d)(2). SEVP will review a petitioning school's compliance with the recordkeeping, retention, and reporting, and other requirements of paragraphs (f), (g), (j), (k), and (l) of this section, as well as continued eligibility for certification, pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(i)

(i) Filing of petition for recertification. Schools must submit a completed Form I-17 (including any supplements and bearing signatures of all officials) using SEVIS. SEVP will notify all DSOs of a previously certified school 180 days prior to the school's certification expiration date that the school may submit a petition for recertification. A school may file its recertification petition at any time after receipt of this notification. A school must submit a complete recertification petition package, as outlined in the submission guidelines, by its certification expiration date. SEVP will send a notice of confirmation of complete filing or rejection to the school upon receipt of any filing of a petition for recertification.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(i)(A)

(A) Notice of confirmation assures a school of uninterrupted access to SEVIS while SEVP adjudicates the school's petition for recertification. A school that has complied with the petition submission requirements will continue to have SEVIS access after its certification expiration date while the adjudication for recertification is pending. The school is required to comply with all regulatory recordkeeping, retention and reporting, and other requirements of paragraphs (f), (g), (j), (k), and (l) of this section during the period the petition is pending.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(i)(B)

(B) Notice of rejection informs a school that it must take prompt corrective action in regard to its recertification petition prior to its certification expiration date to ensure that its SEVIS access will not be terminated and its petition for recertification will be accepted for adjudication.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(ii)

(ii) Consequence of failure to petition. SEVP will serve an NOIW to the school 30 days prior to a school's certification expiration date. SEVP will no longer accept a petition for recertification from the school and will immediately withdraw the school's certification if the school does not petition for recertification, abandons its petition, or does not submit a complete recertification petition package by the certification expiration date, in accordance with the automatic withdrawal criteria in 8 CFR 214.4(a)(3). The school must comply with 8 CFR 214.4(i) upon withdrawal.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(iii)

(iii) School recertification process-

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(iii)(A)

(A) General. School recertification reaffirms the petitioning school's eligibility for SEVP certification and the school's compliance with recordkeeping, retention, reporting and other requirements of paragraphs (f), (g), (j), (k), and (l) of this section since its previous certification.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(iii)(B)

(B) Compliance. Assessment by SEVP of a school petitioning for recertification will focus primarily on overall school compliance, but may also include examination of individual DSO compliance as data and circumstances warrant. Past performance of these individuals, whether or not they continue to serve as principal designated school officials (PDSOs) or DSOs, will be considered in any petition for recertification of the school.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(iii)(C)

(C) On-site review for recertification. All schools are subject to on-site review, at the discretion of SEVP, in conjunction with recertification. The school must comply with and complete an on-site review within 30 days of the notification by a DHS representative of a school that it has been selected for an on-site review for recertification, or the petition for recertification will be denied as abandoned, resulting in the school's withdrawal from SEVIS.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(iv)

(iv) Recertification approval. SEVP will serve a notice of approval if a school's petition for recertification is approved. The date of the subsequent recertification review will be two years after the school's certification expiration date from this petition cycle.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(v)

(v) Recertification denial. SEVP will serve a notice of denial if a school's petition for recertification is denied, in accordance with 8 CFR 103.3(a)(1)(i).

8 CFR 214.3(h)(2)(vi)

(vi) Adjustment of certification expiration date. Schools eligible for recertification before March 25, 2009 will, at a minimum, have their certification expiration date extended to March 25, 2009. SEVP may extend the certification expiration date beyond this date during the first cycle of recertification.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)

(3) Out-of-cycle review and oversight of SEVP-certified schools.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(i)

(i) SEVP will determine if out-of-cycle review is required upon receipt in SEVIS of any changes from an SEVP-certified school to its Form I-17 information. The Form I-17 information that requires out-of-cycle review when changed includes:

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(i)(A)-(T)

(A) Approval for attendance of students (F/M/both);

(B) Name of school system; name of main campus;

(C) Mailing address of the school;

(D) Location of the school;

(E) School type;

(F) Public/private school indicator;

(G) Private school owner name;

(H) The school is engaged in;

(I) The school operates under the following Federal, State, Local or other authorization;

(J) The school has been approved by the following national, regional, or state accrediting association or agency;

(K) Areas of study;

(L) Degrees available from the school;

(M) If the school is engaged in elementary or secondary education;

(N) If the school is engaged in higher education;

(O) If the school is engaged in vocational or technical education;

(P) If the school is engaged in English language training;

(Q) Adding or deleting campuses;

(R) Campus name;

(S) Campus mailing address; and

(T) Campus location address.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(ii)

(ii) SEVP may request a school to electronically update all Form I-17 fields in SEVIS and provide SEVP with documentation supporting the update. The school must complete such updates in SEVIS and submit the supporting documentation to SEVP within 10 business days of the request from SEVP.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(iii)

(iii) SEVP may review a school's certification at any time to verify the school's compliance with the recordkeeping, retention, reporting and other requirements of paragraphs (f), (g), (j), (k), and (l) of this section to verify the school's continued eligibility for SEVP certification pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section. SEVP may initiate remedial action with the school, as appropriate, and may initiate withdrawal proceedings against the school pursuant to 8 CFR 214.4(b) if noncompliance or ineligibility of a school is identified.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(iv)

(iv) On-site review. SEVP-certified schools are subject to on-site review at any time. SEVP will initiate withdrawal proceedings against a certified school, pursuant to 8 CFR 214.4(b), if the certified school selected for on-site review prior to its certification expiration date fails to comply with and complete the review within 30 days of the date SEVP contacted the school to arrange the review.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(v)

(v) Notice of Continued Eligibility. SEVP will serve the school a notice of continued eligibility if, upon completion of an out-of-cycle review, SEVP determines that the school remains eligible for certification. Such notice will not change the school's previously-determined certification expiration date unless specifically notified by SEVP.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(vi)

(vi) Withdrawal of certification. SEVP will institute withdrawal proceedings in accordance with 8 CFR 214.4(b) if, upon completion of an out-of-cycle review, SEVP determines that a school or its programs are no longer eligible for certification.

8 CFR 214.3(h)(3)(vii)

(vii) Voluntary withdrawal. A school can voluntarily withdraw from SEVP certification at any time or in lieu of complying with an out-of-cycle review or request. Failure of a school to comply with an out-of-cycle review or request by SEVP will be treated as a voluntary withdrawal. A school must initiate voluntary withdrawal by sending a request for withdrawal on official school letterhead to SEVP.

8 CFR 214.3(i)

(i) Administration of student regulations. DHS officials may conduct out-of-cycle, on-site reviews on the campuses of SEVP-certified schools to determine whether nonimmigrant students on those campuses are complying with DHS regulations pertaining to them, including the requirement that each maintains a valid passport. DHS officers will take appropriate action regarding violations of the regulations by nonimmigrant students.

8 CFR 214.3(j)

(j) Advertising. In any advertisement, catalogue, brochure, pamphlet, literature, or other material hereafter printed or reprinted by or for an SEVP-certified school, any statement which may appear in such material concerning certification for attendance by nonimmigrant students shall be limited solely to the following: This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

8 CFR 214.3(k)

(k) Issuance of Certificate of Eligibility. A DSO of an SEVP-certified school must sign any completed Form I-20 issued for either a prospective or continuing student or a dependent. A Form I-20 issued by a certified school system must state which school within the system the student will attend. Only a DSO of an SEVP-certified school may issue a Form I-20 to a prospective student and his or her dependents, and only after the following conditions are met:

8 CFR 214.3(k)(1)

(1) The prospective student has made a written application to the school.

8 CFR 214.3(k)(2)

(2) The written application, the student's transcripts or other records of courses taken, proof of financial responsibility for the student, and other supporting documents have been received, reviewed, and evaluated at the school's location in the United States.

8 CFR 214.3(k)(3)

(3) The appropriate school authority has determined that the prospective student's qualifications meet all standards for admission.

8 CFR 214.3(k)(4)

(4) The official responsible for admission at the school has accepted the prospective student for enrollment in a full course of study.

8 CFR 214.3(l)

(l) Designated Official.

8 CFR 214.3(l)(1)

(1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in §§ 214.2(f) and (m), 214.3 and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

8 CFR 214.3(l)(1)(i)

(i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.

8 CFR 214.3(l)(1)(ii)

(ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on their associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO at the main campus and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

8 CFR 214.3(l)(1)(iii)

(iii) School officials may nominate as many DSOs in addition to PDSOs as they determine necessary to adequately provide recommendations to F and/or M students enrolled at the school regarding maintenance of nonimmigrant status and to support timely and complete recordkeeping and reporting to DHS, as required by this section. School officials must not permit a DSO or PDSO nominee access to SEVIS until DHS approves the nomination.

8 CFR 214.3(l)(2)

(2) Name, title, and signature. Petitions for SEVP certification, review and recertification must include the names, titles, and sample signatures of designated officials. An SEVP-certified school must update SEVIS upon any changes to the persons who are principal or designated officials, and furnish the name, title and e-mail address of any new official within 21 days of the change. Any changes to the PDSO or DSO must be made by the PDSO within 21 days of the change. DHS may, at its discretion, reject the submission of any individual as a DSO or withdraw a previous submission by a school of an individual.

8 CFR 214.3(l)(3)

(3) Statement of designated officials. A petition for school certification must include a statement by each designated official certifying that the official is familiar with DHS regulations relating to the requirements for admission and maintenance of status of nonimmigrant students, change of nonimmigrant status under part 248 of this chapter, and school certification under §§ 214.3 and 214.4, and affirming the official's intent to comply with these regulations. At the time a new designated official is added, the designated official must make the same certification.


Updates

This resource was last updated to reflect:

87 FR 75891 (December 12, 2022), Removal of Obsolete Procedures and Requirements Related to F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.

85 FR 46925 (August 3, 2020), effective October 2, 2020. Section 214.3 is amended in paragraph (h)(1)(i), by removing " 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)" and adding in its place "8 CFR 106.2"; and in paragraph (h)(2) introductory text, by removing "8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(ii)(B)" and adding in its place "8 CFR 103.7(d)(2)."

84 FR 23930 (May 23, 2019), effective June 24, 2019. Changes from the final SEVIS fee rule.