Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) maintains the following policy guidance on its web site. It is presented here for convenient access.

Transcribed by NAFSA on 09/12/2022 from SEVP's Schools and Programs web page at


Guidance is the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) interpretation of federal laws and regulations that guide SEVP adjudicators in their decision-making. Guidance is not the same as governing regulations. Governing regulations are developed and instituted by each cabinet-level agency in the Federal Government.

SEVP has issued policy guidance on the following issues:

Title Description

Use of Electronic Signatures and Transmission for the Form I-20

This guidance establishes SEVP procedures for the use of electronic signatures on the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” and electronic transmission of the form.

Read the policy guidance.

Flight Training Providers

This policy addresses requirements for flight schools to receive SEVP certification. Specifically, SEVP requires that flight schools have Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 141 or Part 142 certification.

Read the policy guidance.

Form I-20 Issuance and School Use of Recruiters

This guidance clarifies whether recruiters may receive the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status,” directly from a school’s designated school official (DSO) and control the distribution to prospective students

Read the policy guidance.

Accreditation of English Training Programs Act (Accreditation Act)

This guidance provides SEVP policy, process and timeline for enforcing the Accreditation Act.

The Accreditation Act requires all English language training programs of study (commonly referred to as ESL programs) to have applied for accreditation before Dec. 15, 2011. This accreditation must be granted by a regional or national accrediting agency that the Department of Education currently recognizes.

Read the policy guidance.

Reporting Instructional Sites

This policy addresses the types of instructional sites school officials need to report on the Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student.”

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Conditional Admission

This guidance interprets the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status,” issuance regulation for prospective F-1 and M-1 students (8 CFR 214.3(k)) to guide SEVP adjudicators.

Read the policy guidance.

The Form I-20 and the English Proficiency Field

SEVP regulations and the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” require a designated school official (DSO) to provide information on a school’s English proficiency requirements and whether a prospective F-1 or M-1 student has met those requirements. Consistent use of the English proficiency field by DSOs is important because it directly relates to who is eligible for F-1 or M-1 student status.

Read the policy guidance.

Pathway Programs for Reasons of English Proficiency

This guidance provides information for SEVP adjudicators regarding pathway programs for F-1 postsecondary students who fail to meet the English proficiency requirements for admission into a certified degree program of study, or need to improve English competencies for that program.

Read the policy guidance.

Academic Year

SEVP is currently reviewing all comments received. Because the guidance is in Interim Final status, it is considered effective and schools are expected to be in compliance during this review period. Once all feedback has been reviewed, the guidance will be available in final form on the SEVP website.

Read the policy guidance.

Form I-20 - Student and Dependent Personal Information Fields in SEVIS Interprets aspects of the regulations and process for designated school official (DSO) issuance of Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” to F and M nonimmigrants (8 CFR 214.3(k)).

Read the policy guidance.
Evidentiary Requirements for Schools Not Meeting Eligibility Criteria in 8CFR 214.3(b) and (c) This guidance interprets the evidentiary requirements for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certification of schools that do not meet one of the three requirements in 8 CFR 214.3(b) and (c) to guide SEVP adjudicators.

Read the policy guidance.
State Licensure Exemption Evidence

Clarifies the evidentiary requirements for schools exempt from state licensure.

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Change of Ownership Interprets the change of ownership regulation for SEVP-certified schools. The guidance covers change of ownership thresholds, the types of changes requiring reporting and determining the date of change.

Read the policy guidance.
Practical Training – Determining a Direct Relationship Between Employment and Student’s Major Area of Study Explains a student’s responsibility to provide a connection between their Major Area of Study and their practical training employment.

Read the policy guidance.

Note: If you have any SEVP policy questions that are not related to guidance documents, please contact the SEVP Response Center at (703) 603-3400 or [email protected].

Last updated 11/01/2021