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Student Visas
(F1 Visa, J1 Visa, M1 Visa)

The United States has focused particularly on foreign students and programs offered by educational institutions for exchange visitors and foreign students since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. In light of the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996 and new measures like the USA PATRIOT Act and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001, maintaining lawful student status has become absolutely critical to a student's ability to remain in the U.S., accomplish his or her academic goals, accept a period of practical training, or change to H-1B or lawful permanent resident status.

SEVP and SEVIS: The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Education, has developed a program entitled the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to collect information pertaining to F (Academic Students), J (Exchange Visitors), and M (Vocational Students) nonimmigrant visa holders. The program requires educational institutions to participate in the information collection program as a condition to its continued approval. The operating system used to collect the information, entitled the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), monitors and verifies the various steps involved in admitting foreign students to the United States, such as the issuance of the I-20 or IAP-66/DS/2019, visa issuance, admission to the U.S., and academic enrollment.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the tragedy that befell the U.S. on September 11, 2001, and the recent Iraqi conflict, security is extremely tight at all ports of entry and throughout the United States. The Department of Homeland Security and other government officials are warning travelers to expect delays at all U.S. ports, whether by land, sea or air. Customs and immigration officials are placing extra scrutiny on travel documents, enhancing identification checks and asking more questions. Recently, the Department of State announced a worldwide alert to American citizens, especially those overseas. All U.S. embassies and consulates remain at a heightened state of alert and more than 20 offices have already been closed. Additional facilities may temporarily close or suspend public service from time to time for security reasons. This could seriously inhibit foreign students and exchange visitors from entering the United States.



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