US: International students can now update info directly on SEVIS
The wonders of technology. Source: Unsplash

Say goodbye to the days where you had to go to your university (after you have graduated, no less) to notify any changes in your personal or employment information.

Last Friday, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has launched the SEVP Portal, where  F-1 students participating in post-completion optional practical training (OPT) and M-1 students participating in practical training can directly report changes in their information to SEVP.

“Whenever there’s an opportunity to streamline processes without compromising national security, we try to embrace it,” said Rachel Canty, deputy assistant director of SEVP.

“In this case, the portal shares information with SEVIS in real-time, without compromising the security of the government database.”

Previously, international students in American universities are required by federal law to notify their institution’s designated school official of any changes in their personal or employment official. They have only 10 days from the date of change to do so.

The school official then enters the new changes into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

With the SEVP portal, this burden on school officials is lessened while graduates are expected to be active in keeping their data up-to-date. This includes their phone number, mailing and physical address, as well as employer information.

Note that STEM trainees undergoing their OPT must still go through their designated school official to change their employer information via Form 1-983 “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students”.

For the rest, they would have to confirm their valid and up-to-date email address with their designated school official, who will email them information on how to create a portal account and thus gain access to the SEVP Portal.

Nearly one million students in the United States are from abroad, according to Unesco data. The top five countries of origin are China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

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