Washington, D.C.: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched an enhanced Study in the States website Monday with four new features. The features enable the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), housed within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), to convey pertinent information to stakeholders about the international student process in a clear and interactive manner.
The new features include:
* An interactive glossary to find definitions to the most-used terms in the international student process.
* An “Ask a Question” section to get the answers to commonly asked questions about studying in the United States or school certification.
* An enhanced School Search page to locate schools certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to enroll international students across the United States in a comprehensive list or on an interactive map, by name, state, educational program or visa type.
* A mobile-ready version of Study in the States so users can easily view the site on their smart phones or tablets.
“Being an international student is a complex process that involves several government agencies, and the new Study in the States tools will help students and schools easily find the latest news, information, interactive guides and videos they need,” said SEVP Director Lou Farrell.
The revamped site also features streamlined navigation and a blog geared to international students and school officials. Users can translate the site into multiple languages.
The Study in the States website serves as an information hub for the international student community. It brings together the various federal agencies that play a role in implementing the U.S. student visa and exchange visitor programs, including ICE, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Study in the States was launched by former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in 2011, as part of a larger DHS initiative to enhance the U.S.’s economic, scientific and technological competitiveness by finding new ways to encourage the most talented international students to study and learn about expanded post-graduate opportunities in the United States. This initiative includes a focus on streamlining the student visa process, enhancing coordination among government agencies and keeping international students better informed about student visa rules and regulations.
SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.
Both use the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with U.S. laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including CBP and USCIS, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.
HSI reviews potential SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with potential national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. Additionally, SEVP’s Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.