Visa Info

SEVIS

SEVIS refers to the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System. SEVIS was created by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Services - INS) to collect, maintain, and track information relative to international students and exchange visitors. SEVIS is an internet based system that will allow Georgia Southwestern State University, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Department of State to view a student's information instantaneously. SEVIS is an effort to cut down on paper work, improve reporting procedures, and facilitate compliance with regulations.

  • SEVIS will require all students to be issued a new SEVIS-generated I-20 form.
  • It is critical that your information be correct in SEVIS. Please report any changes to your personal (name, address, phone, etc) or program (major, education level, etc.) information promptly.

Pay attention to announcements and notices that may effect your F-1 Status, thus your SEVIS record.

Renewing/Applying for a Visa

If you need to get your F-1 visa renewed or if you needed to apply for an F-1 visa, you should contact the US Embassy/Consulate in the country where you are traveling BEFORE you travel. Be sure to find out what documents are required and how long the process may take. NOTE: Please be aware of the long delays affecting the visa application process. Be sure to plan ahead to avoid serious delays!

You may want to contact visa processing office at the Department of State for more information. You may call them at (603) 334-0700 or visit their website at http://travel.state.gov/

If you do receive a new visa, be sure to report to your DSO when you return to campus. A copy of your new visa will need to be placed in your student record.

Maintaining F-1 Status

  • Maintain a valid passport and I-20. Attend the school they are authorized to attend (i.e. the one listed on their currently valid I-20).
  • Pursue a full-course of study (12 credits for undergraduate students, 9 credits for graduate students).
  • Make normal progress towards completing the course of study by completing studies before the expiration date of the program completion date listed on the I-20.
  • Follow established procedures for transferring schools, changing education levels and extending the program.
  • No work off campus except by special Immigration Permission.
  • Limit on-campus work to 20 hours a week or less while school is in session.
  • Report any change of residence to the INS within ten days as well as to the Registrar's Office.
  • Not remain in the U.S. longer than the 60-day grace period upon completion of the program, unless student has followed timely procedures for applying for optional practical training or for starting a new program of study.