GUIDANCE ON COVID-19
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
** NEW ** The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend the guidance originally issued in March 2020 for the 2021-22 academic year (see announcement). Stakeholders can refer to SEVP’s current policy guidance and frequently asked questions at https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus, under the Nonimmigrant Students and SEVP-certified Schools header, as well as the broadcast message issued April 26, 2021.
Additional information/resources include:
- Broadcast Message 2003-01: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Potential Procedural Adaptations for F and M Nonimmigrant Students (March 9, 2020).
- COVID-19: Scenarios for SEVP-certified Schools for Emergency Procedures (March 13, 2020).
- Frequently Asked Questions from SEVP Stakeholders about COVID-19 (these PDFs are time-stamped and will be regularly updated—please continue to consult the ICE.gov/Coronavirus website).
To contact the SEVP Response Center, please email SEVP@ice.dhs.gov any time or call 1-800-892-4829, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, except Federal holidays.
U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (USCIS)
Because of the disruptions to international travel caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, many visa holders may find it difficult to return to their home countries or to depart the United States on or before their Duration of Status expires. Information on special situations and extending visas can be found at here and here respectively on the USCIS website.
CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (CBP)
Students wishing to check the status of their I-94 should visit this page on the Customs and Border Control website.
As part of ICE, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) examines, deters and interdicts threats arising from the movement of people and goods into and out of the United States. With respect to international students, HSI established ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the web-based Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to collect, maintain and analyze information so that only legitimate nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors gain entry to the United States.
HSI is committed to safeguarding the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system against fraud and exploitation. Successful partnerships between HSI and local school communities expose fraud that may compromise national security. HSI’s collaboration with the school community may prevent individuals posing as students from fraudulently obtaining or maintaining student status.
Partnerships Benefit All
Information sharing between HSI, schools and students has enhanced strategies for identifying and prosecuting unlawful activity, and has improved schools’ management of programs and prevention of students from falling out of status. HSI’s investigation of noncompliant schools upholds the integrity of legitimate schools and programs.
How You can Help
Foreign nationals may view a student visa as a means of immigrating rather than achieving an academic goal. As a school official, you have the responsibility to ensure that the foreign students you enroll intend to be productive students. You may also help identify situations before they become national security concerns.
To help ICE prevent criminal exploitation of SEVP, and to improve communication with local HSI special agents, you can assist in identifying students or school officials who intend to harm the United States or its people. If you become suspicious of a school or student’s actions, call your local ICE office.
To report exploitation of student visa programs, contact your local HSI special agent or call 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347- 2423). More information is available at www.ice.gov.
To report national vulnerabilities or national security concerns, contact ICE’s Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit at CTCEU@ice.dhs.gov.