This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
Last week, we discussed rules for getting permission to enter the United
States to study at a college or university. Now, in part seven of our Foreign
Student Series, we discuss a computer system that holds information about
international students and exchange visitors to the United States. It is called
the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, or SEVIS . It went into effect in January of
All schools in the United States must enter information about each foreign
student they admit. SEVIS brings together more than 10,000 American schools
and exchange visitor programs. It links them to the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, the largest investigation agency in the Department of Homeland
The government uses the system to let a school know when one of the school's
students has entered the country. The school then must report within thirty days
whether the student is attending classes. The school must also report if the
student leaves school.
In 2005, law enforcement officials investigated more than 85,000 possible
violators. Almost 600 of them were later arrested for violating the student
and exchange visitor rules. Violations include not attending classes, being
expelled or suspended from school, or failing to continue as a full-time
The Department of Homeland Security says SEVIS now lists about 770,000
students and exchange visitors in the United States. Family members who travel
with them are also listed. SEVIS has records about more than 115,000 family
members of those student and exchange visitors.
In 2004, the United States began to charge each student and exchange visitor
100 dollars to help pay for the system. The money also helped pay for the
development of the SEVIS Web site. The site now permits students and exchange
visitors to examine their SEVIS information and payment record online.
Information about SEVIS can be found on the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Web site: www dot i-c-e dot g-o-v. Click on International Students.
And you can find our Foreign Student Series at voaspecialenglish dot com.
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy
Steinbach. I'm Mario Ritter.
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