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OIS NEWS – 6/26/2019

SEVP Clarifies Policy Regarding Distribution of Form I-20

On June 4, 2019 the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released guidance clarifying their policy on the distribution of Forms I-20 to nonimmigrant students.

The policy guidance, titled Form I-20 Issuance and School Use of Recruiters, states that “for reasons of privacy, security and fraud prevention, the Form I-20 must be issued by a DSO at an SEVP-certified school and sent directly to a nonimmigrant student, his or her dependents, or, for minors, to the parent or guardian of the nonimmigrant student.” It goes on to specify that the Form I-20 should not be distributed to recruiters.

The Form I-20, or “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” is issued by a Designated School Official (DSO) to a nonimmigrant student who has been accepted for enrollment at a U.S. educational institution certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). At UIC, staff within the Office of International Services serve as authorized DSOs and issue I-20s to UIC international students.

In light of this guidance, OIS has updated how it distributes the Form I-20 to an international student who is not able to collect the document in-person. Previously, students had the option to request shipment of the I-20 to a specified address or to set up a proxy pick-up by authorizing an individual to collect the document on their behalf. Moving forward, proxy pick-ups will no longer be allowed and shipments of the I-20 must be directly from OIS to the permanent or mailing address the student has on file with the university.

We thank the UIC international community and campus partners for their cooperation in this important privacy and fraud-prevention effort. Read the full SEVP Policy Guidance here.

Questions? Feel free to contact the Office of International Services.