Immigration Overview

The following information is intended to inform our international students of their immigration status and regulations, as well as federal, state and university policies and procedures. Well-intending friends, relatives and fellow students or community members may offer you advice about your immigration status and visa rules. Before making a decision to change your course of study, transfer to another school, drop a class, travel outside the United States, or accept employment, you should seek advice through the Center for Global Education and Engagement. Ultimately, it is your responsibility, as the F-1 or J-1 visa holder, to know and abide by the regulations. Please review this information frequently and contact us if you have questions or concerns.

United States immigration laws are very complex, and are constantly changing. Even though the CGEE will attempt to keep these files up-to-date, we cannot guarantee completeness or accuracy. This information is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship, nor can it be considered legal advice. Please meet with the CGEE's International Student Advisor before making any immigration applications or seeking benefits.

What Is SEVIS?

SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, a computerized system maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The SEVIS system is used to admit and track international students and exchange visitors while they are in the United States. Radford University is required to utilize SEVIS in order to issue I-20 or DS-2019 forms to admitted students, as well as to report changes to many areas of the student’s status. Failure to comply with the federal regulations could result in the loss of Radford University’s ability to accept and enroll international students or exchange visitors, and the USCIS audits the university’s compliance with SEVIS and other immigration requirements.

Federal laws mandate that you as a student, must report some information regularly to the International Student Advisor (, so that the university meets all USCIS reporting requirements. The following information about our students must be reported to SEVIS by Radford University International Student Advisor:

  • The date of your enrollment each semester;
  • The starting date of classes;
  • Any time you drop below full-time status;
  • Any time you fail to maintain status or complete your program as expected;
  • Any time disciplinary action is taken by the school as the result of a criminal act;
  • Date of graduation;
  • Any change in name, address or curriculum (i.e., if you change majors); 
  • Your failure to enroll or commence participation in classes;
  • Your degree program and field of study;
  • The date and reason of your termination of studies.