On July 28, 2011, following a review of the University of Northern Virginia’s (UNVA) certification, a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) representative served school officials at UNVA with a notice of the agency’s intent to withdraw the school’s SEVP-certification and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) access. Foreign students at UNVA must immediately depart the U.S. if they are unable to continue to attend classes and maintain their active status under the regulations or if they are unable or do not wish to seek transfer to another SEVP-certified institution.
School officials at UNVA no longer have access to SEVIS and will not be able to manage nonimmigrant students’ records in SEVIS. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that UNVA nonimmigrant students should contact SEVP, as they would their designated school official, to report any changes, so their SEVIS record and Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status) can be updated accordingly.
ICE noted that SEVP-certified schools “are subject to a review of their certification at any time based on regulations.” According to news reports, ICE agents came to the UNVA campus on July 28 and confiscated records and computers. Most of UNVA’s students are foreign and the school is reportedly accredited only by the American University Accreditation Council, an entity that the U.S. Department of Education does not recognize. ICE did not explain why it raided the school or its decision to withdraw foreign student certification.
Instructions for University of Northern Virginia foreign students are available at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/unva/.