Welcome to the SEVIS Training for sponsor officials. This training is designed to facilitate your understanding of SEVIS in regards to the administration, maintenance and management of the J-1 program information at your organization and your Exchange Visitor and spouse/dependent records.
In this presentation, we will discuss the following functions: Cancel/Invalidate Exchange Visitor, No Show, Terminate and Shorten Program.
This presentation provides guidance for using SEVIS. It does not replace the Exchange Visitor Program regulations found in 22 CFR Part 62. To obtain administrative guidance on the Exchange Visitor Program, the Exchange Visitor Program regulations, or program or Exchange Visitor issues and concerns, contact the Department of State’s Office of Designation, Private Sector Exchange.
We will begin by discussing the Cancel EV function.
The Cancel EV function updates an exchange visitor’s status to Invalid. An invalidated EV record indicates that an exchange visitor has not entered the United States in J-1 status and they do not plan to participate in their exchange visitor program activity. There are two ways in which an Exchange Visitor’s record may be invalidated: manually and automatically. Only records that are in Initial status without port of entry information may be invalidated.
SEVIS will automatically invalidate an Exchange Visitor’s record when the EV is in Initial status with no port of entry information and the program has not been validated.
Depending on the exchange visitor’s situation, the timing for validation will vary. If the program duration is greater than 30 days, the status will change to Invalid 30 days after the program begin date.
If the program duration is less than 30 days, the status will change to Invalid on the program end date.
Let’s look at a scenario in which an automatic invalidation would be appropriate: Peter is an exchange visitor from Germany. His Program Begin Date was October 1, but by October 15 the sponsor official has still not heard from him. No port of entry information has been recorded on Peter’s SEVIS record. Because Peter has not been in touch regarding his plans, the sponsor official may choose to wait for Peter’s record to automatically update to Invalid status, which will happen 30 days after Peter’s Program Begin Date. The sponsor official is not required to take any action.
A sponsor official may wish to manually invalidate an exchange visitor’s record in the following scenario: An Initial status exchange visitor has not entered the United States in J-1 status and the exchange visitor has informed their sponsor official that they have no intention to participate in their exchange visitor program.
To manually invalidate an exchange visitor’s record, click the Cancel EV link on the Exchange Visitor Information page.
When the sponsor official clicks the Cancel EV link, they will be brought to the Cancel EV screen. Once here, the sponsor official will be required to input remarks before clicking the Cancel EV button.
The exchange visitor’s status will change to Invalid. The sponsor’s allotment of Forms DS-2019 will be incremented by one.
Let’s turn to a scenario in which the manual Cancel EV function will be appropriate. Joanna is an exchange visitor from Brazil who has a Program Begin Date of September 1. On September 9, she emails her sponsor official to notify them she is outside the United States and has no intention of participating in her J-1 program. In this instance, the sponsor official may use the Cancel EV function to manually update Joanna’s record to Invalid Status.
Now we will look at No Show status.
The difference between using the Cancel EV function and the No Show function is whether or not the exchange visitor has entered the United States in J-1 status. Using the No Show function reflects that an exchange visitor has entered the United States in J-1 status, but has failed to begin participation in their exchange visitor program.
As with the Cancel EV Function, a sponsor official may manually change an exchange visitor’s status to No Show, or they may wait for the system to automatically update the status to No Show.
SEVIS will automatically change Initial Status EV records to No Show when the EV has not been validated within an appropriate time frame. This time frame for validation varies based on the exchange visitor’s scenario:
- If the record contains port of entry and the program duration is greater than 30 days, the status will change to No Show 30 days after the program begin date.
- If the record contains port of entry and the program duration is less than 30 days, the status will change to No Show on the program end date.
- If the record contains change of status approval and the program duration is greater than 30 days, the status will change to No Show 30 days after the benefit start date or Program Begin Date, whichever is earlier.
- If the record contains change of status approval and the program duration is less than 30 days, the status will change to No Show on the program end date.
- If the record was transferred, the status will change to No Show 30 days after the Effective Date of Transfer.
For example, let’s turn again to Peter, our exchange visitor from Germany. In the previous example, Peter had no port of entry information and had not contacted his sponsor official. This time, however, his SEVIS record has port of entry information showing that he entered the United States in J-1 status. Peter has not reported for his program and has not contacted his sponsor official.
Because the sponsor official is unaware of Peter’s intentions, they may wait for SEVIS to automatically change Peter’s record to No Show status.
A sponsor official may manually adjust an exchange visitor record to No Show in the following situation: When the exchange visitor is in the United States in initial J-1 Status with no apparent plans to begin J-1 program activity and the sponsor official feels as though the exchange visitor has misrepresented themselves and/or intends to violate J-1 status.
To manually no show an exchange visitor record, click the No Show link on the Exchange Visitor Information page. This link will display if the exchange visitor is in initial or Transferred status.
From the No Show screen, the sponsor official must click the No Show button. The Exchange Visitor’s status will now be No Show.
We can return to the example of Joanna, an exchange visitor from Brazil who has a Program Begin Date of September 1. The sponsor official can see from Joanna’s SEVIS record that Joanna entered the United States in J-1 status on August 10.
When Joanna fails to report for her program by her Program Begin Date, the sponsor official calls Joanna. Joanna says that she has no intention to participate in any Exchange Visitor Program activity and instead plans to spend her time visiting friends.
Because the sponsor official is certain that Joanna has entered the United States in J-1 status with no intention of participating in the J-1 program, the sponsor official may manually change Joanna’s status to No Show rather than waiting for SEVIS to automatically change status.
Take note, unlike Invalid Status, No Show status is a negative status and may have a negative effect on an exchange visitor in the future. Be sure to use this status properly.
Now we will discuss the Terminate function.
Terminated status indicates an exchange visitor has violated the Exchange Visitor Program regulations or the sponsor’s program rules. An exchange visitor can be terminated by using the Terminate EV link on the left-hand side of the Exchange Visitor Information screen. The Terminate EV link will be available for any exchange visitor in Active or Inactive status.
To change the status of an exchange visitor to Terminated, click on the Terminate EV link. The Terminate Exchange Visitor screen will display. You will be required to select a termination reason and an effective termination date before clicking the Terminate EV button. The available termination reasons are:
- Conviction of a crime
- Disciplinary action
- Engaging in unauthorized employment
- Failure to maintain a full course of study
- Failure to maintain health insurance
- Failure to pursue EV program activities
- Failure to submit change of current address within 10 days
- Involuntary suspension
- Violation of EV regulations
- Violation of sponsor rules
If “Other” is selected as a reason, you will be required to provide an explanation for the termination.
For our next scenario, we will discuss Active status J-1 Trainee Meghan. In this scenario, the program CEO notifies the RO that Meghan was arrested but ultimately was not convicted of a crime. Meghan did not violate any program rules and did not stop participating in her program activity. The program will not be taking any disciplinary action against Meghan.
Individuals convicted of a crime are required to be terminated. However, Meghan was not convicted, so
she should not be terminated for the reason of conviction of a crime. Meghan’s sponsor official must report Meghan’s arrest as an incident to the Office of Private Sector Exchange Administration.
Terminated is a negative status and should only be used to indicate any of the violations listed. If terminated, Exchange Visitors must leave the United States immediately.
In summary, we just discussed changing exchange visitor records to Invalid, No Show and Terminated statuses. Please note: any changes made to a J-1 exchange visitor’s status will automatically be mirrored by the J-2 spouse/dependent’s record. So, if a J-1’s status changes, so will the status of the J-2 spouse/dependent.
Now we will discuss the Shorten Program Function.
If an exchange visitor will complete their program earlier than originally planned but otherwise fulfills all program expectations, the shorten program function may be used. This function should be used in cases where the exchange visitor will finish their program more than 15 days earlier than the current Program End Date. The Shorten Program link will be available on the Exchange Visitor Information screen for exchange visitors who are in Active status.
When the Shorten Program link is clicked, the Shorten Program screen will display, on which a Shorten Program reason must be selected along with a new Program End Date. To complete the action, click the Shorten Program button. The Shorten Program reasons that are available from the drop down menu are:
- Adjusted program end date
- Cultural shock and/or homesickness
- Death of Exchange Visitor
- Inadequate financial support
- Medical emergency and/or health of Exchange Visitor’s family
- Program objectives completed early
- Withdrawal from program
To understand when to use the Shorten program function, let’s look at Albert, a J-1 Research Scholar. Albert informs you that he will complete his research activity two months early. The Shorten Program function should be used in this instance to indicate Albert’s new Program End Date.
Note – the Shorten Program Function is a neutral way to end an exchange visitor’s status early. When the new Program End Date is reached, the exchange visitor’s status will change to Inactive. This does not reflect negatively on the exchange visitor.
Keep in mind, however, that if an exchange visitor ceases to participate in their program activity without notifying their program sponsor of their intention, this would be considered a violation of status and the exchange visitor’s record should be Terminated. The Shorten Program Function should only be used in instances where there has been no status violation.
Let’s review some potential scenarios to test your knowledge of the program conclusion functions.
Elena arrives at your office a week prior to her Program Begin Date. She shows you her I-94 record, which reflects that she was admitted in J-1 status. Elena says she has had a family emergency in her home country and will leave the United States tomorrow. What should you do?
Here’s what we know:
- Elena is in the United States and has a J-1 port of entry record.
- Elena has notified her sponsor officials of her intention not to participate in any exchange visitor program activity.
What should we do? Should Elena’s status be No Show? Inactive?
In this scenario, the sponsor official may change Elena’s status to Inactive through the following process: First, Elena’s Program Begin Date should be changed to reflect today’s date. Then, her SEVIS record should be validated, changing her SEVIS status to Active. Next, the Shorten Program function should be used, and one of the following shorten program reasons must be selected: Culture shock/homesickness, Withdrawal from Program, or Other.
Elena’s new Program End Date should be set to the day after the Program Begin Date. On that day, Elena’s status will change to Inactive.
Ivan, a J-1 Professor, informs you that he cancelled his health insurance policy and is currently uninsured.
Here’s what we know:
- Ivan has not maintained health insurance.
- Ivan is in violation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations.
What should we do?
The only option here would be to terminate Ivan’s record. Select a Termination Reason of “Failure to maintain health insurance”.
Betsy applied for admission to your exchange visitor program. Your program issued her a Form DS-2019 with a Program Begin Date of February 15. On January 15, Betsy informs you that she also received a Form DS-2019 from a different exchange visitor program. Betsy no longer plans to attend your program. She will leave her home country and travel to the other program location in two weeks.
Here’s what we know:
- Betsy is currently outside of the United States.
- Betsy will not participate in your exchange visitor program.
Should Betsy’s status be changed to Invalid? To No Show?
You may use the Cancel EV function to invalidate Betsy’s record with your program or allow the system to automatically update the status to Invalid.
Ann is a J-1 trainee whose program began on April 1 and will run until December 1. The ARO validated Ann’s record on April 5, and Ann is now in Active status. On April 30, Ann reports that she is homesick. She has decided to return home early. Her flight home is on May 1.
Here’s what we know:
- Ann is in Active status and has complied with the Exchange Visitor Program rules.
- Ann will not continue her program through her Program End Date.
What should we do?
The only option would be to Use the Shorten Program function to indicate Ann’s early departure. The Shorten Program Reason should be listed as Cultural shock and/or homesickness.
Natalie is a J-1 Summer Work Travel participant with a Program Begin Date of June 1 and a Program End Date of September 1. On August 1, Natalie mentions to her sponsor official that she did not like her job, so she quit and has instead been relaxing in New York City since June 15.
Here’s what we know:
- Natalie has not been participating in her exchange visitor program activity.
Should Natalie’s program be Terminated? Should it be Shortened?
Natalie’s record should be Terminated because she stopped participating in her program activity prior to notifying her sponsor official. This would be a violation of Exchange Visitor Program regulations.
Brenda is a J-1 college/university student who is in the middle of a four year degree program. She has just learned of a family emergency in her home country. She has decided that she will drop out of her classes and travel home tomorrow. She plans to return to her studies next semester.
Here’s what we know:
- Brenda has not violated any program rules.
- Brenda will not continue her program activity at this time.
Should the Terminate function be used? The Shorten Program Function?
The Shorten Program function should be used. A reason of “Withdrawal from program” should be selected. For authorized early withdrawals of J-1 exchange visitors, do not use the Terminate function.
Ari has been issued a Form DS-2019 with a Program Begin Date of November 1. There are delays at his local U.S. Consulate, and by October 31 he has not yet received his J-1 visa. Ari still plans to participate in his Exchange Visitor program, but has changed the date of his flight to December 1, by which time he will have his visa.
Here’s what we know:
- Ari is outside the United States and will not arrive in the United States by his Program Begin Date.
- Ari still plans to participate in his Exchange Visitor program.
Should Ari’s status be changed to Invalid? To No Show?
The answer is neither. The RO/ARO should amend Ari’s program to indicate the new program dates. Watch and listen to the SEVIS Status Corrections training presentation for more information about amending program dates.
William is a J-1 doctoral student who notified you that he will complete the remaining two years of his studies at Acme University in Montana. He will begin studying there next semester. Accordingly, you transferred William’s SEVIS record to Acme University with a future Effective Date of Transfer of September 1.
On August 1, William lets you know that his plans have changed. He will no longer attend Acme University. Instead, William will complete his studies outside of the United States. His flight is tomorrow. What should you do?
Here’s what we know:
- William will leave the United States before his Program End Date.
- William no longer wishes to study at the school where his record is set to be transferred.
Should William’s program be Terminated? Should the transfer still happen?
Neither. The Sponsor Official should cancel William’s transfer then use the Shorten Program function to indicate that William will withdraw from his current program.
Shirley planned to be a J-1 Au Pair with a Program Begin Date of April 1. By April 5, Shirley had not reported for her program. The sponsor official could see from Shirley’s SEVIS record that Shirley entered the United States in J-1 status on March 25. The sponsor official called Shirley.
Shirley said that that she does not want to work and was instead in Vermont visiting with friends.
Should Shirley’s program be validated and immediately shortened, bringing her status to Inactive? Or should her status be manually changed to No Show?
No Show. Shirley’s intentions are clear: She will not participate in any Exchange Visitor Program activity despite using the J-1 visa to enter the United States.
Thank you for watching. For additional videos about administering your exchange visitor program, please visit our website, j1visa.state.gov/sevis.