Tracking Systems

In addition to increased scrutiny of visa applications, the U.S. government is initiating a number of systems for tracking foreign students and visitors to the United States.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The new Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an electronic System aimed at keeping better track of foreign students once they have received visas to study in the United States.50 The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security) is responsible for SEVIS, although the program was developed in cooperation with the Departments of State and Education. SEVIS is designed to collect and report data on international student or exchange visitor status and changes, such as a change in one's program of study. It also provides system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and INS field offices. The timetable for its implementation and for colleges and universities to come into compliance with its regulations was accelerated after September 11th. Schools wishing to accept foreign students were required to register with SEVIS by January 30, 2003.

Interagency Panel for Advanced Science and Security (IPASS). IPASS is a response to an October 2001 Presidential Decision Directive, "Combating Terrorism through Immigration Policies," which directed federal agencies to develop student immigration policies through which the country "prohibits certain students from receiving education and training in sensitive areas." The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has been working with the White House's Homeland Security Council and others to develop and implement IPASS, although at the time of this report the Executive Order to create IPASS had not yet been signed.

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