SEVIS Form 1-20 is the certificate of eligibility for student (F-1) status. The I-20 is issued by a college or university and then, if approved by the embassy, will accompany the student's visa and give eligibility to attend that college or university in the U.S.
What is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)?
Section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), Public Law 104-208, div. C (Sept. 30, 1996), directed the Attorney General to develop and conduct a program to collect current information from schools and exchange programs relating to nonimmigrant international students and exchange aliens during the course of their stay in the United States.
SEVIS is an internet-based system that provides users with access to accurate and current information on nonimmigrant international students, exchange aliens, and their dependents.
It enables schools and exchange programs to transmit electronic information and event notifications, via the Internet, to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) formerly Immigration and Naturalization Services and the Department of State throughout a student's or exchange alien's stay in the U.S.