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Broadcast Message: New Electronic Form I-20 Issuance Guidance on ICE.gov/COVID19
To: DSOs and PDSOs at SEVP-certified schools
Date: March 26, 2020
On March 26, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) updated the coronavirus(COVID-19) FAQs on https://www.ice.gov/covid19 to provide the following guidance on electronicForm I-20 issuance:
Can DSOs electronically send signed Forms I-20 to students instead of physically mailing theforms?
Yes, due to COVID-19, DSOs may electronically send Forms I-20 to student email addresses listed inSEVIS. In the case of a minor students, the email address may belong to their parent or legal guardian.Schools do not need to request permission from SEVP or report their plans to electronically send FormsI-20 as part of their COVID-19 procedural changes.
What methods can DSOs use to sign and send Forms I-20?
SEVP has identified the following methods to sign and send the Form I-20:
- Email a scanned version of the physically signed Form I-20;
- Email a digitally signed Form I-20 using electronic signature software; or
- Email a digitally signed Form I-20 that contains a digitally reproduced copy of a physicalsignature.
Only approved principal designated school officials (PDSOs) and DSOs may physically sign or input their own digital signature to the Form I-20. Individuals who are not approved on the school’s Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student,” may not input a DSO’s signature—either digital or physical—to the Form I-20. Improper issuance of the Form I-20 in this manner may constitute grounds for withdrawal of SEVP certification. By signing the Form I-20 or inputting their digital signature, PDSOs and DSOs attest that they are the approved individual issuing the Form I-20.SEVP continues to actively monitor COVID-19 and will provide up-to-date information with all stakeholders. Due to the fluid nature of this situation, please continue to reference ICE.gov/COVID19 for the latest news and updates. *Users should clear their browser history and refresh the page to ensure that they are viewing the latest version of the FAQs.
To comment on this Broadcast Message, please email SEVP@ice.dhs.gov with “Broadcast Message2003-03 Comment” entered in the subject line.
This Broadcast Message is not a substitute for applicable legal requirements, nor is it itself a rule or afinal action by SEVP. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right orbenefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil or criminalmatter.