Overview Of DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the government agency that regulates U.S. customs and immigration processes, monitors non-U.S. citizens who seek to enter the United States, and enforces border inspection.


The Department of Homeland Security is divided into three bureaus:

- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) – Responsible for inspecting persons seeking to enter the United States.

- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – Reviews petitions for adjustment of visa status, reinstatements, citizenship and requests for other services.

- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) – Responsible for immigration investigations, detention and deportation, and SEVIS database management.

F and M visa students will likely have some kind of interaction with these bureaus during the time that they are in the United States.



The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) oversees monitoring of international students on F, M and J visas in the United States. SEVP does this using a database called the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Each international student on an F, M or J visa has a record in SEVIS, which holds information on the student’s personal information (name, date of birth, citizenship, home / local address, etc.), the student’s program of study, and the student’s financial support.