Bureau of Consular Affairs Activates the Interim Student and Exchange Authentication System

The Interim Student and Exchange Authentication System (ISEAS) was implemented by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, as of September 11, 2002. The purpose of the ISEAS is to verify the acceptance for enrollment of foreign students and exchange visitors (and their dependents) seeking to enter the U.S. under the F, J or M temporary visa.

There is a 30-day notification period, ending October 10, 2002, during which institutions and exchange programs will enter required data into the ISEAS. During this 30-day period, the Bureau of Consular Affairs will continue F, J, and M visa processing under current procedures. Electronic acceptance verification by e-mail to the consulate or embassy will also be allowed during this notification period.

Data gathered by the ISEAS will be provided to the INS as part of regularly shared non-immigrant visa data. This interim data system is designed to gather information on F, J, and M temporary visa applicants who have received acceptance data. This data will be reviewed by Consular Officers before they issue visas, to ensure official acceptance status.

The ISEAS also applies to students and exchange visitors applying to return to educational programs begun before September 11, 2002.

The ISEAS is the transitional student and exchange visitor tracking program mandated by the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002. It will enable sharing of data between schools/sponsor programs and the Department of State and INS. The ISEAS will remain active until the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is fully operational.

The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act also mandates these eligible schools and exchange programs transmit — via the ISEAS website (www.iseas.state.gov) — evidence that a student or exchange visitor has been accepted to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, until SEVIS is fully operational.

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