Immigration law requires the university to electronically report several items of information about each F-1 student when (s)he issues an I-20, and to update this information in SEVIS as changes occur. Failure to maintain these records can cause the university to lose its privilege of accepting international students.
The required information is:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment) protects the privacy of students by prohibiting the university from releasing information other than directory information (name, address, and similar information) to outside agencies, unless the student expressly authorizes the release of such information. The Immigration Service takes the position that the statement on page 1 of Form I-20 authorizing the release of information to them, which is signed by each F-1 student, constitutes an expressed authorization by each F-1 student for the school to release the information to SEVIS.
We will comply with the regulations and will provide SEVIS/USCIS with the information listed above about any F-1 student to whom we have issued Form I-20, as required by the regulations. We will not report on any other matters having to do with the student, and we will not report on matters about which we may have personal information but which are not in the records and files of the university.