The Director of SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) sent a warning about scams (frauds, swindles) that are directed at international students.

International students have encountered imposter scams and phishing attacks as described below, so be careful!

Imposter Scams

A person pretends to be government official and attempts to intimidate students into giving them personal information or money. *ICE, USCIS, DHS, and the IRS will never ask students to transfer money to an individual. In addition, students will never be asked to pay fees via phone or by email.

If you receive a threatening call or message from someone claiming to be a government or law enforcement official, do NOT give any personal or financial information, try to get the name of the organization they claim to be from, and end the conversation immediately.

*ICE = U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; USCIS = U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;

DHS = Department of Homeland Security; and IRS = Internal Revenue Service.

Check your email and regular mail for official contact from the organization. Also, you can contact the organization directly if you want to investigate.

Phishing Attacks

Criminals text or call international students to say that they have a family member in the hospital in their home country, or stuck at the airport, etc. They will then ask the student to transfer money to help that family member. Always check with your family first before transferring money to a family member in need.

If you are a target or victim of a scam, you can report it to ICE’s anonymous Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line. You can also visit USCIS’ tips on avoiding common scams or read DHS’s Identity Theft and Internet Scams Tip Card.

As a result, there are great resources for preparing for an emergency available.

Students: Visit the New Travel Resource Page

As an F student studying in the United States, you may be able to travel during your time of study. If you travel internationally for annual vacation or during a school break, make sure you take the appropriate steps before you travel to ensure a smooth re-entry into the United States. Visit Study in the States’ new resource page, “Traveling as an International Student,” to learn more about the steps you should take before traveling outside of the United States.


You are responsible for updating your own employment information in SEVIS! Visit the SEVP Portal Help section to find resources on how to use the SEVP Portal and comply with post-completion practical training reporting requirements.

International Student Life Cycle

An overview of the whole process beginning with a School Search Page through Completing Your Program of Study.

H-1B Status and the Cap Gap Extension

Complete information about what the Cap Gap Extension is