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Mandatory Address Changes in SEVIS . . .for all F and J Visa holders

The Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) recently completed a significant update to their SEVIS system, implementing many changes. One of the most significant updates is the verification of F-1 and J-1 local addresses. SEVIS will now reject improperly formatted, invalid, or non-compliant addresses for F-1 and J-1 visa holders.

How does this impact you? In order for you to be in proper SEVIS and immigration compliance, you must be sure your address in ESTHER is accurate and properly formatted. This address is sent to SEVIS and directly impacts your immigration compliance.

What should I do? Please login to your ESTHER account and update/verify that your information is compliant. Follow the steps below:
1) Visit http://esther.rice.edu
2) Select Personal Information
3) Select Update Addresses/Phones
4) Update Mailing Address (if Mailing Address is not an option for you, update Permanent Address) with proper USPS formatting
Tip: visit https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction_input, enter your address in the lookup tool, and the USPS website will provide you with the proper formatting for your address.

Generally speaking, when indicating your local address (the address where you live, not your office address), please use the available fields as follows:
a. Address Line 1 = Street address – EX: 100 Main St.
b. Address Line 2 = Apartment number, Apartment complex name, Hotel name, residential college name – EX: Apt.5 or Jones College, Rm 405
d. City = Properly spelled US city
e. State
f. ZIP = accurate 5 digit zip code
g. Phone = **Please note that all J visa holders are required to enter a valid local phone number

What happens next? We submit these updates to SEVIS on a daily basis. OISS will notify you if your information update is rejected by SEVIS, and guide you on how to correct it so that you are in valid immigration compliance. Please be sure to follow the steps above, check your formatting on the USPS website, and notify OISS of any change of address within 10 days of a move.

Thank you in advance for your compliance!

By Sandra Bloem-Curtis

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