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SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.  SEVIS is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security database that tracks information on F-1, J-1, and M-1 students and scholars and their dependents.  UWM is required to use SEVIS to issue documents needed to apply for F-1 and J-1 visas (I-20 and DS-2019 respectively) and to update student and scholar records in SEVIS to reflect changes in address, enrollment and program of study, employment authorization, financial information.  More information on SEVIS here.