Identification Number:
EM-22023
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/
TSCs/PSCs/OCO/OCO-CSTs/
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Enumeration: Temporary Acceptance of an Electronic Signature on Form I-20
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Records Maintenance (Earnings & Enumeration)
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date: April 06, 2023

    A. Purpose
      This emergency message (EM) is to notify SSA field offices (FOs) and Social Security Card Centers (SSCCs) to temporarily accept certain electronic signatures on form I-20 “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status”.
    B. Background
      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as of March 26, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have allowed designated school officials (DSOs) to electronically send signed Form I-20 to students via email addresses listed in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) instead of physically mailing forms.
    C. Instructions
      DHS has identified the following methods of signing and sending the Form I-20:
        · Email a scanned version of the physically signed Form I-20
        · Email a digitally signed Form I-20 using electronic signature software; or
        · Email a digitally signed Form I-20 that contains a digitally reproduced copy of a physical signature.

      DHS instructs students to print a copy of the emailed Form I-20 to present at any required interview and upon arrival at a U.S. port of Entry.

      If presented a printed Form I-20, review the document in accordance with RM 10211.275. If the sixth block contains the Designated School Officials electronic signature in one of the three formats noted above, accept the document.

      If there is doubt about the authenticity of the I-20, follow RM 10211.280.
Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns, or problems to their Central Office contacts.

References:
RM 10211.275 Reviewing the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) issued Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status)

RM 10211.280 Verifying SEVIS Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) and Evidence of Employment Status

EM-22023 - Enumeration: Temporary Acceptance of an Electronic Signature on Form I-20 - 4/12/2022