Protocol for Dealing with Federal Agencies

Reporting the contact

Any questions or immigration requests that come to Washington State University via phone or in person from a federal agency regarding international students, faculty, visiting researchers, and staff (scholars) should be reported immediately to one of the following people in the International Programs – International Student and Scholar Services, in this order:

  1. SEVIS coordinator/PDSO

As of June 2022: Brian Ridge | 509-335-3378 | brian.ridge@wsu.edu

  1. Associate Director RO/DSO

As of June 2022: Maria Clara De Souza | 509-335-1083 | maria.desouza@wsu.edu

System DSO

As of September 2022: Nitivia Jones | 509-335-2422 | nitivia.jones@wsu.edu

If all of the above are unreachable, please contact the ISSS front desk at 509-335-4508 or ip.intlservices@wsu.edu,

A guide of Federal agencies and their sub-offices are below. State, campus, or local police calls/visits should also be reported to our office following the process below.

By phone

Before forwarding this call please collect the following:

  • Full Name
  • Title
  • Agency calling from
  • Phone number
  • Date and time of call
  • Student name and SEVIS # (if provided by the officer)

This is important in case the call gets disconnected while forwarding; hang up the phone and take a message only if absolutely NO staff is available to take the call, in which case you can email the details to the ISSS front desk at ip.intlservices@wsu.edu.

In person

Pullman campus

Direct the Officer to Bryan Hall, Suite 206, and have them ask for the SEVIS Coordinator, Associate Director, or System DSO (contacts above).

Do not give any detailed information to the officer. For international students, exceptions to FERPA are only if the request of information falls under statutes underlying SEVIS or with a subpoena. Please tell them that WSU protocol is to have requests referred to the Office of International Programs. WSU provides information only on F-1 or J-1 international students that is required by law, and immigration officials must request this information in writing.

For international faculty, visiting researchers, and staff, please refer to the WSU Business Policies and Procedures Manual before sharing any information. Please tell them that WSU protocol is to have requests referred to the Office of International Programs.

WSU provides information on international faculty, visiting researchers, and staff only which is required by law and/or in public access files.

Other campuses

Direct the Officer to contact the International Programs – International Student and Scholar Services, and have them ask for the SEVIS Coordinator, Associate Director, or System DSO (contacts above).

Do not give any detailed information to the officer. For international students, exceptions to FERPA are only if the request of information falls under statutes underlying SEVIS or with a subpoena. Please tell them that WSU protocol is to have requests referred to the Office of International Programs. WSU provides information only on F-1 or J-1 international students that is required by law, and immigration officials must request this information in writing.

For international faculty, visiting researchers, and staff, please refer to the WSU Business Policies and Procedures Manual before sharing any information. Please tell them that WSU protocol is to have requests referred to the Office of International Programs.

WSU provides information only on international faculty, visiting researchers, and staff that is required by law and/or in public access files.

Examples of site visits

USCIS

They usually arrive unannounced, in plainclothes. They should show identification and the agent can be asked to follow up their request by email or phone call. You can always ask that the request be made in writing, even if the person is in front of you, but please refer agents to contact ISSS. Their visit is usually to verify content of a petition filed, and they may visit with faculty, HRS, or ISSS.

Department of State

They usually notify ahead of time of their visit and which documents/information they require and/or individuals they would like to meet with. They should show identification and the agent can be asked to follow up by email or phone call for verification. Their visit is usually for J-1 Program Maintenance, but they can meet with faculty and WSU departments.

ICE/Homeland Security Investigations

They usually notify ahead of time of their visit and which documents/information they require and/or individuals they would like to meet with. They should show identification and the agent can be asked to follow up their request by email or phone call. They will likely meet with ISSS staff only for specific information on a student or scholar case.

FBI

Their focus is to visit specific individuals as part of an ongoing investigation, so their visit is likely to be unannounced. Civil rights remain intact. They should show identification and the agent can be asked to follow up their request in email or phone call.

Common acronyms and federal agencies reference guide

DHS: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

  • ICE: U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement
    • HSI: U.S. Homeland Security Investigations
    • SEVP: Student and Exchange Visitor Program
      • SEVIS: Student Exchange Visitor Information System
    • USCIS: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services/li>
    • CBP:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection
      • POE: Port of Entry

DOS: U.S. Department of State

  • Exchange Visitor (EV) Program

FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation (part of the U.S. Department of Justice)

DOL: U.S. Department of Labor