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SEVIS: An Introduction

(The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is an internet-based system that provides tracking and monitoring functionality, with access to accurate and current information on nonimmigrant students such as F, M, and J visa holders and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications, to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student's stay in the United States. SEVIS will be informed of status events for students including, but not limited to, entry/exit data, changes of current United States address (residence), program extensions, employment notifications, and changes in program of study. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and reports to the schools and programs, as well as for DHS and DOS offices.

What is the SEVIS Fee?

The Department of Homeland Security requires the collection of a fee to be paid by certain aliens who are seeking status as nonimmigrant students. The purpose of this fee is to cover the costs for the continued operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), including the administration and maintenance of SEVIS, compliance activities, and the establishment of SEVIS Liaison Officers. These SEVIS Liaison Officers will be a local resource for schools and students, providing timely and accurate information or assistance in meeting the requirements of the program.


SEVIS Fee

F-1 Student: $200.00
Spouse: No fee
Children: No fee

Who will be required to pay SEVIS Fee?

  • Students who enter the U.S. with an initial I-20
  • Non-immigrants currently in the U.S. who apply for F-1 student status (must pay fee prior to filing their change of status application)
  • Terminated students in the U.S. (must pay fee before filing an application for reinstatement when they have been out of status for more than 5 months)

Options of Payment

  1. Electronically: complete Form I-901 at www.FMJfee.com using a credit card.
  2. Mail: Complete Form I-901 and submit with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency
  3. School/sponsors/third party payments allowed

To ensure electronic verification of the fee payment at the consular office, non-immigrants paying the fee electronically or by mail must submit the fee at least three business days before the scheduled visa interview to the DHS address listed on the Form I-901. This will allow time for the fee to be deposited and payment recorded in SEVIS.

Receipts

  • DHS will issue an official paper receipt (I-797) acknowledging every payment regardless of payment method.
  • Express delivery service for the I-797 receipt may be requested at an additional cost.
  • Anyone who submits an individual fee electronically will be able to print out an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment for use in advance of the mail delivery of the official paper receipt.

    (Source: ICE Website, NAFSA Manual)