International Student Services
In operation since January 30 2003, SEVIS is an internet-based system maintained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. SEVIS allows the U.S. government to have "real-time" access to information about the address, academic, and biographical information about F-1/J-1/M-1 students, and F-2/J-2 family members.
The information contained in SEVIS is shared by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (which is responsible for processing applications for immigration benefits such as employment authorization or change/extension of status) as well as U.S embassies and consulates worldwide (which are responsible for determining issuing F/J/M visas to qualified students, scholars, and their family members). The overall purpose of SEVIS is to allow schools and the U.S. government to track the arrival, enrollment, academic activity, and departure of international students, scholars, and their dependents.
All students their dependent family members who will or intend to be in the U.S. after August 1, 2003 need to be registered in SEVIS and have SEVIS-generated documents to be eligible to enter and remain in the U.S.
What information is contained in SEVIS?
Schools are required to report biographical information (such as name, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship); address information (including overseas permanent and U.S. local addresses); academic information (program and major, program start and end dates, level of study); and financial information (funding requirements and sources of funding). In addition, schools are required to report certain events, including:
- Failure to arrive or check-in as expected
- Failure to enroll
- Failure to obtain permission for part-time enrollment
- Withdrawal or termination from program and reason for termination
- Change of address
- Change of other relevant information such as name, completion date, school, or site of activity
- Early graduation
- Recommendations for employment authorization or reinstatement
- Failure to maintain non-immigrant status for any reason
How do I register in SEVIS?
- New F/J/M students who intend to arrive in the U.S. to begin studies on or after August 1, 2003 will be registered in SEVIS when they receive their I-20's or DS-2019s.
- Continuing students and exchange visitors should have been entered into SEVIS and received an updated SEVIS I-20 by August 1, 2003.
How do I know I have been registered in SEVIS?
Once you are registered in SEVIS, you will be issued a SEVIS Form I-20. The new forms are distinguished by a scannable barcode in the upper-right hand corner of each page, as well as a SEVIS ID number above the barcode. A separate SEVIS I-20 must also be issued to every dependent in F-2 status.
If you have any questions about SEVIS, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and student ID number, or call International Student Services at (801) 957-4528. Upon receiving your SEVIS I-20, please make sure all information is correct. Contact International Student Services if there are any questions or problems. You should retain all previous I-20's for your permanent immigration records - do not throw them away.
What is the SEVIS fee?
The SEVIS fee is a U.S. government fee that supports the operation of the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The regulation for the government to collect this fee went into effect September 1, 2004.
How much is it? How do I pay?
The SEVIS fee is $200. There are three ways to pay the fee: by using a credit card over the internet, by mailing an international money order or U.S. bank check, or by using the Western Union Quick Pay™ service in your country. The fee must be accompanied by government form I-901.
Do all new students pay the SEVIS fee?
If you were issued an I-20 or DS-2019 on or after September 1, 2004 for “initial attendance” at SLCC and are applying for a visa, change of status, or re-entry, you will be required to pay the fee.
I am a Canadian citizen and do not need a visa. Do I pay the fee?
Yes, Canadians are also subject to this fee. You must ensure that the U.S. government has received your fee at least three business days before you apply for admission at a port of entry (land or border crossing).
Are my family members subject to the fee?
No, F-2 and J-2 dependents are not assessed the SEVIS fee, only F-1, M-1 and J-1 students.
When do I pay the fee?
You must wait until you have your I-20 (for F-1/M-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students) before you can pay the fee. You can schedule an appointment for the visa interview without having paid the fee. However, you must pay the fee at least three business days prior to your visa interview, and be able to show proof that you did pay the fee. If you are not traveling outside the U.S. for a new visa, speak to International Student Services for payment details.
Do I receive evidence to show I paid the fee?
Yes, there is a receipt which can be printed out at the time of on-line payment, or is sent by mail to the address provided on the form I-901. Not all U.S. Consulates and Embassies have access to the SEVIS database to verify that you paid, so it is vital that you are able to show the receipt at the time of your visa interview.
Can someone else pay the fee for me?
Yes, another person can pay the fee on your behalf. However, it is critical that this person obtains the receipt and mails it to you.
What happens if the consular official cannot confirm my fee payment through the information in the SEVIS database?
As long as you have a printed receipt to verify your payment, you should not be denied a visa based on this ground.
I am not a new student, will I be charged the SEVIS fee?
In general, a continuing student will NOT pay the SEVIS fee, even if you need to apply for new visa. There are, however, exceptions to this.
A student who has previously been enrolled would need to pay the SEVIS fee under the following conditions:
- When outside the U.S. for over five months and applying for a new visa (exception – this does not apply to students on authorized study abroad)
- When given an “initial attendance” I-20 to re-gain F-1 status
- When applying for reinstatement
- When applying for a change of status to F-1 or J-1
I am a J-1 student. I was told that I do not have to pay the fee. Is that right?
J-1 students who are in government-sponsored exchange programs, such as the Fulbright or CDS program, are not required to pay the SEVIS fee. The organization issuing your DS-2019 can confirm if you have to pay the fee or not.
For More Information
Visit the ICE SEVIS Information Page.
SEVIS information adapted from NYU Office of International Students & Scholars and MIT International Scholars Office.