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UMDNJ  
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Office of International Services

SEVIS OVERVIEW

SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, is a central computerized system that maintains and manages data about foreign students (F-1), exchange visitors (J-1), and their dependents (F-2 and J-2) during their stay in the United States.  The SEVIS program was implemented in 2003 for all international students and scholars.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the implementation of a new fee to begin this fall for all new F-1 and J-1 applicants.  The fee is required under SEVIS regulations and is to be used to cover the costs of the operation of the program.  The rule that implements this fee went into effect September 1, 2004.

Who must pay the fee?
F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors beginning new programs with documents (I-20 forms for F-1s, DS-2019 forms for J-1s) issued on or after September 1, 2004, will be required to pay fee before applying for a visa.  Those non-immigrants already in the United States in another immigration status will be required to pay the fee before applying for a change of status to F-1 or J-1.  Canadians will be required to pay before going to a US Port of Entry. The fee can not be paid at the port of entry.  The SEVIS fee is in addition to any other application fees.

Exemptions from the fee:

F-2 and J-2 dependents are exempt from the fee.  J-1 visitors whose DS-2019s are issued by the U.S. government are also exempt.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which prospective students or exchange visitors must pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Individuals who wish to either enter the U.S. as students or exchange visitors with a form I-20 or DS-2019 issued on or after September 1, 2004.
  • Individuals who are in the U.S. and wish to change to student (F-1) or exchange visitor (J-1) status from another non-immigrant status with a form I-20 or DS-2019 issued on or after September 1, 2004. (e.g., from B-2 to F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor status)

When are prospective students or exchange visitors required to pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Applicants needing a visa to enter the U.S.. should pay the SEVIS fee at least 3 business days prior to going to the U.S. embassy or consulate for their visa interview.
  • Applicants who are citizens of Canada or Bermuda or residents of certain other islands described in 8CFR 212.1a wishing to apply for F-1 or J-1 status should pay the SEVIS fee at least 3 business days prior to crossing a U.S. Port of Entry.
  • Non-immigrants currently in the U.S. who apply for student or exchange visitor status must pay the fee prior to filing their change of status application.

When must continuing F-1 students pay the SEVIS fee?

Continuing students must pay the SEVIS fee before:

  • Filing an application for reinstatement when they have been out of status for more than 5 months.
  • Applying for a new visa or returning to the U.S. after an absence of 5 months or more that did not involve authorized overseas study.
  • Filing an application for a change of status except for changes between F-1 and F-3.

When must continuing exchange visitors (J-1 non-immigrants who have begun, but not finished a program) pay the SEVIS fee?

Continuing exchange visitors must pay the SEVIS fee before: 

  • Filing a reinstatement application after they having been out of status between 121 and 269 days due to a substantive violation.
  • Applying for a change of exchange visitor category, unless the new exchange visitor category is fee exempt (federally sponsored programs with program codes that start with G-1, G-2, or G-3).

 How does one pay the fee?

To Pay By Mail

  1. Obtain a Form I-901 “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M nonimmigrants”
    Download the form; or Request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the US)
  2. Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on the form I-20 or DS-2019 form
  3. Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on US banks only) in the amount of $200 USD for F-1 and $180 for J-1, made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security"
  4. Mail the completed I-901 and payment to:  (P.O. Box listed on Form I-901)
  5. A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed to you within 3 days of processing the fee.  Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents

To Pay Online

  1. Find the Form I-901 at www.FMJfee.com.
  2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information.  *Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 or DS-2019 form
  3. Print a copy of the online receipt
  4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents

In the case of a new student applying to more than one school, is the SEVIS fee transferable?

Yes.  The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that fee payment made on one SEVIS ID number (i.e. I-20 form) can be applied to another SEVIS ID number issued to the same individual.  The new student will need to bring in proof of the SEVIS ID number connected to the SEVIS fee - i.e. the unused I-20 or DS-2019.

SEVIS FEE CHART

Fee Required

Amount

 

F-1 or F-3 academic student applying for "initial status" from outside the US

$200

F-1 or F-3 academic student applying for reinstatement after being out of status more than five months

$200

 

M-1 or M-3 vocational student

$200

 

Spouse or dependent child of F, M or J visitor (F-2, M-2, J-2)

*Dependents are not charged but proof of payment by the primary visa holder (F-1, J-1, M-1) is required for applications using I-20s/DS-2019s dated on or after 9/1/04.

None*

 

J-1 exchange visitor, standard student or research scholar program

$180

J-1 exchange visitor violating status and cannot or does not resume status in the same program

$180

J-1 exchange visitor changing to another program or program category (such as student to research scholar)

$180

J-1 exchange visitor participating in federally sponsored program (designated G-1, G-2 or G-3)

None

J-1 exchange visitor participating in summer work/travel program

$35

J-1 exchange visitor participating in au pair program

$35

J-1 exchange visitor participating in camp counselor program

$35

 

Student or exchange visitors applying for a change of status to F, M or J programs

$180

 

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USCIS Announces Extension of OPT to 29 months for certain STEM degree holders. Read more...

 

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