SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. SEVIS was created to comply with a 1996 federal law and to automate the collection of required data. This internet-based system has been created in order to maintain current information on nonimmigrant students, exchange visitors, and their dependents (i.e. all those in F or J visa status). SEVIS tracks F and J status holders from the time they receive their documents (I-20 or DS-2019, visa, etc.) until they complete their programs. SEVIS links with colleges and universities, US embassies and consulates, US ports of entry, the Department of State, and exchange visitor programs.
How does SEVIS affect me?
All F-1 and J-1 Students and visitors have a SEVIS record with a SEVIS number. The Office of International Student Services is responsible for updating your SEVIS record. SEVIS keeps track of certain information about all students, and requires institutions (such as Indiana University South Bend) to report the following:
Failure to enroll
Notification that a J-1 visitor/student has checked in
Dropping below a full-time course load without prior authorization from the Office of International Services
Any other failure to maintain student status or complete program
A change in legal name or address
Student’s graduation prior to the expected program end date
Start date of student’s next session
Off-campus employment authorization
Any other major changes to a student’s program
Effective June 24, 2019
F-1 academic student applying for “initial status” from outside the US
F-1 academic student applying for reinstatement after being out of status more than five months
Spouse or dependent child of F (F-2)
Student applying for a change of status to F programs
* Dependents are not charged but proof of payment by the primary visa holder (F-1) is required for applications using I-20s dated on or after September 1, 2004.
F-1 students beginning new programs at IU South Bend with immigration documents (I-20 forms) will be required to pay the fee before applying for a visa.
Non-immigrants already in the United States who want to change to F-1 status will have to pay the fee before applying for a change of status.
Current F-1 students in the US filing for reinstatement after being out of status more than 5 months, and who have been issued an I-20 for reinstatement.
Canadian citizens must pay the fee before traveling to the US as it will not be possible to pay the fee at the port of entry.
F-1 students in lawful status transferring between schools in the US.
Contact your local US Consulate or Embassy to inquire about specific requirements for obtaining an F-1 student visa in your home country. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at the US Embassy Website.
As soon as you receive Form I-20 from Indiana University South Bend, follow the US Embassy/Consulate’s instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa and pay your SEVIS fee. Apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible.
Pay the $350 SEVIS fee well in advance of your visa interview. The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail or online and must be accompanied by Form I-901. If possible, we strongly encourage you to pay using the online option as discussed below. The fee can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the US.
Bring your SEVIS payment receipt with you to your scheduled visa interview
Complete Form I-901 online (be sure to insert your name exactly as it appears on your I-20) and supply the necessary MasterCard, Visa or American Express credit card information.
Print a copy of the online receipt.
We suggest that you keep a copy of your receipt with your other important immigration documents.
Note: On-line payment is the easiest and fastest method by which to pay the SEVIS fee. Be sure to print your receipt!
Obtain Form I-901 (Fee Remittance for Certain F Non immigrants). Download the form from FMJfee; or Request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the US).
Complete Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on US banks only) in the amount of $350, made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security.”
Mail the completed Form I-901 and payment to the address indicated on Form I-901.
A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed to you within three days of processing the fee. Be sure to make copies of your fee application and receipt when it arrives by mail, and keep these documents with your other important immigration documents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fee payments should be entered into your permanent immigration (SEVIS) record, but it is strongly recommended that you retain a copy of your fee receipt (form I-797) to use as needed.
Yes. But you must take the I-20 form with the SEVIS ID number that you listed on the I-901 form with you to the US consulate/embassy, in addition to the I-20 form from the school you wish to attend. Be sure to make your intentions clear to the Consular Officer. For additional information, see the SEVIS FAQ.
Obtain the appropriate Form I-20 from Indiana University.
Pay the SEVIS fee by mail or online.
Make a copy of the I-797 (mail) or computer receipt (online) for your records.
Submit a copy of the I-797 or computer receipt with your visa, change of status or reinstatement application or
Students who are exempt from visa requirements, such as Canadian citizens, should take a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt to present at the port of entry with the appropriate I-20. It will not be possible to pay the fee at the port of entry.
For change of status or reinstatement applications, if you previously paid the SEVIS fee while attending a different school, you should submit a copy of that school’s I-20 form with your application.
The SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.
Additional questions or concerns should be directed to the Office of International Student Services, Administration Building 140, 574-520-4419.
Many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a US bank. You may therefore obtain a check from: a) a bank chartered or operated in the United States; b) a foreign subsidiary of a US bank; or c) a foreign bank that has an arrangement with a US bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drawn on a US bank.