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SEVIS Information for International Students

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a web-based system for maintaining information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States.

Federal Law requires that Ozark Chrisitan College regularly enter data about all F-1 students into SEVIS. Any changes in an F-1 student's personal and academic status must be reported through the SEVIS system, administered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

SEVIS Fee Fact Sheet

On September 1, 2004 the Department of Homeland Security began mandatory collection of a fee to cover the costs for the continued operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

  • International students and exchange visitors are subject to this fee which will be used to administer and maintain SEVIS, support compliance activities, and establish SEVIS Liaison Officers.
  • SEVIS will be used to record and track the I-901 fee payment.
  • Those who wish to enter the United States either as a student or an exchange visitor with a Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated on or after September 1, 2004 are required to pay the fee.
  • The fee is $200 for F-1 holders. It can be paid to the DHS by mail, online or in person and must be accompanied by a Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the U.S.

To Pay Online

  1. Find the Form I-901 (SEVIS Fee Application) 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 form.
    • The form requires the SEVIS Identification Number on the I-20. This number is in the upper right hand corner of the I-20 and begins with an N and has 10 digits.
    • The form requires either a school code for F-1 students (Ozark Christian College's code: KAN214F00411000).
    • The Credit Card Form has a place for "Cardholder address." You do not need to complete this part.
    • Choose First-class mail (recommended). A copy of your receipt will be mailed to you for your records.
     
  3. Print at least two copies of your receipt and keep them with your other important immigration documents.

To Pay By Mail

  1. Obtain a Form I-901
    • Download the form from www.FMJfee.com.
    • Request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the U.S.)
     
  2. Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
  3. Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on US banks only) in the amount of $200 USD, made payable to "The Department of Homeland Security"
  4. Mail the completed I-901 and payment to the address listed on the application form.
  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 By Western Union Quick PayTM Service

This option is available over 130 countries. The Western Union office collects the fee in local currency, and electronically transmits the payment and I-901 data to the DHS. The receipt issued serves as immediate proof of payment for a visa interview or for admission at a POE. Western Union's Quick Pay form must be completed in exact detail. These detailed payment instructions are posted at: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu_instr.htm.

How will the payment be verified?
The payment will be recorded in the SEVIS system. However, you need to keep the paper I-797 you should still bring the paper I-797 or the Internet generated receipt to the visa interview/ POE.

  • DHS will issue an official paper receipt (I-797) for every payment received.
  • Individuals who file electronically will be able to print an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment.
  • When applying through the mail, individuals may request Express delivery service for the I-797 receipt at an additional cost of $30.

When do prospective students or exchange visitors pay the SEVIS Fee?
 

  • Applicants who require a visa to enter the United States must pay the SEVIS fee before going to the U.S. embassy or consulate for their visa interview.
  • Applicants who are citizens of Canada, Bermuda, Bahamas and residents of certain other islands wishing to apply for F-1 status at a Port of Entry into the United States must pay and process the SEVIS fee before appearing at the Port of Entry.
  • Nonimmigrants currently in the United States who apply for student or exchange visitor status must pay the fee prior to filing their change of status application.

*The interviewing consular/ POE officer will confirm payment by accessing SEVIS. To allow for adequate processing time the fee must be paid at least three business days prior to the visa interview/POE appearance date.

When must continuing students pay the SEVIS fee?
 

  • When applying for a new visa or returning to the United States after an absence of more than 5 months that did not involve authorized overseas study
  • Before filing an application for reinstatement when they have been out of status for more than 5 months;

When must continuing exchange visitors pay the SEVIS fee?
 

  • Before filing a reinstatement application after they have been out of status between 121 and 269 days
  • Before filing a reinstatement application after a substantive violation;

Who Does Not Pay the SEVIS Fee?
 

  • Students or exchange visitors who meet all of the following criteria:
    • Started at a school or a program with a Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated before September 1, 2004;
    • Have not completed a program, including students who transferred schools or changed program levels; and
    • Have maintained status
     
  • Applicants who paid the SEVIS Fee, were denied a visa, and are applying again for the same type of visa within 12 months of the date of the denial (exchange visitors must apply in the same category).
  • Current students and exchange visitors who have been issued a Form I-20 or DS-2019 with updated information printed on or after September 1, 2004, as long as the original form was dated prior to September 1, 2004.

SEVIS Fee FAQ

  1. How can I pay with a check or money order drawn on a US bank if I live outside the US?
    The requirement that a check or money order be drawn on a U.S. bank does not necessarily mean that an applicant living abroad must approach a United States bank to make a payment. Many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a U.S. bank. Accordingly, payment may be made with checks from banks chartered or operated in the U.S., from foreign subsidiaries of U.S. banks, or from foreign banks that have an arrangement with a U.S. bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drawn on a U.S. bank.

     
  2. Can someone pay the SEVIS Fee for me?
    Yes. You may have a relative, friend or even a school or program sponsor pay the fee for you. If do not have access to the payment methods described on this sheet, you may find it easier to have someone in the United States pay the fee for you. If someone else fills out the application for you, be sure you give them a copy of your Form I-20 or DS-2019. Whoever fills out the form will need your personal information exactly as it appears on this document.

     
  3. Do I need to pay the fee before I receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019?
    No, you must have a Form I-20 or DS-2019 before you pay the fee.

     
  4. Do I pay the fee for every Form I-20 or DS-2019 I receive?
    No. If you receive acceptance packages from several schools or Exchange Visitor Program Sponsors, please select a school or program and use that Form I-20 or DS-2019 to pay the SEVIS Fee.
    Fee payment is made for a specific SEVIS ID number.

     
  5. Do I need to pay the fee if I am already enrolled as an F-1 or J-1?
    No. You do not have to pay the fee if you are currently in the United States as a nonimmigrant student or exchange visitor and you have maintained your status.

     
  6. Am I required to pay the fee if I am extending my program of study?
    F-1 or J-1 visa holders applying for an extension of stay are not required to the pay the SEVIS Fee.

     
  7. Am I required to pay the fee if I change of educational levels?
    You do not have to pay the SEVIS Fee if you are an F-1 who is changing educational levels. Examples are:
    • You graduated from high school and are going directly into college
    • You received your Bachelor's degree and are going directly into a graduate program

     
  8. Am I required to pay the fee if I transfer schools?
    You do not have to pay the SEVIS Fee if you transfer between approved schools. If you are an F-1, your I-20 will have Initial attendance at this school in block 3, but your SEVIS records will show that you have maintained your status and are continuing your education. It will be helpful if you ask your DSO to put Continuing student � transfer in the remarks.

     
  9. Do I pay the fee again after a visa denial?
    You do not have to pay the SEVIS Fee if you have already paid a SEVIS Fee and you are reapplying for the same type of visa within twelve months of the date of initial denial.

     
  10. Do I need to pay the SEVIS Fee if I need a new visa to return to the United States to continue my studies or participate in an exchange visitor program?
    No. When you are applying for a new visa to return to the United States, you do not have to pay the fee if you are reentering to continue a program of study and:
    • You maintained your status
    • You have not completed your program unless you are an F student transferring to another school or program within five months of leaving the United States
    • You have not been out of the United States for more than five months except to participate in a study abroad program approved by your school

     
  11. What happens if my Form I-20 or DS-2019 was issued before September 1, 2004, but was updated and reissued after September 1, 2004. Do I have to pay the SEVIS Fee?
    No, however, you need to keep the original Form I-20 or DS-2019 with the original issuance date in case you need to prove you were not required to pay the SEVIS Fee.