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Background
Steering Committee
Preparation for SEVIS - 2003
Initial SEVIS Implementation
SEVIS Fee

SEVIS

SEVIS FEE REQUIREMENT
F-1 Students/J-1 Exchange Visitors

Effective September 1, 2004, all new F-1 and J-1 visa applicants must pay a one-time fee to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). The following information specifically addresses fee issues

Who pays the SEVIS fee?

  • Prospective F-1 students with “initial attendance” I-20s issued on or after 9/1/2004 who are applying for an “initial” F-1 visa from outside the U.S.

  • Prospective J-1 exchange visitors (students and scholars) with “begin new program” DS-2019s issued by Boston University on or after 9/1/2004 who are applying for an “initial” J-1 visa from outside the U.S.

  • Prospective F-1 students with “initial attendance” I-20s issued on or after 9/1/2004  who are applying for a change to F-1 status from another visa category

  • Prospective J-1 exchange visitors (students and scholars) with “begin new program” DS-2019s issued by Boston University on or after 9/1/2004 who are applying for a change to J-1 status from another visa category

  • Current F-1 students in the U.S. applying for reinstatement after being out of status more than 5 months, and who are issued an I-20 issued for reinstatement that is dated on or after 9/1/04

  • Current J-1 exchange visitors (students and scholars) in the U.S. applying for reinstatement with a new DS-2019 issued by Boston University on or after 9/1/04

  • Prospective J-1 exchange visitors (students and scholars) who are transferring to Boston University from a “ US government SEVIS fee exempt” program sponsor.

Will F-1 students or J-1 exchange visitors currently in the U.S. have to pay the fee?
No, unless the student or scholar’s individual circumstances change so that he or she fits one of the categories mentioned above.

What about F-2 or J-2 dependents?
Neither F-2 nor J-2 dependents are required to pay the fee, even if the dependent possess an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued on or after 9/1/2004.

As a continuing F-1 student, do I have to pay the fee if I transfer to another school, change to a new program at BU, travel outside the U.S. or renew my visa?
The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring schools, changing to another degree program or level, requesting a program extension, renewing an F-1 visa or using F-1 program benefits such as practical training. If you are in status when you travel internationally and are not physically outside of the U.S. for more than five months, you will not be required to pay the fee.

As a continuing J-1 exchange visitor, do I have to pay the fee if I transfer to another school, change to a new program at BU, travel outside the U.S. or renew my visa?
The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring to a new program sponsor, requesting a program extension, renewing a J-1 visa or using J-1 program benefits such as academic training.

Can I pay the SEVIS fee at a university, consulate or port of entry?
No. At this time the SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail or the Internet.

How do I pay the fee?
The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail or online and must be accompanied by a Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the US. Please read Section 3 in the ISSO guide entitled Immigration Requirements for Entering the United States:

F-1 students
J-1 students
J-1 scholars

Where do I get more information?
Contact the ISSO staff for more information:
http://www.bu.edu/isso/contact/

Visit the US Citizenship and Immigration website for Frequently Asked Questions:
http://www.ice.gov/sevis/faq.htm

 

ISSO
Boston University
January 26, 2010

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office