Now Accepting International Students (F1 Visa)
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Understanding the SEVIS ID

SEVIS, or the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, is a vital tool that maintains current information on nonimmigrant students, exchange visitors, and their dependents in F or J status. As an F-1 student, you’ll receive a unique SEVIS number and a SEVIS record will be established to track your journey from the issuance of your I-20 until you complete your program.

Jump to: SEVIS Fee, Payment Options, FAQs

What is J, F, and M Status

J-1 status is a nonimmigrant visa that allows international students to study at a US college or university as part of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The program has 15 categories, including a student category, and aims to increase understanding between the US and other countries through cultural and educational exchanges.

F-1 status is a non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to study in the United States as a full-time student at an accredited academic institution or in a language training program. F-1 visa holders can remain in the U.S. as long as they are enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester and are making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

An M visa, also known as an M-1 visa, is a study permit for students who want to study in the United States in nonacademic or vocational programs, such as flight schools, professional schools, and cooking classes. M-1 visa holders are not permitted to work during their studies.

Responsibilities of the Office of International Affairs

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is tasked with updating your SEVIS record, ensuring accuracy and compliance. Their reporting duties encompass various aspects, including:

  • Full-time enrollment status
  • Failure to enroll
  • Dropping below a full-time course load without prior authorization
  • Any deviations from maintaining student status or completing your program
  • Changes in legal name or address
  • Graduation before the expected program end date
  • Start date of your next academic session
  • Transfers
  • Program extensions
  • Off-campus employment authorization
  • Any other significant changes to your program


For F-1 students, the SEVIS fee is set at $350.

When You Need to Pay the SEVIS Fee?

You must pay the SEVIS fee if you fall under any of the following conditions:

  • Applying for a visa as a new student commencing an IUPUI program with an I-20
  • Applying to change your status to F-1 from another nonimmigrant status while in the United States
  • Filing for reinstatement after being out of status while in the United States for more than five months
  • Traveling to the United States in F-1 status as a Canadian citizen. Please note that you cannot pay the fee at your port of entry.

You are exempt from paying the SEVIS fee if:

  • You are an F-1 student in lawful status transferring between schools in the United States
  • You are the dependent of an F-1 student and hold F-2 status

Payment Options

You can conveniently pay the SEVIS fee online or by mail. Online payment is recommended for its speed and efficiency. Whether you choose to pay online or by mail, your payment must be accompanied by Form I-901.

Important Note for Certain Nationals

If you are an F-1 student from Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, or Nigeria, you must pay using a money order, Western Union Quick Pay, or a certified check drawn from a U.S. bank.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Will the Department of Homeland Security keep a record of my payment?
    • 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 to use as needed.
  • What happens if I pay the SEVIS fee for one school but decide to attend a different one? Is my paid SEVIS fee transferable?
    • Yes, the SEVIS fee is transferable. But you must take the I-20 form with the SEVIS ID number that you listed on the I-901 form to the U.S. 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 more information, see these SEVIS I-901 Fee FAQs »
  • What if my F-1 visa application is denied?
    • 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.
Useful SEVIS Links

Please check out the following external resources to learn more about SEVIS.:



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