SEVIS and I-901 for International and Immigrant Students

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System or (SEVIS), administered by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is an Internet-based system that maintains data on foreign students and exchange visitors before and during their stay in the United States. For more information about the SEVIS program, visit the ICE website.

In order to enroll students from other nations, U.S. colleges and universities must be approved by the School Certification the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Most U.S. institutions of higher education have received this approval. Go to the the Sevis web site, titled, Student Process Steps: How to Navigate the U.S. Immigration System. Select the link titled, Study in the States under Step 1. It will have a lookup screen for a search for the college name or city and state where the college is located. You will be able to verify that the college is certified.

SEVIS Information for All Foreign Students and Exchange Visitors

  1. Every I-20 student has a SEVIS identification number. Your number begins with the letter N and is located in the upper right hand corner above the barcode of every page of your I-20.
    • Memorize your SEVIS identification number as you will be asked for it frequently.
  2. Every college and university that issues I-20s pays a fee to maintain the SEVIS system and every student who is issued an I-20 pays a fee. You paid your SEVIS fee when you paid for the I-901.
  3. Each semester, the school that issued your I-20 is required to notify the government via the SEVIS system of whether or not you are in compliance with the federal regulations governing your F-1 or M-1 visa student status.
    • If you violate the federal regulations governing your F-1 of M-1 visa student status by enrolling in less than 12 credit hours or less than nine of your minimum 12 are in lecture, by being suspended, or by failing to request an extension of your I-20, etc. your violation is immediately communicated automatically through the SEVIS system to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

SEVIS I-901 Fee

Prospective students seeking F, M or J visas are required to pay the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee.

The following requirements need to be done per the SEVIS requirements.

  • The fee may only be paid after a prospective student receives her/his JCCC I-20.
  • The fee must be paid prior to the visa interview.
  • The receipt documenting payment must be shown to the officer during your visa interview.
  • Payment of the fee may be made online or by mail or courier.
  • Students from some countries may be required to pay by mail.

Dependents of F-1s, M-1s and J-1s are not required to pay an I-901 fee.