The Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a database used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect, track, and monitor information regarding exchange visitors, international students, and scholars who enter the United States on F, J, or M visas. SEVIS is managed by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security.
All international students have a SEVIS "record" which is managed by the admitting College or University. The immigration advisor will update the student's SEVIS record as need with changes to the academic program, major or degree field, residential address, employment authorization information, anticipated graduation date, etc. Failure to update this record as changes occur can result in a loss of legal status for the student, so it is very important for international students to stay in communication with their immigration advisor at UGA.
An international student can be in SEVIS F-1 or J-1 visa classification. An international student will be issued I-20 form or a DS-2019 form by the University of Georgia, from SEVIS. The student must read and understand the information provided on page 2 of the I-20 or DS-2019, and then must sign the bottom of the form before entering the U.S. , or before filing for a change of immigration status with the U.S. government, if currently in the U.S. in a different immigration status. By signing the form, the international student is confirming that he or she understands and will comply with the relevant regulations.
Before applying for the student visa, OR applying for a change of status to F or J stduent status, international students must pay the SEVIS fee. The SEVIS fee is separate from, and in addition to, the U.S. embassy visa application fee. As of winter 2012, the SEVIS fee is as follows:
- F-1 students: $200.00
- J-1 students: $180.00
This SEVIS fee is in addition to the required visa application fee from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
For current information on the amount of the fee, who is subject to the fee, and how to pay it, see the SEVP fee website, here: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/