Under current U.S. immigration law, students must "maintain their visa status." This means that a student is following the rules that apply to F-1 visas. If a student does not maintain status, the consequences can be serious. The U.S. government considers students who do not maintain their status to be "unlawfully present" (illegally present) in the United States. If students become "out of status," assisting them is very difficult.
Stay in Status
SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created this internet-based system to maintain current information on nonimmigrant students, exchange visitors, and their dependents. SEVIS tracks F-1 students from the time they receive their I-20 until they complete their programs of study. You can learn more about SEVIS by visiting the USCIS SEVIS information pages.
Why was SEVIS created?
Institutions have been required by law for many years to keep records on F and J students. SEVIS was created to comply with a 1996 federal law and to automate the collection of required data.
How will SEVIS affect me?
All F-1 students have a SEVIS record with a SEVIS number – this number is in on the right side of your I-20, above the barcode. Your International Student Advisor is responsible for updating your SEVIS record. SEVIS will keep track of certain information about all students; institutions (such as Indiana University Southeast) are required to report the following:
What is the SEVIS fee?
This one-time fee supplements the federal administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
How much is the SEVIS fee?
For current rates, visit the USCIS SEVIS Fee information page.(Scroll to the bottom of the page).
How do I pay the SEVIS fee?
A variety of payment options are described on the USCIS SEVIS Fee information page.