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 What is SEVIS and what does it mean to me?


SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitor Information System) this is an online internet based program that is used by the U.S. Department of State, all U.S. Foreign based embassies, U.S. Department of Homeland security, U.S. Department of Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and all certified and approved institutions. SEVIS administered by ICE within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is an Internet-based system for maintaining information on foreign students and exchange visitors in the United States.

The SEVIS fee was mandated by U.S. Congress on September 1, 2004 and is used to cover the costs of maintaining the program and to provide assistance and technical support for SEVIS users. The fee can be paid on the Web, by mail and at Western Union offices that offer the Quick Pay ™ service - currently in more than 130 nations nationwide.

The SEVIS I-901 Web site at has emerged as a popular avenue for fee payment, with approximately 77 percent of all fee payments being made through the Web site. The new capabilities on the Web site will help assure students and exchange visitors that their fee payment is received and will provide them with an estimate as to when they can reasonably expect the consular office to be able to independently verify the SEVIS fee payment in their system. We strongly recommend our students to pay online at

Students and exchange visitors from abroad who register with the SEVIS program are required to pay the appropriate fee - in most cases, $200 - prior to obtaining their visas.

The fee partially covers the cost of your visa maintenance and was assessed for visa categories that require continued maintenance. The fee applies to F, J and M non-immigrant visa classifications.

To Pay Online:
1. Find the Form I-901 at
2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. *Be sure to write your name exactly how it appears on your I-20 form.
3. Print a copy of the online receipt.

All students’ records are maintained on a regular basis and all activity for each student is reported 3-4 times per semester. The following information will help you become aware of your student status with your Sevis I-20 form and F-1 Visa.


  1. Must have a SEVIS I-20 form.
  2. Must submit a change of address to the International Student Center (ISC) at Irvine Valley College within 10 days of moving.
  3. Must inform the ISC administrator of any change in their course of studies and/or major.
  4. Must maintain and successfully complete a minimum of 12 units each fall and spring semesters. If the initial attendance starts during the summer, then students must successfully complete a minimum of six units during that summer term.
    • Federal Immigration laws only allow for a one-time course reduction of less than 12 units during your entire stay at IVC.
    • You are required to contact the International Student Center at IVC for advisement and to seek permission for a reduced course load.
    • Students may only enroll in one (1) three unit online course per semester that may be applied to the 12-unit requirement.
  5. Must apply for Optional Practical Training (3) three months before the completion of your program.
  6. Must provide advance notification of Transfer to another school approximately 3-4 months before you complete your program at IVC.
  7. Must depart the U.S. within 60 days when you complete a program.
  8. Must comply with your F-1 student visa terms and laws as stated on page 2 of your Sevis I-20 form. Failure to comply with the law will require you to appear for a Reinstatement (Immigration Adjudications Hearing). Reinstatements are costly, difficult to approve and involve the risk of being denied. Please note that not all cases are considered for reinstatement.
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