August 26, 2009

What is SEVIS and why do I pay for it?

Acronyms can be both time-saving and incredibly frustrating to all of us. So to prevent you from hitting your head against a wall the next time you see the acronym SEVIS, I thought I would offer a brief explanation.

SEVIS, The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, is an Internet-based system that allows J-1 sponsors to transmit information regarding our participants to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DoS). Each one of the J-1 participants under our sponsorship has been entered into SEVIS, which allows us to generate the DS-2019. SEVIS also helps us to track and monitor our participants by containing status information on our participants like if he/she has received the J-1 visa, and entry/exit data. The J-1 sponsor will also update the system with information like changes of address and program extensions or cancelations.

The SEVIS I-901 Fee was implemented to support SEVIS maintenance as well as the staff required to operate it. The SEVIS Fee Receipt is required for the J-1 interview to verify that you have paid. Unlike other sponsors, Global Current pays the fee ($180 for intern and trainee programs) on the participant's behalf, and sends the receipt to the participant. This way we hope to decrease the amount of paperwork that he/she has to do before the consular appointment. The SEVIS fee is included in our sponsorship fee.

For more information on SEVIS, visit the Department of State website.