SEVP Announces New Fees and Fee Increases

 

Introduction

On May 23, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new final rule adjusting Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) fees charged to students, exchange visitors, and certified schools. The rule is published in the Federal Register (FR) at 84 FR 23930 (May 23, 2019) [PDF version]. The new fees and fee increases will take effect on June 24, 2019. SEVP posted a news update about the new rule as well [PDF version].

In this article, we will examine the new SEVP fee rules with reference to the FR notice and the SEVP website summaries.

Fee Increases

The Form I-901 SEVIS Fee for F and M students will increase from $200 to $350. The regulation reflecting the new $350 fee is found at 8 C.F.R. 103.7(b)(1)(ii)(H)(1).

The Form I-901 SEVIS Fee will remain constant for J exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work or travel program participant categories. The regulation covering this fee is found at 8 C.F.R. 103.7(b)(1)(ii)(H)(2). However, for all other J1 exchange visitors, the Form I-901 SEVIS Fee will increase from $180 to $220. This increase is reflected at 8 C.F.R. 103.7(b)(1)(ii)(H)(3).

The SEVP school certification fee for initial certifications will now be $3,000, up from the previous level of $1,700. This regulation is found at 8 C.F.R. 103.7(b)(1)(ii)(B).

New Fees

8 C.F.R. 103.7(b)(1)(ii)(B) now provides for a $1,250 recertification fee for SEVP schools filing a petition for recertification. The same provision retains, however, the $655 site visit fee for petitioning schools and their additional schools or campuses for initial certification. However, this $655 fee will now apply to cases when SEVP-certified schools change their physical locations or adds new physical locations on the Form I-17, Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student.

8 C.F.R. 103.7(b)(1)(ii)(O) now provides for a $675 fee when schools file a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

SEVP Guidance for Students

SEVP notes that under regulation, all F, M, and J students must pay the Form I-901 SEVP fee before the Department of State (DOS) issues a visa. If a SEVP student pays the previous Form I-901 fee prior to the effective date of the new fees — June 24, 2019 — the student will not need to pay the difference between the old and new fee.

Students will continue to pay the Form I-901 SEVP fee at FMJfee.com

SEVP Guidance for Schools

SEVP explains that “[s]hould a school submit a complete initial certification or recertification petition, petition update or Form I-290B and it is not filed or adjudicated before the fee implementation date, the school will not be required to pay the new or increased fee retroactively while in submitted status.”

Conclusion

It is important for both students and schools to be aware of the new and increased fees described in this article. Prospective and current international students should consult with an experienced immigration attorney regarding case-specific questions.

To learn more about the nonimmigrant categories discussed in this article, please see our growing selection of articles on F, J, and M nonimmigrants [see category].