On July 1, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the long-awaited final rule to implement the SEVIS fee. Under the rule, the fee will have to be paid by students and exchange visitors who use a Form I-20 or DS-2019 to gain initial F-1, J-1, or M-1 status to begin a new exchange program or program of studies, if that form was issued on or after September 1, 2004. A June 29, 2004 DHS memo (AMDOC# 200406017) was sent to all SEVIS users to provide preliminary guidance on the SEVIS fee.

Please carefully read the final rule as soon as possible, to begin assessing how it will impact student and exchange visitor plans, as well as how it will affect internal institutional business practices.

NAFSA is developing practice tools designed to assist its members with SEVIS fee implementation.

NAFSA's SEVIS fee practice tool initiatives.
  1. Technical analysis. NAFSA is developing a Practice Advisory to describe the technical aspects of the SEVIS fee rule.
  2. Practice tools. Nineteen NAFSAns representing diverse institutions responded to a call for volunteers to produce practice resources regarding implementation of the SEVIS fee. This joint CAFSS-CIPP project will produce practice resources such as informational handouts and suggestions regarding how to disseminate information on campus. Lisa Ernstthal, Region XII CAFSS Representative, heads the team which includes representatives from large public universities, private schools, community colleges, and IEPs. Sal Longarino, Chair of CAFSS, and Helene Robertson, Chair of CIPP, selected implementation of the SEVIS Fee as the issue with which to test a new system for providing NAFSA members with a timely, coordinated, collaborative response to significant changes in regulation or procedure. The new collaborative system, which was articulated by the CAFSS and CIPP teams during the Washington Leadership Meeting in January and refined during the annual conference, is intended to provide regulatory analysis followed in short order with useful practice tools ready for members to use on their campuses.
  3. Government document collection. NAFSA will be collecting government documents such as memos, cables, and explanatory materials, and will post these on the NAFSA Web site.
  4. Continued liaison with the Departments of State and Homeland Security.
NAFSA members who have suggestions regarding these practice initiatives may send their suggestions to NAFSA's Regulatory Practice Department, at [email protected]. AMDOC#: 200406016