On April 29, 2009, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) notified SEVIS users that it would begin a program to address fraudulent requests for refunds of SEVIS I-901 fees. The notice states,
"SEVP recently has received numerous alerts of refund requests for I-901 Fee Payments made by third party credit card holders on behalf of nonimmigrant students or exchange visitors. Many of these nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors have received their F, M or J Visa from the U.S. Department of State. While some of them have already entered the U.S. and have reported to their educational institution or program listed in SEVIS, others have not yet entered.SEVP's notice also describes the fee collection process.
Any request by the cardholder for a refund of the I-901 fee payment amount made on behalf of the nonimmigrant student or exchange visitor under these circumstances is fraudulent. These fraudulent refund requests have also caused SEVP to incur unplanned expenses through the payment of processing fees to the credit card companies that range from $50 to $75 per refund. As a result of the increasing fraudulent refund requests, SEVP is implementing a process to recover both the I-901 Fee Payment and possibly the processing fee being charged by the credit card companies.
Moving forward, each school and program will receive a list of nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors affected by this fraud alert, for informational purposes only. You are not required to take action based on this notification. SEVP will mail a formal notice to each involved nonimmigrant student or exchange visitor to their address of record giving them 30 days to remit payment for their I-901 Fee via cashier’s check, money order or Western Union transfer ONLY. The notice will include specific mailing instructions."