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What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. This is an internet-based system put in place by the Department of Homeland Security to maintain records on non-immigrant students and exchange visitors (F, M, or J visa status). Springfield College is required to give electronic reports to SEVIS of all non-immigrant students and exchange visitors. SEVIS connects colleges and universities, US embassies and consulates, US ports of entry, the Department of State and exchange visitor programs.


As of September 1, 2004, International students in either F-1 or J-1 status are required to pay a $100 SEVIS fee and complete Form I-901 before presenting themselves to the US Embassy/Consulate. This does not apply to students who are renewing an F-1 or J-1 visa or who are transferring from another institution. Information and on-line payment of the SEVIS fee can be found at

The I-20 Document

When you have received an acceptance from Springfield College and have submitted your financial guarantee (click here for the undergraduate statement and here for the graduate statement) to the College and a $1000 deposit, we will issue the I-20. This document is required for you to apply for the F-1 student visa. The I-20 will be signed in the International Center by either the DSO or the PDSO of the College. The I-20 is valid for the duration of your studies, but the signature is valid for one year. You must get your I-20 signed each year you are in attendance at Springfield College. If you plan to travel outside the United States, be sure you have a valid signature on your I-20 or you may not be able to re-enter the U.S. If you do not complete your degree before the completion date on your I-20 you must apply for an extension at least 30 days before the completion date. You should report to the International Center (X3215) for your extension.

Applying for the F-1 Student Visa

When you have received the letter of acceptance and the I-20, you must apply for the visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence. The visa allows entry into the United States. The visa does not state how long you can stay in the U.S.. It indicates when you may apply to enter. You may remain in the U.S. on an expired visa as long as you have a valid I-20.

To apply for the visa:

  • Obtain a passport if you do not already have one
  • Read all the information on both pages of the I-20 you have been sent. It is up to you to know your legal responsibilities.
  • Make arrangements to pay the $100 SEVIS I-901 fee; have the receipt at least 3 days before you present yourself at the Embassy/Consulate
  • Schedule an appointment at the nearest US Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence
  • Take the following with you to your interview: passport, SEVIS I-20, financial support documents, receipt for the SEVIS fee, a photo, evidence of English ability sufficient to study at Springfield College, evidence of intent to leave the US after completing your studies. Upon approval, you will receive a visa stamp for study at Springfield College.
  • When you arrive in the U.S., you must present your passport with visa stamp, your SEVIS I-20 and a completed Form I-94 to the U.S. Immigration Inspector at the Port of Entry. The Form I-94 will be given to you on your flight or when you arrive in the airport.
  • The Inspector will stamp your I-20 and I-94 and return both to you. You should receive a D/S (Duration of Status).
  • Report to the International Center on the lower level of Alumni Hall when you arrive at Springfield College.
  • The International Center will keep a copy of your documents. You are expected to keep all original documents safe.

Maintaining F-1 Visa Status

  • Report to the International Center within 30 days of your arrival
  • Enroll as a full-time student: 12 credits for undergraduate study, 9 credits for graduate study
  • Notify the International Center if you change your address
  • Keep all your documents current
    • Apply for extensions at least 30 days before the completion date on the I-20
    • If you plan to change to another college or university, contact the International Center about the change so that we can transfer your SEVIS record
  • Work only on campus; ask for authorization for any opportunities off campus
  • Contact the International Center if you leave the U.S. or change visa status
  • Have your I-20 signed before you travel outside the U.S.

Transfer Students

If you are transferring into Springfield College from another college or university or transferring from Springfield College to another college or university contact your International Advisor for instructions on transferring the I-20

Canadian Students

Canadian citizens may receive their visa at the port of entry. You should have the following documents with you when you enter the U.S.:
    • A valid passport
    • A SEVIS I-20
    • Evidence of financial support
    • Evidence that you plan to return to Canada at the completion of your studies
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