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Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
Brief History of SEVIS
SEVIS came online in the summer of 2002. It converted what was a complicated manual procedure into a centralized, web-based, automated process. SEVIS improves data collection and reporting, enhances customer service, facilitates compliance with regulations and helps Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) better monitor school and exchange programs. SEVIS grew from a pilot program known as the Coordinated Interagency Partnership Regulating International Students (CIPRIS). The former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) developed CIPRIS in partnership with the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (formerly the United States Information Agency), the Department of Education and members of the educational and exchange program community. This multiagency effort then incorporated information obtained from the CIPRIS pilot program into what we know today as SEVIS. – (http://www.ice.gov/sevis)
F-1 Student Status
Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, Indiana, issues F-1 student visas only.
F-1 student status will allow you to remain in the U.S. as long as you are properly registered as a full-time student and comply with other reporting requirements. To maintain full-time status you must take at least 12 credits for M.A. or M.Div., 9 credits S.T.M. or Ph.D., and 6 credits for D.Min.
For more information on F-1 student visas go to https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students.
Dependents of F-1 students are permitted to join you in the U.S. provided you demonstrate that there are sufficient financial resources for their support. A spouse and dependent children of F-1 student hold F-2 status and may not work in the U.S. but are allowed to study.
Helpful Link: Student Visas (F1) – Travel.State.Gov
SEVIS Fee Instructions (F-1)
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department requires that a SEVIS I-901 Fee Form be completed and a $200 fee be paid by non-immigrants seeking an F-1 student visa. The form should be completed and the fee paid online prior to your request for a visa interview from the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
How to Prepare for Your Visa Appointment
- Pay fee
- Obtain two professional photos
- Complete form DS-160
- Schedule appointment for visa (http://www.usembassy.gov)
Calculating Estimated Cost of Attendance
- Determine the program of study (cost of tuition varies from program to program; please check the cost of your program on your individual program’s Paying for Seminary page.
- Calculate the cost of living expenses by using the U.S. Health and Human Services chart of current year’s POVERTY LEVEL (can be found by typing “Poverty Level” into your internet browser).
-Determine family size (single student, married, married with number of children).
- Select appropriate single student or family size and ADD 25% for cost of living.
- Add CTSFW fees, estimate for books and supplies, and tuition.
(These amounts are issued annually by the Financial Aid Office and can be determined using the calculator found on your program’s Paying for Seminary page. )
- Add cost of health care insurance premiums.
(Amount is reported annually by the Dean of Students Office – https://my.ctsfw.edu/academics/dean-of-students/student-health-plan )
NOTE: The students are required to purchase their health insurance through CTSFW (see Insurance under Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) below). The wife/dependents may purchase through the CTSFW health care insurance carrier or have travel insurance from your home country. They are NOT allowed any government assistance, so they do not quality for Hoosier Healthwise or other Medicaid programs.
- Airfare amounts will vary depending upon the country from which the student is traveling. Also, if the student is single, he/she may want to go home over the Christmas break and/or Holy Week break. A general estimate of the cost of airfare can be obtained by going to one of the online travel vendors such as Travelocity, Expedia, etc.
- Add visa costs. Again, this will be student specific. The cost of a visa to the U.S. is $160 universally. The SEVIS I-901 fee must be paid BEFORE the student applies for the visa. The cost is $200. If the I-20 must be sent to the student in his/her home country, the expedited cost for delivery by DHL, FedEx or UPS runs about $100. Usually this is the safest and most reliable way to send the documents. (https://www.fmjfee.com/)
- See International Students Forms file for general requirements in issuing I-20’s when advising students about specific requirements for issuing an I-20. CTSFW does not require more than the federal regulations. Hence the document was developed using federal regulations. https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2013/01/what-is-the-form-i-20