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DHS Announces Expansion of Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the launch of the 2014 Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP) Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative for college students. Through the program, more than 100 unpaid student volunteer assignments will be available to support DHS’ cyber mission at local DHS field offices in over 60 locations across the country.

“DHS is excited to continue the Secretary’s Honors Program Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative and expand it to additional DHS offices and locations while increasing our engagement with students in the important cybersecurity work DHS does every day,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers. “Providing these opportunities across the Department is a vital step in our efforts to cultivate the next generation of cybersecurity leaders and to attract the best and brightest cyber talent who are looking to pursue a career in public service.”

This program, created in April 2013 by former Secretary Janet Napolitano, provided assignments at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations computer forensics labs and state and major urban area fusion centers. Now the program has been expanded to include new opportunities at the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer, and additional state and major urban area fusion centers and ICE labs.

Through the initiative, student volunteers will gain invaluable hands-on experience and exposure to the cybersecurity work performed by DHS cybersecurity professionals. The program is specifically designed for current college students pursuing a program of study in a cybersecurity-related field. Participants will perform a broad range of duties in support of DHS’ cybersecurity mission, in areas ranging from cyber threat analysis to digital forensics to network diagnostics and incident response. Student volunteers will begin in spring 2014 and participate throughout the summer.

The SHP Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative is a highly competitive program created to attract top talent to DHS, and is part of the Department’s efforts to address recommendations from the Homelland Security Advisory Council’s Task Force on CyberSkills. DHS also partners with other government agencies and the private sector on a variety of initiatives to support cyber education.

Learn more about and apply for the SHP Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative here

ICE Proposes Changes to International Student Programs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is proposing changes to the requirements governing its Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that are intended to improve management of international student programs and increase opportunities for study by spouses and children of nonimmigrant students.

The change would provide school officials more flexibility in determining the number of designated school officials (DSOs) to nominate for oversight of campuses by eliminating the limit of 10 DSOs in favor of a more flexible approach. DSOs are dedicated resources at SEVP-certified schools who help F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant students maintain their status, fill out important government forms and obtain benefits while in the United States.

Additionally, the changes proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking would allow dependents and spouses of international students with F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant status to study at a SEVP-certified school as long as it is less than full-time.

"These proposed changes will provide greater incentives for international students to study in the United States by broadening study opportunities for their spouses and children," said SEVP Director Louis Farrell.

The proposed changes stem from recommendations put forth by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC) and build on a series of reforms designed to further the commitment to attracting international students while maintaining national security standards.

The rulemaking supports DHS’s initiative to enhance the economic, scientific and technological competitiveness of the United States by finding new ways to encourage the most talented international students to study and learn about expanded post-graduate opportunities in the United States.

The proposed rule was submitted for publication to the Federal Register and is open for public comment until Jan. 21, 2014. ICE encourages the public to submit formal input on the proposed rule through www.regulations.gov&nbbsp;during the open comment period.

F-1 OPT Requirements

1. Once you receive a recommendation for post-completion OPT from your Designated School Official (DSO) to pursue OPT, you must apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) with USCIS within 30 days. Additionally, you may file up to 90 days prior to your program end-date and not later than 60 days after your program end date. 

2. If you have completed a qualifying Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) degree, and you are currently in an approved post-completion OPT period based on a designated STEM degree, you may be eligible to apply for a 17-month STEM extension of your  post-completion OPT. For a STEM degree to qualify, it must appear on the STEM Designated Degree Program List<. If you want to apply for a STEM extension, you must file for an extension of your EAD with USCIS before your current OPT work authorization expires. USCIS recommends that you file 90 days before the expiration of your OPT.   

For further information visit the USCIS page on F-1 OPT requirements<

USCIS Releases Policy Memo on 17-Month Extension of Post-Completion OPT for F-1 Students Enrolled in STEM Degree Programs

  • USCIS interim memo clarifying the eligibility requirements for a 17-month extension of Post-Completion OPT for F-1 students enrolled in STEM degree programs. Comments accepted until 11/1/13 and memo is in effect until further notice.

Please check the attached memo.

I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System


Effective July 31, 2013, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP<</em>) will no longer mail I-797C receipts. The payment confirmation that can be printed from the FMJFEE website (www.fmjfee.com<</a>) will replace the I-797C mailed receipt. The payment confirmation can be printed anytime by clicking on the "Check I-901 Status<</em> / Print Payment Confirmation" button below. After entering your SEVIS<</em> ID, Last Name, and Date of Birth you will be able to print your payment confirmation.

I-901 SEVIS<</em> Fee Process

File the Form I-901, "Fee Remittance for Certain F, J and M Nonimmigrants" online<</a>
Paper Form I-901 (
PDF<</a> | 97 KB)
Check payment status<</a>

I-901 SEVIS Fee frequently asked questions<</a>

Western Union Quick Pay

Payment by Western Union Quick Pay Instructions<</a>

International F and M Visa Instructions<</a>

International J Visa Instructions<</a>

U.S. F and M Visa Instructions<</a>

U.S. J Visa Instructions<</a>

I-901 SEVIS Fee Assistance

E-mail address: fmjfee [dot] SEVIS [at] ice [dot] dhs<</em> [dot] gov

I-901 SEVIS Fee customer service hotline at 703-603-3400

I-901 SEVIS Fee Chargeback Compliance

A chargeback occurs when a credit card holder disputes a charge that appears on a credit card statement. A brief investigation by the credit card company determines whether the charge is legitimate. If the charge is not legitimate, the credit card company then performs all of the following actions:

  • Refunds the money to the credit card holder’s account
  • Deducts the amount from the merchant’s account
  • Charges the merchant a penalty fee

If you received a letter titled, “Notice to Students and Exchange Visitors” regarding I-901 SEVIS Fee payment fraud, the notice gives instructions on how to avoid Terminated</<dfn title="Immigration and Nationality Act ">em> or Cancelled SEVIS status. Failure to pay within 30 days will cause the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the Department of State (DoS) to proceed with the following actions:

  • For F and M students and J exchange visitors with Active, Terminated, No Show or Inactive status
    • SEVP will terminate the SEVIS records of those F or M students and DoS will terminate the SEVIS records of those J exchange visitors. SEVIS records will show Terminated with reason code, “Other” for J exchange visitors and, “Otherwise Failing to Maintain Status” for F and M students.
    • The comments accompanying this termination will note, “Fee Payment Fraud Alert.” SEVP will place a flag on the name and SEVIS record of the F or M student or J exchange visitor. This flag will alert the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the ports of entry that the F or M student or J exchange visitor has a Fraud Alert for failure to make a fee payment.
    • The Counter Terrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit (CTCEU) reviews all terminated records to determine the need for further investigation.
    • F and M students and J exchange visitors who do not pay the regulation-mandated I-901 SEVIS Fee after receiving a Form I-515A are subject to the following:
      • Investigation
      • Possible arrest, detention, deportation and denial of requested benefits
      • Possible  bar from future entry into the United States
  • For F and M students and J exchange visitors with Initial status
    • SEVP will do the following:
      • Send a list of the F and M students and J exchange visitors who have not yet entered the United States.
      • Mark each record either cancelled (F or M student) or invalid (J exchange visitor)
      • Place a flag on the name and record of the F or M student or J exchange visitor to alert CBP officers at ports of entry to a fraud alert for failure to make a fee payment
    • CBP will issue the entering F or M student or J exchange visitor a Form I-515A, which allows 30 days to make payment for the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
    • If SEVP does not receive payment within the given 30 days, SEVP will forward the Cancelled and Invalid status records to CTCEU for investigation and possible removal.
    • Upon receipt of payment from the F or M student or J exchange visitor and the subsequent processing of the payment, SEVP does all of the following:
      • Removes all flags
      • Clears the SEVIS record of comments
      • Updates the record to reflect payment confirmation

You may check your current SEVIS status by talking to your designated school official or responsible officer. For questions, send a detailed e-mail to fmjfee [dot] SEVIS [at] ice [dot] dhs [dot] gov.</<dfn title="Department of Homeland Security ">p> <<p style="mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; line-height: normal;"> 




I-901 SEVIS Fee F or M visa applicants (full payment)


I-901 SEVIS Fee J visa applicants (full payment)


I-901 SEVIS Fee special J-visa categories (subsidized payment)


I-901 SEVIS Fee government visitor (no payment)



  • For schools petitioning for initial SEVP certification:
    • Petition fees increased from $230 to $1,700.
    • Site visit fees increased from $350 to $655 per campus.
  • For schools that are already SEVP-certified:
    • Petition fees for change of ownership increased from $230 to $1,700.
    • Site visit fees for addition of a campus increased from $350 to $655.
    • There is no fee for recertification.


Guestbook Entry for Inayat Khosla, United States

Inayat Khosla
United States

Mr. Khanna and his team were extremely responsive and professional. Mr. Khanna himself took the time to address all of my questions and concerns and gave excellent advice.

Posted on: 
6th Aug, 2013

New SEVP-Certified School Locator for Foreign Students

Only schools that are certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program are authorized to accept international students. You can use this page to make sure the school you are interested in is certified.


New SEVP-Certified School Locator for Foreign Students

Only schools that are certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program are authorized to accept international students.
Please check the link "Study in the States<</a>" to know more.

SEVP on Social Security Number and Driver’s License Issues of International Students

Nonimmigrant Visas
Green Cards
Common Topics