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Authorizing Collection of the Fee Levied on F, J, and M Nonimmigrant Classifications Under Public Law 104-208; SEVIS

Federal Register, July 1, 2004, Page 39814-39827

Agency

Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS.

Action

Final rule.

Summary

On October 26, 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, to implement section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), requiring the collection of information relating to nonimmigrant foreign students and exchange visitors, and providing for the collection of the required fee to defray the costs.

This rule amends the DHS regulations to provide for the collection of a fee to be paid by certain aliens who are seeking status as F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3 nonimmigrant students or as J-1 nonimmigrant exchange visitors. Generally, the rule levies a fee of $100, although applicants for certain J-1 exchange visitor programs will pay a reduced fee of $35, and certain other aliens will be exempt from the fee altogether. This final rule explains which aliens will be required to pay the fee, describes the consequences that an alien seeking F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3, or J-1 nonimmigrant status faces upon failure to pay the fee, and specifies which aliens are exempt from the fee. This fee is being levied on aliens seeking F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3, or J-1 nonimmigrant status to cover the costs of administering and maintaining the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which includes ensuring compliance with the system's requirements by individuals, schools, and exchange visitor program sponsors. The fee will also pay for the continued operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and offset the resources to ensure compliance with SEVIS requirements, including funds to hire and train SEVIS Liaison Officers and other Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.

The rule will be effective on September 1, 2004, and will apply to potential nonimmigrants who are initially issued a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 on or after that date. Potential nonimmigrants, for purposes of this rule, are those aliens who will apply to the Department of State (DOS) or DHS for initial attendance as an F, M, or J nonimmigrant, certain nonimmigrants in the United States that will apply for a change of status to an F, M, or J classification, and current J-1 nonimmigrants that will apply for a J-1 category change on or after that date. If a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 for initial status in a new program is issued on or after the effective date, the nonimmigrant traveling on that document will be required to pay the fee. Applicants, schools, and exchange visitor program sponsors should refer to the fee pay table contained in this rule for more detailed information concerning when a fee is required.

Dates

This final rule is effective September 1, 2004.

Further Information

Jill Drury, Director'Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, 800 K Street, NW., Room 1000, Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 305-2346.

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