SEVIS - What is SEVIS?
What is SEVIS? – SEVIS is the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System where information is collected and maintained on all international students and scholars. This information is easily accessible to a number of government agencies. Further information on SEVIS can be found at the Student & Exchange Visitor Program website.
Once you have received your I-20 or DS-2019 and paid your SEVIS fee – you are now documents typically consist of either an I-20 for an F-1 (student) visa, or an DS-2019 for a J-1 (student or exchange visitor) visa; evidence of your ability to pay for your studies and living expenses; and sometimes evidence that you do not intend to become an immigrant to the U.S. You should check to see what the particular requirements are for your home country.
When the Consul is satisfied with your application, you will receive your passport back with a visa stamped in your passport. This stamp allows you to enter the U.S. only when you have your I-20 or DS-2019 with you as well. Make sure you keep all your important documents together.
Special Note for Canadian Students, you do not need to obtain a visa at the consulate. Simply present your I-20, passport, and evidence of support at the border when you come to school. Note: - please be sure to pay your SEVIS fee prior to your arrival at the border. You cannot pay your SEVIS fee at the border.