Here you will find information regarding your Form I-20 and maintaining your F-1 student visa status.
SEVIS I-901 Fee
Once you receive your Form I-20 (or DS-2019) and prior to attending your visa appointment, you will need pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. This fee is required for all students who need an F-1 student visa to study in the US. The SEVIS fee is required by the Department of Homeland Security and must be paid online. Be sure to keep the copy of your receipt! You will need to bring a copy of the receipt with you to your visa appointment. The ISP office will also make a copy of this receipt upon your arrival to Canisius. If you are transferring to ISP directly from another institution and will maintain your current SEVIS record, you will not need to repay this fee. This is only required if you received a new SEVIS ID.
To make the payment:
- Log-on to the FMJfee website
- Click on the option to "Pay the I-901 Fee"
- Fill in the information requested by using your Form I-20 from Canisius
- Follow the prompts to make the payment
- Print a copy of your receipt and keep it with your Form I-20
Please note: You do not need to make the payment for any dependents you may be bringing with you. Only F-1 students are required to make this payment.
Important I-20 Information
In order to maintain your F-1 student visa status, it is important that you work closely with the Office of International Student Programs (ISP). ISP will provide you with the details surrounding your F-1 student visa requirements, but below you will find a brief overview. Please note: This information only pertains to international students required to have an F-1 student visa.
1. Visit ISP during International New Student Orientation week. During orientation, ISP will schedule a time for you to go to the office and complete your requirements as a new student. Bring the following documents with you: passport with F-1 student visa stamp, SEVIS I-901 receipt, Canisius Form I-20, and any I-20's from former US schools. At this point, a DSO will sign page 2 of your Form I-20.
2. Complete the SEVIS Registration form in Canisius Life during the 1st week of classes. ISP is required to complete your SEVIS registration at the start of the fall and spring semesters. In order for ISP to do so, each F-1 student must complete the online SEVIS Registration form in Canisius Life during the first week of classes. Once this is complete, we will update your information accordingly and maintain your record as active in SEVIS. There is a limited timeframe in which ISP can complete this process to keep your record active, so it is important that students complete their form on time.
3. Keep your Form I-20 in a safe place. When you are in the Buffalo area, we recommend that you keep your Form I-20 in a safe place. If you will be traveling outside of Buffalo, be sure to bring your original I-20 with you. Should you lose your Form I-20, please contact the ISP office immediately.
4. Contact ISP if you change your major or require a program extension. Once you have updated your major with the Office of Student Records and Financial Services (located in Bagen Hall 106), visit ISP to request an updated I-20 showing your accurate program of study. Should you need to request a program extension, contact the ISP office no less than 30 days in advance of your program end date listed on your Form I-20.
5. Attend only the institution you are authorized to attend. Should you have questions pertaining to taking courses elsewhere, please contact ISP first.
6. Remain a full-time student and make normal progress towards your degree. All F-1 students must register for and complete a full-time courseload every fall and spring semester. There are a number of important details surrounding this requirement:
- Undergraduate students must complete 12 credit hours and graduate students must complete 9 credit hours. If a new undergraduate student is beginning courses in the summer session, they must complete 6 credit hours within one summer session (either A or B) to be considered full-time.
- Only 1 course per full-time status (12 or 9, depending on education level) may be an online course- remaining courses must all be face-to-face classroom instruction.
- Students must seek the approval of the ISP Director prior to withdrawing from any courses. There are very limited reasons an F-1 student may drop below a full-time courseload. Contact the ISP Director prior to withdrawing from any courses.
- Student who are in their final semester of study are exempt from the full-time requirement, granted they do not need full-time credits to complete their program. Contact ISP to let them know if you are in your final semester and will be registered below full-time.
7. Obtain a new travel signature once a year. Your signature is valid for one year of the last signature on page 2 of your Form I-20. Visit ISP for an updated signature before returning home for a break, if your signature will expire before your return to campus. Part-time Canadian students who commute to Canisius will require a new I-20 each semester and a new travel signature on each I-20.
8. Do not engage in any unauthorized employment. F-1 students are only approved to work on-campus at Canisius or internships in which they will receive academic credit for (Curricular Practical Training). If you need to complete an off-campus internship for your program, you must visit ISP for the CPT paperwork in advance of beginning the internship.
The above list is not comprehensive and it is the responsibility of each F-1 international student to know the regulations to maintain their visa status. For more information, visit the US Department of Homeland Security's Study in the States website.