As of January 2003, all persons in F, M, and J visa status are tracked by the U.S Department of State in a government database called SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System). Once the DS-2019 is issued, the applicant’s information becomes a part of that database. When the visa is granted, the visa official notes that in SEVIS. When the participant enters the U.S., the immigration official at the airport enters more information into SEVIS. The Social Security Administration accesses a version of this database when the participant applies for a social security number. When the participant leaves the U.S. at the conclusion of his program, that is also noted.
We must stress to the students that they MUST go to the job they have provided for us or the jobs that Horizon int provided for them. If they do not arrive at this pre-arranged job, they will be reported to the Department of State and will be subject to deportation.
Please note that all the participants of the Wat Program must validate their visa to be able to work legally in US. The participants are responsible for this validation. Each participant is required to report to the sponsoring agency within 15 days from the start date on the DS 2019 form. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in cancellation of the participant’s J-1 visa. Students will receive instructions for the validation of their visas in the student handbook.
The status of every participant that has been successfully validated will be ACTIVE. If the student does not validate his/her visa the status will be NO SHOW. This means that their visa has been cancelled and they must return to their home country immediately.
Once the student has been properly validated in SEVIS, he/she can apply for a Social Security card in the nearest SS office. Please see more details in the sections Employment Requirements Upon Arrival (8.3) and Social Security (13.4)
a- Sevis Fee
As of September 1, 2004, every applicant is required to pay a SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before they can interview for the visa. The fee is USD$35 for Work USA applicants. The transaction will appear on the candidate’s SEVIS screen after 3 business days.
Candidates cannot apply for the visa earlier than this, as the fee will not have yet been processed.
Participants can pay their SEVIS fee by credit card at the following website: www.FMJfee.com. The website will generate an official paper receipt (I-797); however, it is recommended that all participants print out the Internet generated I-797 for their records.