As an F or M student, upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry, you must have:
- All signed required documents,
- Paid the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee on your current Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” and;
- Valid status in SEVIS.
If you don’t meet these qualifications, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer may deny your entry into the United States. However, instead of denying your entry, the officer may issue you a Form I-515A, “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor.”
The Form I-515A allows you to enter the United States but requires that you mail the documentation that the CBP officer asked for to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) within 30 days.
If you receive a Form I-515A, you should:
- Alert your designated school official (DSO) that you received a Form I-515A as soon as you arrive on campus.
- Make note of the two notification emails you receive from SEVP after being issued a Form I-515A.
- Review your Form I-515A and the reason for issuance with your DSO.
- Work with your DSO to mail the necessary documents to SEVP within 30 days of your entry date.
If you receive a Form I-515A, it is very important that you send your response to SEVP within 30 days. If you do not, it may negatively affect your F or M status and you may be required to depart the United States.
For more information on how to avoid receiving a Form I-515A, read the “Avoiding a Form I-515A” one-pager in the Resource Library. For step-by-step instructions on how to satisfy the requirements of the Form I-515A, read the Form I-515A Overview page or the “Handling a Form I-515A” downloadable resource.