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Proposed Fee Increases for International Students

July 17, 2018

The fees paid by international students -- and the colleges that host them -- to the U.S. government may increase soon.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing to increase the mandatory Student and Exchange Visitor Information System fee paid by applicants for F and M student visas from $200 to $350. Fees for most categories of J exchange visas will increase from $180 to $220. The fee for institutions seeking initial certification from the government to enroll international students will increase from $1,700 to $3,000.

The Department of Homeland Security also is proposing to establish two new fees: a $1,250 fee for institutions seeking recertification of their existing certification to enroll international students and a $675 fee to appeal the denial or withdrawal of an institution’s certification.

In addition, the department is seeking to clarify that its $655 site visit fee can be assessed both when an institution changes address and when it adds a new physical location or campus.

Notice of the proposed fee changes will be published today in the Federal Register and will be open to public comment until Sept. 17. The government’s rationale for the proposed changes states that fees were last adjusted in 2008 and that without an increase the fee-funded Student and Exchange Visitor Program, a unit within Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “will experience a shortfall of approximately $68.9 million beginning in 2019.”

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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