As you know, all international students at UM are required to pay the Student and Exchange Visitor and Information System (SEVIS) Fee.  As an international graduate employee (GSI/GSSA) working under the contract negotiated by GEO, you have the right to have the University reimburse you in the amount of the fee. This right does not currently apply to GSRAs, as they are not covered by the current contract.

Under the UM/GEO Agreement for 2011-2014, Article X, Section E, “upon Employee request, and within the first four (4) terms of employment as a GSI/GSSA, the SEVIS fee paid by an Employee to attend the University of Michigan will be reimbursed by the Employee’s appointing unit, unless that fee has already been paid or reimbursed by another source.” You can read our full contract here.

All you should have to do to get the reimbursement is to contact either the key administrator or the grad student services coordinator for your appointing unit (employing department).  Different departments use different administrative procedures to handle the reimbursement.  If your department is unsure what procedures should be followed, refer the key admin/grad coordinator to Academic Human Resources.  They can be reached at 734-763-8938 or the Academic Human Resources website.

Unless the appointing unit has their own form, please use the SEVIS Fee Reimbursement form.

You will need the following information:

  1. A copy of your SEVIS fee receipt. This should include your name, the amount paid, and the payment date. You can obtain a copy of your SEVIS fee receipt by following these steps:
    • Go to FMJFEE Website and click “Check I-901 Status”
    • Fill in your SEVIS identification Number (can be found on your I-20), Last Name, and Date of Birth
    • Click “Check Status/View Payment Confirmation”
    • Click “View Payment Confirmation”

    If difficulties are encountered, call the U.S. Department of Homeland Security customer service hotline at (US) 1-212-620-3418 or email fmjfee.SEVIS@dhs.gov. Put “Copy of Receipt” in the subject line and include your SEVIS ID number, your original receipt number (if available), your full name and date of birth. Include the address where you would like to have the receipt sent.

  2. The date (term & year) of your first appointment as a GSI/GSSA. If this is your first time working as a GSI/GSSA, put this semester and year.
  3. Other identification data, such as your name, UM ID# (found on your ID card), your appointing unit (the department that hired you as a GSI/GSSA), and other information.

This right to SEVIS fee reimbursement was obtained through the hard work of graduate employees, who, through GEO, negotiated for this right to appear in the contract. GEO continues to work for the rights of all graduate employees, both international and domestic, and continues to build on our past successes in order to improve the working conditions of graduate employees at the University of Michigan.

If you have any questions or difficulties in obtaining your reimbursement, please contact your department steward or the GEO office.

For more information on the SEVIS Fee, please visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.

Updated January 2018