I have a question about whether to pay the SEVIS fee again, after having had a transfer of sponsorship from one academic program to another. From the I-901 website, there are certain cases when one has to repay a SEVIS fee, and certain cases when one does not, and I am not sure whether I need to or not.
Specifically my situation is as such:
- I am currently a J-1 research scholar, sponsored by a US academic institution.
- Previously, I was a J-1 research scholar at another US academic institution.
- My previous institution performed a transfer of sponsorship of the DS-2019 to the new one.
- My current and old DS-2019 are tied to the same SEVIS numbers (N00...), but of course with differing program numbers (since these are different schools).
- I will soon be visiting a US embassy in my home country to obtain a new J-1 visa with indication of new school (old J-1 visa was tied to old school and has expired), and need proof of payment of SEVIS as part of my visit.
- My question is, does the receipt of the SEVIS fee from many years back which I paid in order to obtain my initial J-1 visa still work? The receipt states the correct SEVIS id number, but with old school program, of course.
I am of the belief that since the SEVIS number has not changed at all, and I have just switched programs, I am still counted as the "same exchange visitor" and do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again.
Would this be correct, or do I count as a new exchange visitor to a new program such that I would need to pay the fee again?