EIG Dispatch | June 26, 2015


EIG Dispatch: Issue 99


  • SEVIS Outage and Upgrade to Create Delays
  • UK Prime Minister Recommends Stricter Immigration Measures
  • Kenya Launches eVisa Program

SEVIS Outage and Upgrade to Create Delays

Beginning today, June 26, 2015, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) will undergo an outage so that the system can be upgraded. The outage will continue through June 28, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expects that SEVIS will be fully operational by June 30. During this time, students will not be able to obtain DS-2019 or I-20 forms. The SEVIS outage will impact students on F or M visas arriving in the U.S. as well as all state and federal databases that rely on SEVIS data.

Students can expect the following delays in services:
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee payments unavailable: While no new payments can be made during the SEVIS outage, F and M students will still be able to print their payment confirmation receipts from FMJFee.com.
  • U.S. student visa issuance: Check with your local U.S. Department of State embassy or consulate for more information.
  • U.S. ports of entry: F and M students can still travel to the United States, but students whose information cannot be verified during primary inspection will be sent to secondary inspection, where they can expect additional significant delays in entering the country. To the extent possible, it is advised that students do not travel to the U.S. between June 26 and June 28.
  • SSN and driver’s license applications: these services may be delayed or unavailable during the outage. Check with your local Social Security Administration and Department of Motor Vehicles before you make requests for these services during the June SEVIS outage.

UK Prime Minister Recommends Stricter Immigration Measures

The UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a list of proposals aimed at restricting employment-based skilled worker migration of non-European Union (EU) nationals to the UK. The proposal included a limitation on the number of work permits granted annually, introduction of business levies on companies employing migrants, measures to raise the minimum salary thresholds, and greater scrutiny into industries claiming skills shortages and the need to employ migrant workers.

The goals of these proposals are aimed at developing an EU work force consisting substantially of EU citizens and developing the necessary tools (such as apprenticeships) to meet the demand of highly skilled labor.  Critics of these drastic reform measures, including Sir David Metcalf, Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, are concerned that such changes could create unintended side effects on productivity and the economy directly resulting from stemming highly skilled global talent to the UK.

Kenya Launches eVisa Program

Starting July 1, 2015, Foreign Nationals wishing to visit or do business in Kenya will be required to complete and submit their visa applications online using the eVisa portal. To obtain an eVisa, Foreign Nationals must first register online, complete their application, pay the non-refundable fee, submit the application online and receive approval via email. Once the approval email has been received, the traveler should print the eVisa and present it to the immigration officer at the port of entry. The Kenyan Department of Immigration Services reminded potential applicants that while the eVisa will be required, the authorization to enter the country remains at the discretion of the immigration officer.

It is important to note that the eVisa program does not replace the work permit required for individuals going to Kenya for employment or to engage in business activities not supported by the business visa.