International Graduate Student Services
SEVIS Fee Payment: Information and Procedures
Effective September 1, 2004
The I-901 form is used to transmit the SEVIS fee for F and J nonimmigrant applicants for a visa.
Who is required to pay the fee?
Persons seeking a visa from an embassy or consulate abroad for initial attendance (F1) at a school approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), or for initial participation in an exchange visitor program (J1) designated by the Department of State (DOS).
How much is the fee?
For students (F1) : $200
For spouses and dependent children of students (F2) or exchange visitors (J2): No fee
For exchange visitors (J1) : $180
How can the fee be paid?
When can I get the visa?
- Electronically, by completing Form I-901 through the Internet and paying with a credit card.
- By mail, using Form I-901, and including a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. dollars.
- By someone else. If you want to have someone in the U.S. pay the fee on your behalf, send them either a copy of your completed Form I-901 or provide them with the information needed to complete the Form I-901 for you. The person who pays the fee must attach the copy of the I-901 to the payment they submit; otherwise the payment cannot be processed and will be returned based on the address provided. You may also have someone else pay your fee on line. The person may complete the I-901 and pay by credit card or check according to the instructions on the website. Be sure you provide the correct personal and school or exchange visitor program information to the person who completes the I-901 for you.
The SEVIS fee must be paid and fully processed before the applicant arrives at the consulate for the visa appointment. For those nonimmigrants who do not need a visa to enter the U.S. as a student or exchange visitor (e.g., Canadian citizens), the fee must be paid and fully processed before applying for entry at a U.S. port of entry. A receipt will be sent by mail to the address that you indicate with your payment. For those who pay the SEVIS fee online, a payment confirmation can be printed out immediately after the payment is made, and used as a receipt until the mailed receipt is received. Having a receipt for the SEVIS fee payment will make the visa process easier. However, if you are unable to print a receipt from an online payment, and/or do not receive your mailed receipt in time for the visa interview, you can still go to your interview as long as your fee has been processed by the Department of Homeland Security.
How long is the fee valid?
The SEVIS fee is valid for twelve (12) months from the date of the initial application. If the applicant is unsuccessful in obtaining a visa, he/she may apply again for the same or different program within 12 months without having to pay the SEVIS fee again, as long as the fee payment for the program is the same as the amount initially paid.
How can I get assistance with this process?
- Call the Form I-901 Customer Service Hotline in the U.S. at 1-212-620-3418
(Available from 8 am to 6 pm Central time Monday through Friday).
- Visit the SEVIS Fee website for more information, instructions, to submit an online application or download a paper form.
- Email to fmjfee.SEVIS@DHS.gov . Use this email only when you have a question that cannot be answered by checking the website or calling the Customer Service Hotline.