Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
F-1, M-1 and J-1 visa applicants are required to pay a SEVIS fee before applying for the visa.
What is a SEVIS fee?
It is a one off fee charged to F, M and J visa applicants to cover the cost of administering the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Who pays the fee?
F-1, M-1 and J-1 visa applicants with I-20 or DS-2019 forms issued on or after September 1, 2004
Who does not pay the fee?
Derivative F-2, M-2 or J-2 visas applicants, individuals participating in U.S. government sponsored programs with a prefix G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-7 and those with I-20 or DS-2019 forms issued before September 1, 2004.
How much is the fee?
F-1 and M-1 visa applicants - $200.00
J-1 visa applicants - $180.00. Certain short-term exchange visitor (au-pairs, summer work/travel and camp counselors) will pay a reduced fee of $35.00.
When and how must the fee be paid?
The fee is paid to the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement prior to applying for the visa. It cannot be paid at the Embassy or Consulate General. The applicant, the sponsor or a third party can pay the fee. The fee must be processed at least three business days prior to the date of the visa interview. Proof of payment of the fee should be presented at the time the applicant applies for the visa.
The fee is nonrefundable. No refunds will be made because a visa has been refused. Refunds will only be made for payments made in error.
Students who have been accepted at more than one school may have more than one SEVIS record. As the SEVIS fee is based on the individual applicant, not program, there may be cases where the applicant has paid the fee against one SEVIS record but is applying for a visa against another. That is acceptable.
Applicants taking part in two or more different programs, such as exchange visitors, are required to pay separate SEVIS fees for each program, even if only one visa is issued.
How do I know if the fee has been paid on my behalf?
You should check with your school or sponsor. The person paying the fee will receive a receipt, either by return mail or electronically. Those paying throught the internet may print off the fee receipt. You will require this receipt to apply for the visa. If there is any doubt as to whether or not the fee has been paid, you may confirm receipt of payment by either e-mailing the SEVP I-901 Case Resolution Unit at email@example.com or calling them at 785-330-1048.
Will I be required to pay the SEVIS fee each time I apply for a visa?
No, it is a one off fee charged at the time of the initial visa application. If you reapply for a visa based on the same program then you will not be required to pay a new fee. If you apply for a new visa based on a different program a new fee will be required.
The SEVIS fee receipt is valid for twelve months. If your application is refused, you may reapply using this fee receipt provided it is within twelve months of the initial payment. The fee receipt may be used if you are reapplying for the same visa or applying for a new visa for a different program provided the SEVIS fee payment meets the fee required for the different program.
Paying the SEVIS fee
The SEVIS fee must be paid before you attend the Embassy for an interview. For further information including the method of payment, please visit the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.