What is SEVIS?
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a web-based system for maintaining information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States. SEVIS is administered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).The mission of SEVIS is to balance Homeland Security with facilitating foreign student and exchange visitor participation in America's outstanding academic and cultural exchange programs.
What is SEVIS Fee?
The U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires the collection of a one-time SEVIS fee of $200 from international students seeking F-1 classification. This fee is being collected to fund operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Office, which has oversight of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
How Do You Pay the Fee?
You must send the fee directly to DHS by mail, online, or locally via Western Union Quick Pay. Fees will not be payable at the Embassy/Consulate. The fee must be accompanied by a Form I-901. The fee can be paid by you or by a third party inside or outside the U.S.
*To Pay By Mail
- Obtain a Form I-901 "Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants"
- Download the form from www.FMJfee.com, or
- Request the form by phone at 212-620-3418 (in the U.S.). International telephone numbers that appear in current SEVP documents have been updated on the web to reflect the new toll telephone number.
- Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
- Prepare a check, international money order, or foreign draft (drawn on U.S. anks only) in the amount of $200 USD, made payable to the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security."
- Mail the completed Form I-901 and Payment to the address listed on Form I-901.
- You should receive a Form I-797 Receipt Notice in a few days of processing the fee. Be sure to make copies of your receipt and keep it with your other important immigration documents. Fee payments should be entered into your permanent SEVIS record but it is strongly recommended that you retain a copy of your fee receipt (Form I-797) to use as needed.
- Present the Form I-797 Receipt Notice when applying for your visa.
*To Pay Online
- Find the Form I-901 at www.FMJfee.com.
- Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. (NOTE: Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form).
- Print a copy of the online receipt. Be sure to make copies of your receipt and keep it with your other important immigration documents. Fee payments should be entered into your permanent SEVIS record but it is strongly recommended that you retain a copy of your fee receipt (Form I-797) to use as needed.
- Present the receipt when applying for your visa.
*To Pay via Western Union Quick Pay
Go to the following website and follow the instructions: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu_instr.htm
When must the fee be paid?
The fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to applying for your visa, or applying for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa requirement. Fees will not be payable at the Embassy/Consulate.
What if my F-1 visa application is denied?
The SEVIS fee will not be refunded; however, if you reapply for a new F-1 within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.