Effective September 1, 2004, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires the collection of a one-time fee of $200 from certain international students and visiting scholars. The fee is required to cover operational costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Each student or exchange visitor who is issued an initial Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 on or afterSeptember 1, 2004 is responsible for paying this fee.
Who pays the fee?
F-1 and J-1 visa applicants with I-20 or DS-2019 forms issued on or afterSeptember 1, 2004 are required to pay a SEVIS fee beforeapplying for the visa.
New Applicants who require a visa to enter the United States must pay the SEVIS fee beforegoing to the U.S. embassy or consulate for their visa interview.
New Applicants who are citizens of Canada, Bermuda, Bahamas and residents of certain other islands wishing to apply for F-1 or J-1 status at a Port of Entry into the United States must pay and process the SEVIS fee before appearing at the Port of Entry.
Current Students in the United States who apply for student or exchange visitor status must pay the fee prior to filing their change of status application.
F-1 students who wish to change status to J-1 must pay the SEVIS fee before filing for change of status. Applicants who are reapplying for student status (F-1) or exchange visitor status (J-1) after a denial of that status must pay the fee.
Students who have been out of status for more than five months must pay the fee before filing for reinstatement.
Students who did not maintain status or completed a previous program and need a new initial Form I-20 from a school must pay the fee.
Who does not pay the fee?
Continuing students who are in status and have not completed their program of study. Continuing students who are in status and are transferring or changing program levels. Students who have been out of status for less than five months. Students who are requesting a program extension. Students who are renewing an F-1/J-1 visa. Continuing students who have been out of the United States for more than five months and maintained their status prior to leaving the United States and have been participating in authorized overseas study. Spouses and dependent children who have an F-2 or J-2 visa. Students who are applying for employment authorization of any type.
When must the fee be paid?
The SEVIS fee must be paid prior to visa application to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the United States. Proof of payment must be presented at the time the applicant applies for the visa. It cannot be paid at the Embassy or at a university. The fee must be processed at least three business days prior to the date of the visa interview. The SEVIS fee is non-refundable. The fee must be paid to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS prior to the scheduled visa interview. The interviewing consular officer will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing SEVIS.
To allow for adequate processing time the fee must be paid: At least three business days prior to the visa interview date for electronic submissions. At least three business days before the scheduled visa interview for mail submissions to allow for delivery at the DHS address listed on the Form I-901.
This time frame allows the fee payment to be deposited and recorded in SEVIS.
How much is the fee?
For Students (F-1)
For Spouses and Dependent Children (F-2 or J-2) of Students or Exchange Visitors
For Exchange Visitors (J-1) unless participating in the following:
Federally Sponsored Exchange Visitor Program (G-1, G-2, or G-3)