The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires F-1 and J-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS).
The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to applying for your visa.
To Pay the SEVIS Fee by Mail
- Obtain a Form I-901 "Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Non-immigrants." Download the form from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website or request the form by phone at 800.870.3676 (inside the US).
- 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. banks only 1) in the amount of $200 USD, made payable to "The Department of Homeland Security"
- Mail the completed I-901 and payment to the address listed on Form I-901).
- A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed within 3 days of processing the fee. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents.
To Pay Online
- Find the Form I-901 at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
- Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. *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.
Frequently Asked SEVIS Questions
Can I pay the SEVIS fee at EWU?
No. At this time the SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail or the Internet.
Do I have to pay if I transfer to another school, travel outside the U.S. or renew my visa?
The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring schools, changing to another degree program or level, requesting a program extension, renewing an F-1 visa or using F-1 program benefits such as practical training. If you are in status when you travel internationally and are not physically outside of the United States for more than five months, you will not be required to pay the fee.
What about my F-2 dependents?
F-2 dependents do not have to pay the fee.
What happens if I pay the SEVIS fee for one school, and then I change my mind and decide that I want to attend the other school? Is my paid SEVIS fee transferable?
Yes, but you must submit the I-20 form with the SEVIS ID number that you listed on the I-901 form with you to the U.S. consulate/embassy. For change of status or reinstatement applications, please see the next question.
What do I need to do to apply for an F-1 visa, change of status or reinstatement?
- Obtain the appropriate Form I-20 from a DHS-approved school.
- Pay the SEVIS fee by mail or online.
- Make a copy of the I-797 (mail) or computer receipt (online) for your records.
- Submit a copy of the I-797 or computer receipt with your visa, change of status or reinstatement application or for students who are exempt from visa requirements, such as Canadians, should take a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt to present at the port of entry with the appropriate I-20. It will not be possible to pay the fee at the port of entry.
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 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.