Immigration and Visa

SEVIS Information

Effective September 1, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires the collection of a SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee from international students and exchange visitors attending U.S. universities. This fee is collected to fund operations of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Office (SEVP), which has oversight of SEVIS. The SEVIS fee does not replace the visa fee.

Who is required to pay the SEVIS fee?
How much is the SEVIS fee?
When do I need to pay the SEVIS fee?
How do I make my payment?

Who is required to pay the SEVIS fee?

All international students and exchange visitors attending U.S. universities that are applying for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 and most J-1* visas will be required to pay this fee.
*J-1 participants in exchange programs funded by the United States government do not pay the fee

Attention Canadian Nationals: Applicants with a Canadian passport are not required to apply for a student visa, however, they are required to pay the SEVIS fee. For more information about student immigration procedures for Canadians, click here.

Attention Nationals of the People's Republic of China & India: Applicants with Chinese or Indian passports should contact their nearest U.S Embassy or Consulate for assistance with paying the SEVIS fee.

How much is the SEVIS fee?

The fee is $200 USD for students with F-1 visas and $180 USD for students with J-1 visas.  There is no fee for spouses and dependent children (F-2, M-2, or J-2) of students or exchange visitors.

When do I need to pay the SEVIS fee?

Applicants needing a visa to enter the United States must pay the SEVIS fee at least three (3) business days before going to the U.S. embassy or consulate for their visa interview.  Fees are not payable at the consulate.

Note: There are special payment instructions for passport holders from Canada, India and the People's Republic of China.

How do I make my payment?

There are two ways to submit your payment:

  1. Complete the SEVIS I-901 online form ( on the Internet and  pay electronically by credit card; or
  2. Mail the completed Form I-901 with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency. The fee must be paid at least three (3) business days before the scheduled visa interview. For more information, click here.

You are required to bring your receipt with you to your visa interview, so be sure to plan ahead.  If paying my mail, you will receive a paper receipt by mail in return to acknowledge your payment.  If your fee is paid electronically, you will be able to print out an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment.

NOTE: DHS will not refund the SEVIS fee if an F-1 or J-1 student is not granted a visa or chooses not to come to the U.S. after the visa is granted.

SEVIS Fee Payment for Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria

  • The Student Exchange and Visitory Program (SEVP) is currently unable to accept SEVIS I-901 fee payments by credit card on behalf of students from the following countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.
  • If an individual attempts to make a credit card payment for a student or exchange visitor from one of these countries, he/she will receive the following message when a credit card payment is attempted: "The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is not accepting credit card payments at this time. Please remit your payment by cashier's check, money order, or Western Union money transfer. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation. If you wish to continue submitting a new payment, please click here."  
  • If a credit card payment for a student from another country other than those listed above receives this message, please contract the I-901 Helpline at 1-314-418-8833.
  • Refer to the following websites: and for more information on how to pay using alternative methods.
  • Western Union Quick Pay is an option, but is not available in all countries.  Please note that SEVP is not notified instantly about payment through Western Union, so student/exchange visitor should wait a few days after paying before making a visa appointment or traveling to the United States.

Have further questions about visas?  Click here for more information.