SEVIS

New SEVIS Fee Requirement: F-1 Students

Federal I-901 SEVIS Fee F-1 and J-1 visa applicants are required to pay a one-time fee of $200 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). The following information specifically addresses fee issues for F-1 students.

Who pays the SEVIS fee?

  • You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you are seeking an initial F-1 visa from an embassy or consulate abroad for initial attendance.
  • You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you have previously been enrolled at a U.S. school, but you are no longer enrolled and you have been outside the United States for more than five months, even if you have unexpired F-1 visa on your password.
  • You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you are a Canadian citizen, and are therefore exempt from the U.S. visa requirement, before you can enter the United States.
  • You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you are already in the United States prior to submitting a change of non-immigrant status application to F-1 or J-1.
  • Applicants for F-2 visas are NOT required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

When do I pay the SEVIS fee?
The fee must be paid at least three (3) business days prior to applying for your visa, or applying for admission at a US port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa requirement.  The fee must be paid prior to submission of a change of status petition or reinstatement application.

How do I pay the fee?
Currently, there are three payment methods:

  • payment in U.S. dollars by credit card over the Internet, OR
  • payments in any country's currency through an agen of Western Union "Quick Pay."  There are agents in more than 130 countries world-wide, OR
  • payment in U.S. dollars by check, money order or bank draft, drawn on a U.S. bank, and mailed to an address in the United States.

Payment of the fee may be made by you, or by any other individual, either in the United States or abroad, including family or friends.  However, anyone paying the fee on your behalf will need to have a copy of your I-20 and informaiton form your passport, or a completed copy of Form I-901. 

Payment Procedures

  1. Obtain form I-20 from National American University.
  2. Access form I-901 on the internet at http://www.fmjfee.com.
  3. Complete form I-901, answering all questions (you must have an I-20 from National American University in order to complete form I-901).  Be sure that you enter your personal information exactly as it appears on the I-20.
  4. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee according to one of the following methods:

Internet
Once you have received your I-20, you can make the fee payment by submitting form I-901 on-line using a credit card.  The web address is http://www.fmjfee.com

MasterCard, Visa, or American Express debit or credit cards are accepted.  It does not matter if the card was issued in the United States or overseas.  Follow the on-line instructions, include the required credit card information, and print out the payment screen to verify your payment.  The printed receipt should be presented at the visa interview or at teh U.S. port of entry as proof of payment.  When paying the fee on the internet, it is essential that your printer be ready before starting the payment process.  Do not exit the receipt page until you have successfully printed the receipt.  You will not be able to return to the receipt page.

Western Union "Quick Pay"
Agents who accept Western Union Quick Pay are located in the cities in 130 countries world wide.  For detailed instructions on this payment method and to locate an agent near you, visit: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu_instr.htm

Mail
To pay by mail, you must download and print form I-901 from http://www.fmjfee.com.  Fill out the form and mail it with your payment to the address below. 

Your payment must be in U.S. dollars by check, money order or bank draft, drawn on a U.S. bank.  Your check, bank draft or money order should be made payable to: "I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee."  Also, be sure to print your name and SEVIS ID number in teh lower left-hand corner of the check, money order or bank draft.

The need for a check, bank draft or money order in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank does not mean that only a U.S. bank can issue the document.  Many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a U.S. bank, because they are chartered in the United States, or because they are foreign subsidiaries of a U.S. bank, or because they have arrangements with a U.S. bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drown on a U.S. bank.

Mail the payment and form I-901 to:

I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Visa Processing Fee
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020 USA

To send by courier, use the following address:

I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States
Phone Number: 1-314-418-8833 (United States Country Code 011)

Once the form and fee are processed, a paper receipt will be mailed to you.  Return courier service is available for an additional $30.

Payment by mail is not the recommended process for fee payment from abroad, as it can take as long as four weeks from the day you mail in the fee to the day that you receive the required receipt in the mail if you are applying from the outside the United States, unless you pay for courier service. 

PROOF OF SEVIS FEE PAYMENT
You must be able to prove that the fee has been paid when you appear for your visa interview, and when you enter the United States.  This is done by presenting a printed receipt, either from the internet if you made an on-line payment, or a mailed receipt if you paid by mail. 

Visa officers and U.S. port of entry inspectors should be able to verify SEVIS fee payment electronically three business days after payment is processed.  But, in case of problems, having a printed receipt is the best evidence of fee payment.

A visa will not be issued unless verification of the SEVIS fee payment can be made. 

For detailed information on the SEVIS fee payment process and for a list of frequently asked questions, visit: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm.