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What is the SEVIS Fee?
The SEVIS fee, implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is a fee intended to defray costs associated with the administration of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This rule took effect on September 1, 2004.
Who Must Pay the SEVIS Fee?
- Students seeking an F-1 visa from a U.S. consulate abroad for “Initial” attendance at a U.S. school
- Students seeking a J-1 visa from a U.S. consulate abroad to commence participation in a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
- Persons applying for a change of status to F-1 or J-1
- Canadians exempt from the visa requirement who are seeking entry at a U.S. port of entry for “Initial” attendance at a U.S. school or Exchange Visitor Program
- J-1 students applying for a change of program category within the U.S.
- J-1 students transferring from fee-exempt Federal Government sponsored programs (such as Fulbright) to other J-1 programs
- J-1 students transferring from reduced-fee J-1 programs to full-fee J-1 programs
- J-1 students applying for reinstatement
- F-1 students applying for reinstatement
- F-1 students who have been absent from the U.S. for more than five months and wish to reenter the U.S. to further study in the same course of study
How Do I Pay the SEVIS Fee if Required to Do So?
Those required to pay the fee must do one of the following:
- Electronic submission of Form I-901 to DHS using credit card or other electronic means of payment accepted by DHS (please visit: FMJfee.com for more information )
- File Form I-901 (available at FMJfee.com), with DHS by mail along with a check, money order, or foreign draft drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency
- Western Union Quick Pay. Click here for instructions.
- Any future DHS-approved payment services
Please note you must have a DHS fee receipt before applying for a visa or change of status. Third parties may pay the fee on behalf of the student or scholar.
Additional information on SEVIS I-901 Fee – Frequently Asked Questions.
Who Does Not Pay the SEVIS Fee?
- Persons with I-20s or DS-2019s issued prior to September 1, 2004
- F-2 and J-2 dependents of F-1 students and J-1 students and scholars
- F-1 students who are seeking an extension, transfer, change in educational level, or post-completion practical training (Optional Practical Training)
- J-1 students and J-1 scholars who are seeking an extension or transfer
- F-1 students, J-1 students and J-1 scholars who have previously paid the fee and are applying for a visa to return to the U.S. as continuing students in the same course of study
- F-1 students, J-1 students and J-1 scholars who have paid the fee but have been denied a visa who are reapplying for the same visa within 12 months
- Persons who have paid the SEVIS fee but have been denied a change of status to F-1 or J-1 and who are reapplying for the same status within 12 months after being granted a motion to reopen by immigration
- F-1 students who have been absent from the U.S. for more than five months due to participation in a school-approved study abroad program
- J-1 participants in fee-exempt Federal Government-sponsored programs (such as Fulbright)