About SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an automated process for collecting, maintaining and managing information about international foreign students, exchange visitors and their dependents during their stay in the United States. SEVIS exemplifies our commitment to open doors and secure borders by facilitating the process for millions of welcomed students, while closing loopholes for those wishing to defraud our systems or do us harm. The vast majority of individuals who come to the United States to study are seeking a quality education and a meaningful cultural exchange. However, there are those very few who would like to exploit any gaps in our immigration security system. The Department of Homeland Security commits itself to reducing such security vulnerabilities, while fostering the freedoms and openness that are the hallmarks of our country. The SEVP office clearly indicates this in their mission.

SEVIS Fee

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides for the collection of a congressionally mandated fee to be paid by certain aliens who are seeking status as non-immigrant students (visa categories F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) or as non-immigrant exchange visitors (visa category J-1). The purpose of this fee is to cover the costs for the continued operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), including the administration and maintenance of SEVIS, compliance activities and the establishment of SEVIS Liaison Officers. These SEVIS Liaison Officers will be a local resource for schools and students, providing timely and accurate information or assistance in meeting the requirements of the program.

SEVIS Fee Cost

For spouses and dependent children (F-2, M-2, or J-2) of students or exchange visitors

None

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For students (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3)

$200

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For exchange visitors (J-1) unless participating in:

$100

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 Federally sponsored exchange visitor program (program codes starts with G-1, G-2, or G-3)

None

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Summer work/travel program

$35

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 Au pair program

$35

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 Camp counselor program

$35

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Options for Payment

You may use any of the following options to submit your SEVIS payment:

  • Electronically: by completing Form I-901, Fee Remittance for Certain F, M, and J Non-immigrants, through the internet (www.FMJfee.com) using a credit card
  • Through the mail: by submitting Form I-901, together with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency
  • Third party payments: by school, sponsors or other affiliated individuals
  • Groups: sponsors can also pay for exchange visitor participants via group payments for multiple students

To ensure electronic verification of the fee payment at the consular office, non-immigrants paying the fee electronically or by mail must submit the fee at least three business days before the scheduled visa interview to the DHS address listed on the Form I-901. This will allow time for the deposited fee to go through and for the department to record payment in SEVIS.

Receipts

  • DHS will issue an official paper receipt (I-797) acknowledging every payment regardless of payment method.
  • You may request an express delivery service for the I-797 receipt at an additional cost.
  • Anyone who submits an individual fee electronically will be able to print out an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment for use in advance of the mail delivery of the official paper receipt.
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Which prospective students or exchange visitors must pay the SEVIS fee?

The SEVIS fee will apply to the following individuals:

  • Those who wish to either enter the U.S. as a student or exchange visitor with a Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated after September 1, 2004, except for those participating in a fee exempt exchange visitor program must pay the SEVIS fee. Fee exempt exchange visitor program codes start with G-1, G-2, or G-3.
  • Those who are in the U.S. and wish to change to a student or exchange visitor status from another non-immigrant status must pay the SEVIS fee. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides for the collection of a congressionally mandated fee certain aliens who are seeking status as non-immigrant students (visa categories F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3) or as non-immigrant exchange visitors (visa category J-1) must pay.

When do prospective students or exchange visitors pay the SEVIS fee?

When do prospective students or exchange visitors pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Applicants needing a visa to enter the U.S. must pay the SEVIS fee before going to the U.S. embassy or consulate for their visa interview.
  • Applicants who are citizens of Canada or Bermuda or residents of certain other islands described in 8CFR 212.1a wishing to apply for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1 status at a Port of Entry into the U.S. must pay the SEVIS fee before entering the U.S.
  • Non-immigrants currently in the U.S. who apply for student or exchange visitor status must pay the fee prior to filing their change of status application.

When must continuing students (F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3 non-immigrants that have begun, but not finished, a program) pay the SEVIS fee?

When must continuing students pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Filing an application for reinstatement when they have been out of status for more than 5 months
  • Applying for a new visa or returning to the U.S. after an absence of 5 months or more that did not involve authorized overseas study
  • Filing an application for a change of status except for changes between F-1 and F-3 or between M-1 and M-3

When must continuing exchange visitors (J-1 Non-immigrants who have begun, but not finished a program) pay the SEVIS fee?

When must continuing exchange visitors pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Filing a Reinstatement Application After a Substantive Violation
  • Filing a Reinstatement Application after a Substantive Violation after they have been out of Status between 121 and 269 Days
  • Applying for a Change of Exchange Visitor Category unless the New Exchange Visitor Category is Fee Exempt (federally sponsored programs with program codes that start with G-1, G-2 or G-3)