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SEVIS I-901 Fee Frequently Asked Questions

What is the background on the fee payment?

Legislative History

Section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), Public Law No. 104–208, 110 Stat. 3546 (September 30, 1996), codified at 8 USC 1372, (as amended) required the creation of a program to collect information relating to nonimmigrant foreign students and exchange visitor program participants during the course of their stay in the United States. The program became known as SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) and its core technology became known as SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System).

A number of rules outline the requirements and procedures for SEVIS. They are:

  • 67 FR 34862 (May 16, 2002, proposed rule for implementing SEVIS)
  • 67 FR 44343 (July 1, 2002, interim rule for schools to apply for preliminary enrollment in SEVIS)
  • 67 FR 60107 (September 25, 2002, interim rule for certification of schools applying for enrollment in SEVIS)
  • 67 FR 76256 (December 11, 2002, final DHS rule implementing SEVIS)
  • 67 FR 76307 (December 12, 2002, DOS interim final rule implementing SEVIS)
  • 69 FR 39814 (July 1, 2004, Authorizing Collection of the Fee Levied on F, J and M Nonimmigrant Classifications Under Public Law 104– 208)
  • 73 FR 55683 (September 26,2008, Adjusting Program Fees and Establishing Procedures for Out-of-Cycle Review and Recertification of Schools Certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to Enroll F and/or M Nonimmigrant Students)

Section 442(a)(4) of the Homeland Security Act, as amended, specifically transferred responsibility for SEVIS to ICE.

Section 641(e) of IIRIRA, as amended, requires that a fee be established and charged to students or exchange visitors tracked in SEVIS to fund the program and further requires that the fee be used only for SEVP related purposes. SEVIS I-901 fees will be deposited into a sub-account within the Immigration Examination Fee Account and maintained for SEVP use.

On October 26, 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, to implement section 641 of IIRIRA, requiring the collection of information relating to nonimmigrant foreign students and exchange visitors and providing for the collection of the required fee to defray the costs.

On July 1, 2004, a final rule was published to amend DHS regulations to provide for the collection of a fee to be paid by certain individuals who are seeking status as F–1, F–3, M–1 or M–3 nonimmigrant students or as J–1 nonimmigrant exchange visitors.

On October 27,2008, DHS amends its regulations to provide a final rule published to amend DHS regulations to provide for the collection of a fee to be paid by certain individuals who are seeking status as F–1, F–3, M–1 or M– 3 nonimmigrant students or as J–1 nonimmigrant exchange visitors.

General provisions of the SEVIS rule

Generally, the rule levies a fee of $200. Some applicants for certain J–1 exchange visitor programs will pay a fee of $180, others a reduced fee of $35 and certain other applicants will be exempt from the fee.

The final rule explains who will be required to pay the fee, describes the consequences that a person seeking F–1, F–3, M–1, M–3 or J–1 nonimmigrant status faces upon failure to pay the fee and specifies who is exempt from the fee.

The purpose of the fee is to cover the costs of developing and deploying the next generation of SEVIS as well as administering and maintaining the current version of SEVIS, which includes ensuring compliance with the system’s requirements by individuals, schools and exchange visitor program sponsors.

Effective October 27, 2008, potential nonimmigrants who are initially issued a Form I–20 or Form DS–2019 on or after that date will pay the higher fee.

Potential nonimmigrants, for purposes of the SEVIS Fee rule, are:

  • Those who apply to the Department of State (DoS) or DHS for initial attendance as an F, M or J nonimmigrant
  • Nonimmigrants in the United States that apply for a change of status to an F, M or J classification
  • Current J–1 nonimmigrants that apply for a J– 1 category change on or after October 27, 2008

If a Form I–20 or Form DS–2019 for initial status in a new program is issued on or after October 27, 2008, the nonimmigrant traveling on that document will be required to pay the fee. This does not include F-1 students who are transferring or changing level to attend a new program while maintaining F status. See the section, Do I pay the fee?, for who needs to pay the fee.

 

What is the purpose of the SEVIS I-901 fee?

The SEVIS I-901 fee is mandated by Congress to support the program office and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States. Each student or exchange visitor issued an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 on or after October 27, 2008, is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP. There are some exceptions. For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?.

The fee is used to:

  • Maintain and update SEVIS
  • Hire and train SEVIS Liaison Officers
  • Staff and manage the SEVP Office to:
    • Support the current version of SEVIS and develop and deploy the next generation of SEVIS
    • Develop SEVP policies and procedures
    • Offer SEVIS-related training, assistance and problem resolution to the schools and exchange visitor program sponsors
  • Maintain enforcement oversight to ensure that:
    • Schools are maintaining accurate, timely information
    • Students or exchange visitors who fail to maintain status either leave the United States or apply for reinstatement

What is the difference between a SEVIS I-901 fee and a school SEVIS administration fee?

Some schools charge a fee by the year or the semester to support their foreign student/exchange visitor office and automated systems. These fees are neither mandated nor collected by the U.S. government.

If you paid a foreign student fee to your school and are not sure if it was the SEVIS I-901 fee paid to SEVP, contact an official at your school for clarification.

For more information see What is the primary purpose of the SEVIS I-901 fee?

How do I know if the school/exchange visitor program sponsor paid my SEVIS I-901 fee?

Schools and exchange visitor program sponsors have the option of paying the SEVIS I-901 fee for prospective students or exchange visitors, but are not required to pay the fee.

You must ask a DSO at your school or the Responsible Officer (RO) listed on your DS-2019 to find out if the SEVIS I-901 fee has been paid for you. If the fee is paid on your behalf, you should receive a receipt from whomever paid the SEVIS I-901 fee for you. See the section on receipts for how to verify payment has been made and how to order a copy of the receipt.

Some schools or exchange visitor program sponsors may charge an institutional fee that supports their costs for administering SEVIS. However, these fees are not paid to the SEVP. If your school or exchange visitor program charges a SEVIS Fee, check to see who is receiving the fee. When a school or exchange visitor program sponsor pays the fee to SEVP on your behalf, they will send you a copy of the receipt. If the fee does not go to SEVP, you are still required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

Does the SEVIS I-901 fee replace the visa fee?

No. The visa fee is to defray the cost for machine-readable visas and to support the consulates. There is a separate non-refundable fee for anyone seeking a nonimmigrant visa for the United States.

The SEVIS I-901 fee is a separate fee paid to SEVP. This fee supports the Student and Exchange Visitor Program in DHS. See What is the primary purpose of the SEVIS I-901 fee?

 
Who pays – or does not pay – the SEVIS I-901 fee and when is it paid?

Do I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

New Applicants for Student Status (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3)

If you are applying to become a student, pay the new SEVIS I-901 Fee if your initial Form I-20 is issued on or after October 27, 2008, (see Item 10 on the form).

Applicants Reapplying for Student Status (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) after a Denial of that Status

If you have not previously paid the SEVIS I-901 fee, pay the new SEVIS I-901 fee if your initial Form I-20 is issued on or after October 27, 2008, (see Item 10 on the form).

Do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee , if you already paid the SEVIS I-901 fee and are:

  • Reapplying for a visa within twelve months of the date of your initial SEVIS I-901 fee payment

OR

  • From a visa exempt country and reapplying for status as a student at the POE within 12 months of the date of your initial SEVIS I-901 fee payment

OR

  • Filing a motion to reopen a denied change of status application for a change of status to F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3

Continuing Students (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) in the United States

If you are a continuing student, who has maintained status and has not completed your program of study, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

If you are a continuing student, who has maintained status and is transferring or changing program levels, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

If you are a F-1 student who wishes to change status to F-3, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are a F-3 student who wishes to change status to F-1, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are a F-1 or F-3 student who wishes to change status to M-1, M-3 or J-1, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before you file for change of status .

If you are a M-1 student who wishes to change status to M-3, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are a M-3 student who wishes to change status to an M-1, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are a M-1 or M-3 student who wishes to change status to J-1, pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee before you file for change of status .

If you are student who has been out of status for less than five months, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are a student who has been out of status for more than five months, pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee before you file for reinstatement.

Continuing Students (F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3) not in the United States

If you are a continuing student who has been out of the United States for less than five months and maintained your status prior to leaving the United States, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

If you are a continuing student who has been out of the United States for more than five months, maintained your status prior to leaving the United States, and have been participating in authorized overseas study, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are a student who has been out of the United States for more than five months and have not participated in authorized overseas study, you are no longer considered a continuing student by DHS. You need a new initial Form I-20 from a school and you need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are a student who did not maintain status or you completed a previous program, you are no longer considered a continuing student by DHS. You need a new initial Form I-20 from a school and you need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

New Applicants for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1)

If you are applying to become an exchange visitor, pay the new SEVIS I-901 fee if your initial DS-2019 is dated on or after October 27, 2008 (see Item 7 on your Form DS-2019) UNLESS you are participating in a federally sponsored program that has a program code starting with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7

Applicants Reapplying for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1) after a Denial of that Status

If you have not previously paid the SEVIS I-901 fee, pay the new SEVIS I-901 fee if your initial DS-2019 is dated on or after October 27, 2008 (see Item 7 on your Form DS-2019) UNLESS you are participating in a federally sponsored program that has a program code starting with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7.

Do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you already paid a SEVIS I-901 fee for same exchange visitor category you are applying to, the SEVIS I-901 fee is equal or less than the SEVIS I-901 fee already paid, and you are:

  • Reapplying for a visa within twelve months of the date your initial SEVIS I-901 fee payment

OR

  • From a visa exempt country and reapplying for status as an exchange visitor at the POE within 12 months of the date of your initial SEVIS I-901 fee payment

OR

  • Filing a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider a denied change of status application for a change of status to J-1

 

Continuing Exchange Visitors (J-1) in the United States

If you are a continuing exchange visitor and have maintained status, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee.

If you are a continuing exchange visitor who wishes to transfer from a SEVIS I-901 fee exempt program (the program code starts with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7) to one where the SEVIS I-901 fee is required, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are an exchange visitor who wishes to change exchange visitor categories, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before applying for a change of category UNLESS the new program code starts with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7.

If you are an exchange visitor who has completed an exchange visitor program and you want to participate in another exchange visitor program, you are no longer considered a continuing exchange visitor by DHS and DoS. You need a new initial Form DS-2019. Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee UNLESS the new program code starts with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7.

If you are an exchange visitor and are filing for reinstatement after a substantive violation or you have been out of status between 121 and 269 days, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before filing for reinstatement.

Continuing Exchange Visitors (J-1) not in the United States

If you are an exchange visitor outside the United States who maintained status prior to leaving the United States and are returning to continue in the same exchange visitor program, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee .

If you are an exchange visitor outside the United States, who did not maintain status prior to leaving the United States, you are no longer considered a continuing exchange visitor by DHS and DoS. You need a new initial Form DS-2019. Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee UNLESS the new program code starts with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7.

Spouse or Minor Children of Students or Exchange Visitors

If you are the spouse or minor child of a student or exchange visitor, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee unless you are applying to change status to F-1, M-1, or J-1.

Who Does Not Pay the Fee

In general, who does not pay the fee?

In general, the following people do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee:

  • Students or exchange visitors who meet all of the following criteria:
    • Started at a school or a program with a Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated before the fee first came into effect on September 1, 2004;
    • Have not completed that program, including students who transfer schools or changed program levels; and
    • Have maintained status
  • Spouses and dependent children who have an F-2, J-2 or M-2 visa.
  • Applicants who paid the SEVIS I-901 fee, were denied a visa and are applying again for the same type of visa within 12 months of the date of the denial (exchange visitors must applying in the same category as the previous application and the SEVIS I-901 fee amount must be the same or less than the fee originally paid)
  • Applicants who paid the SEVIS I-901 fee, were denied a change of status and are applying for a motion to reopen
  • F or M students who fell out of status, but who are applying for a reinstatement within five months of the status violation
  • J exchange visitors who fall out of status for minor or technical reasons
  • Government sponsored exchange visitors who are participating in programs with a program code that begins with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7.

For more information on who pays the fees and the exceptions, see the section, Do I pay the fee?.

If I am a student or exchange visitor who started school or a program before October 27, 2008, do I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

Payment is determined by the original issuance date of the Form I-20 or DS-2019.

Any continuing student or exchange visitor who received an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated on or after October 27, 2008, will pay the new SEVIS I-901 fee.

Any continuing student or exchange visitor who received an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated before October 27, 2008, will pay the old SEVIS I-901 fee.

For more information and any exceptions, see the section, Do I pay the fee?

Continuing students or exchange visitors who have not completed their schooling or exchange visitor program and have maintained status do not need to pay the new increased SEVIS I-901 fee.

Original Issuance Date of Form I-20 or DS-2019

Do I Pay the Fee?
DateWhat to Pay
On or after October 27, 2008Pay new fee
Before October 27, 2008Pay old fee
Before September 1, 2004 - ContinuingNo fee

Do I have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if I already paid it and my visa was denied?

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again if you:

  • Reapply for a student visa within 12 months of the initial SEVIS I-901 fee payment if the original application was for a student visa
  • Reapply for an exchange visitor visa within 12 months of the initial SEVIS I-901 fee payment if the original application and the reapplication are for the same exchange visitor category. See the instructions for requesting that SEVP transfer your fee payment information.

If I am a government visitor, do I need to pay the fee?

Government sponsored exchange visitors who are participating in programs with a program code that begins with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 do not need to pay the fee. All other exchange visitors need to pay the fee.

When is paying a SEVIS I-901 fee not required for continuing students?

Return to the United States to Continue Studies

Continuing students do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee when returning to United States or applying for a visa to return to the United States after:

  • An absence of less than five months to continue the same program of study
  • Completing authorized overseas study as part of the current program (this absence may exceed five months)

Apply for Employment Authorization

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee when applying for employment authorization of any type.

Reinstatement

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you apply for reinstatement after being out of status for less than five months.

Transfer

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you transfer between approved schools at the same educational level. If you are an F-1 or F-3, your I-20 will have Initial attendance at this school in block 3, but your SEVIS records will show that you have maintained your status and are continuing your education. It will be helpful if you ask your DSO to put Continuing student – transfer in the remarks (block 9). This will help prevent issues with visa issuance, reentry into the United States and fee payment.

Change of Educational Level

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you are an F-1 or F-3 who is changing educational levels. Examples are:

  • You graduated from high school and are going directly into college
  • You received your Master’s degree and going directly into a doctoral program

However, if you are transferring to another school your I-20 will have Initial attendance at this school in block 3, but your SEVIS records will show that you have transferred. It will be helpful if you ask your DSO to put in the remarks Continuing student – transfer in the remarks (block 9). This will help prevent issues with visa issuance, reentry into the United States and fee payment.

Change of Status Between F-1 and F-3 or Between M-1 and M-3

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee for a change of status if the change is:

  • Between an F-1 and an F-3
  • Between an M-1 and an M-3

Extension of Stay

You do not have to the pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you are applying for an extension of stay so you can have additional time to complete your current program.

Visa Denial

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you have already paid a SEVIS I-901 fee and you are reapplying for the same type of visa within twelve months of the date of initial denial.

Change of Status Denial

You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you have already paid a SEVIS I-901 fee and you are applying for a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider denied change of status application within 30 days of the date of denial.

When is paying a SEVIS I-901 fee not required for continuing exchange visitors?

Continuing exchange visitors do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee when they:

  • Apply for reinstatement after a minor violation or technical infraction
  • Return to the United States or apply for a visa to return to the United States to continue participation in a single program
  • Apply to change between programs in the same exchange visitor category when the fee for the new program category is the same or less than that for the initial program category
  • Apply to extend their stay in order to complete the current program
  • Apply for a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider a denied change of status application within 30 days of denial of the status

Which exchange visitors do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

You do not have to pay the fee if you are already in the United States as an exchange visitor and have maintained your status.

You do not have to the pay the fee if the program code on your DS-2019 starts with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7. You are exempt from the fee because the United States federal government sponsors your program.

You do not have to pay the fee if you are reentering the United States to continue an exchange visitor program or program of study as long as you maintain your status and have not completed your program.

You do not have to pay the fee if you are transferring between programs in the same exchange visitor category unless the new program requires a higher fee. For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?.

You do not have to pay the fee if you are applying for an extension of stay so you can have additional time to complete your current program.

You do not have to pay the fee if you have already paid, your visa was denied within the last twelve months and you are applying again for a visa in the same exchange visitor category.

Can the fee be waived in accordance with 8 CFR 103.7(c)?

No. There are no fee waivers available for the SEVIS I-901 fee. However, third parties may pay the fee on the behalf of the student or exchange visitor.

How much is the SEVIS I-901 fee?

How Much Is the SEVIS I-901 Fee?
DescriptionAmount
For students (F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3)$200
For spouses and dependent children (F-2, M-2 or J-2) of students or exchange visitorsNone
For exchange visitors (J-1)$180
UNLESS participating in:
  • Federally sponsored exchange visitor program (program codes start with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7)
None
  • Summer work/travel program
$35
  • Au pair program
$35
  • Camp counselor program
$35

How does the SEVIS I-901 fee payment process impact getting a visa?

If you are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee (for more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?) and need a visa to enter the United States as student or exchange visitor, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before going to the United States embassy or consulate for your visa interview.

If you are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and do not pay it, your visa application will be denied by DOS.

How do I apply to become a student (F or M)?

You must apply to a SEVP approved school. If the school accepts you, you will receive a Form I-20 from the school. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before applying for a visa, status at a POE, or filing for a change of status.

If you are outside of the United States, and not from a visa exempt country, apply to the local United States embassy or consulate for a visa. See the DOS website at http://unitedstatesvisas.gov/whatis/index.html for more information on visas.

If you are outside the United States and are from a visa exempt country, apply for student status at the POE.

If you are in the United States in another nonimmigrant status, submit your application for change of status to USCIS.

How do I apply to become an exchange visitor (J)?

You must apply to a DOS approved exchange visitor program. If accepted, you will receive a Form DS-2019. Determine if you need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee? If you are subject to the SEVIS I-901 fee, pay it before applying for a visa, status at a POE, or filing for a change of status.

If you are outside the United States, and not from a visa exempt country, apply to the local United States embassy or consulate for a visa. See the DOS website at http://unitedstatesvisas.gov/whatis/index.html for more information on visas.

If you are outside the United States and are from a visa exempt country, apply for exchange visitor status at the POE.

If you are in the United States in another nonimmigrant status, submit your application for change of status to USCIS.

How do I know if I need a visa?

If you wish to enter the United States as F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1 nonimmigrant (a student or exchange visitor), you must have a visa unless you are from a visa exempt country.

If you are from a visa exempt country, you will need to apply for student or exchange visitor status at the POE. You will need proof of payment.

For more information, see the section on when to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

See the DOS website at http://unitedstatesvisas.gov/whatis/index.html for more information on visas.

When to Pay the Fee

When do prospective students or exchange visitors pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

The following chart will tell you when in the process of applying to become a student or exchange visitor you must pay the fee. See how long it takes to get a receipt for an estimate of the time needed to process a fee payment.

When to Pay Fee for Visa
Are you in the United States?Do you need an F, M or J visa?When to submit
NoYesPay the fee before you go to your visa interview at a United States embassy or consulate.

The SEVIS I-901 fee payment does not have to be completed until you appear for the interview. You can schedule an interview before you make the SEVIS I-901 fee payment. Allow time for the payment to be received and verified.
NoNo, I am from a country that does not require a visaPay the fee and allow time for processing before you appear at the U. S. POE. You will not be able to pay the fee at the POE.
YesNoPay the fee before you apply for a change of status or reinstatement (For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?, to determine if you must pay the fee)

When must continuing exchange visitors (J-1 nonimmigrants who have begun, but not finished a program) pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

Continuing exchange visitors must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before:

  • Filing a reinstatement application after a substantive violation
  • Filing a reinstatement application 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, G-3, or G-7)

When must continuing students (F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3 nonimmigrants that have begun, but not finished, a program) pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

Continuing students must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before:

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

Do I need to pay the fee before I receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019?

No, you must have a Form I-20 or DS-2019 before you pay the fee.

Do I pay the fee for every Form I-20 or DS-2019 I receive?

No. If you receive acceptance packages from several schools or Exchange Visitor Program Sponsors, please select a school or program and use that Form I-20 or DS-2019 to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

We highly recommend that you pay the SEVIS I-901 fee using the form from the sponsor or school you will attend. Fee payment is made for a specific SEVIS ID number. Each Form I-20 or DS-Form DS-2019 has a SEVIS ID number. All SEVIS ID numbers start with the letter N.

  • On the Form I-20, the number is on the top right hand side of the first page under the words Student’s Copy and above the barcode.
  • On the DS-2019, the number is on the top right hand side of the page in the block about the barcode.

More General Questions on Who Pays the Fee

Do I need to pay the fee if I am already enrolled as a F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1?

No. You do not have to pay the fee if you are currently in the United States as a nonimmigrant student or exchange visitor and you have maintained your status. See the section, Do I pay the fee?, for exceptions.

Do I have to pay the fee every time I apply for a student or exchange visitor visa?

Not necessarily. If you are a continuing student or continuing to participate in the same exchange visitor program and you have continued to maintain your status, you do not need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before applying for a new visa. See the question on continuing studies for more information.

However, you do need to pay the fee if you are starting a new program or course of study (excluding F students who are transferring schools or changing program levels).

For more information, see the related questions:

  • Do I pay the fee?
  • Do I need to pay the fee if I need a new visa to return to the United States to continue my studies or participate in an exchange visitor program?
  • If I am a student applying for a new visa with an initial Form I-20 but I have been out of the United States for less than five months, do I need to pay the fee?

Do I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if I need a new visa to return to the United States to continue my studies or participate in an exchange visitor program?

No. When you are applying for a new visa to return the United States, you do not have to pay the fee if you are reentering to continue a program of study and:

  • You maintained your status
  • You have not completed your program unless you are an F student transferring to another school or program within five months of leaving the United States
  • You have not been out of the United States for more than five months except to participate in a study abroad program approved by your school

Do spouses and minor children of students and exchange visitors pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

No. Spouses and minor child of students and exchange visitors (F-2, M-2 or J-2 nonimmigrants) do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. However, if the spouse or minor child wishes to change status to F-1, M-1, or J-1, he or she must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before filing a change of status application.

Which students or exchange visitors are visa exempt and can apply for F-1, F-3, J-1, M-1 or M-3 status at the POE?

Potential students or exchange visitors from visa exempt countries can apply for F-1, F-3, J-1, M-1 or M-3 status at the POE. You must pay the fee and have evidence of payment prior to arrival at the POE.

The following people qualify as visa exempt.
PersonsExempt From
Citizens of Canada or BermudaApplying for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1 status upon entry
Bahamian nationals

British subject residents in the Bahamian, Cayman, Turks or Caicos Islands
Entering the United States without a visa as described in 8 CFR 212.1a and applying for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1 status upon entry

Specific Questions About F and M Students and SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment

If I am a student who is reentering with an existing visa, but a new I-20 for initial attendance, do I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

Students who are applying for initial F or M status with a Form I-20 issued on or after October 27, 2008, (e.g. are new students or are students who departed the United States without status and reentering) must pay the new SEVIS I-901 fee.

However, if you are an F-1 or F-3 student changing educational levels or transferring to another school and have maintained your status, you do not need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Your I-20 will have Initial attendance at this school in block 3, but your SEVIS records will show that you have maintained your status and are continuing your education. It will be helpful if you ask your DSO to put in the remarks Continuing student change of education level or Continuing student – transfer in the remarks (block 9). This will help prevent issues with reentry and fee payment.

If you are an M-1 or M-3 student transferring to another school and have maintained your status, you do not need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. It will be helpful if you ask your DSO to put Continuing student – transfer in the remarks (block 9). This will help prevent issues with reentry and fee payment.

If I am a student applying for a new visa with an initial Form I-20 but I have been out of the United States for less than five months, do I need to pay the fee?

It depends on your circumstances. If you did not maintain your student status prior to departing the United States, you are starting a new program from the perspective of your nonimmigrant status – even if you are returning to the same school and pursuing the same degree. In this case, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. If you have questions about whether or not you have maintained your student status, contact the DSO from your school.

However, if you are an F-1 or F-3 changing educational levels or any student transferring to another school and have maintained your status, you do not need to pay the fee. Your I-20 will have Initial attendance at this school in block 3, but your SEVIS records will show that you have maintained your status and are continuing your education. It will be helpful if you ask your DSO to put in the remarks Continuing student change of education level or Continuing student – transfer in the remarks (block 9). This will help prevent issues with visa issuance, reentry into the United States and fee payment.

If I am a student who has changed educational levels and am returning home to renew an expired visa, do I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

No. A change of level is considered a continuation of your current program. However, your I-20 will have Initial attendance at this school in block 3, but your SEVIS records will show that you have maintained your status and are continuing your education. It will be helpful if you ask your DSO to put Continuing student change of education level in the remarks (block 9). This will help prevent issues with reentry and fee payment.

I am a commuter student and I receive an initial Form I-20 every semester, do I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee every semester?

No. You are considered a continuing student and will not need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee unless you meet one of the qualifications shown in the section Do I pay the fee?

If you start a program of study with a Form I-20, you will pay the SEVIS I-901 fee using the first Form I-20 your school issues. You will not need to pay the fee again unless you meet one of the qualifications shown in the section Do I pay the fee?

However, since all of your Forms I-20 will be initial Forms I-20, we highly recommend that you keep your first Form I-20 and a copy of your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt when crossing the border. In addition, ask your P/DSO to put Continuing Commuter Student in the remarks of your subsequent Forms I-20.

Specific Questions about J Exchange Visitors and SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment

I applied for several exchange visitor programs. I did not have a final answer from my preferred program in time to enter before the start of my preferred program. So I entered the United States in another program and was subsequently accepted by my preferred program. Do I have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee when I apply to DOS to change programs?

It depends. If the two programs are in the same exchange visitor category, you do not need to pay an additional SEVIS I-901 fee. If you are changing exchange visitor categories, you must pay the fee.

If I am an exchange visitor who is reentering with a valid J-1 visa but with an initial DS-2019 form (non-transfer), do I need to pay the fee?

Yes. A new initial DS-2019 indicates you have started a new program. You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee every time you start a new program.

If I participated as an exchange visitor short-term scholar and will be returning to the same exchange visitor program for another short-term stay, do I have to pay the fee again?

Yes. Anytime you complete a program and then apply again to become an exchange visitor, this is a new program for the purposes of SEVIS.

If I participated in a short-term program and then decide to participate in another short-term program, do I have to pay the fee again?

Yes. If you complete a program and then apply for another program – even if it is from the same exchange visitor program sponsor - you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. You must pay the fee every time you start a new program.

What if I plan to participate in more than one exchange visitor program while in the United States?

You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee for each exchange visitor program you participate in.

You may, however, start in one exchange visitor program and, with approval, transfer to another exchange visitor program without paying the SEVIS I-901 fee.

What happens if I should pay the fee and I did not?

If you are required to pay the fee and do not, you will be denied a visa and or entry to the United States. If you are already in the United States and are required to pay the fee before submitting a benefit application, not paying the fee is grounds for denying your application.

If you did not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee when required, pay it as soon as you discover the error so that you will not be denied benefits you might otherwise be granted.

Not paying the SEVIS I-901 fee is also a basis for denying application for a benefit based on the nonimmigrant’s F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1 status. For example, while an additional fee is not required when applying for a work permit, if you were subject to the fee when becoming a student or exchange visitor, you will be denied a work permit if you did not pay the initial fee.

Failure to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee is not a basis for removal. However, if you do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, you may jeopardize your status. Not maintaining status is a basis for removal.

What happens if my Form I-20 or DS-2019 was issued before October 27, 2008, but was corrected and reissued after October 27, 2008. Do I have to pay the new SEVIS I-901 fee?

Payment is determined by the original issuance date of the Form I-20 or DS-2019.

Any student or exchange visitor who received an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated on or after October 27, 2008, will pay the new SEVIS I-901 fee.

Any student or exchange visitor who received an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated before October 27, 2008, will pay the old SEVIS I-901 fee.

For more information and any exceptions, see the section, Do I pay the fee?

Continuing students or exchange visitors who have not completed their schooling or exchange visitor program and have maintained status do not need to pay the new increased SEVIS I-901 fee.

Original Issuance Date of Form I-20 or DS-2019
DateAction
On or after October 27, 2008Pay new fee
Before October 27, 2008Pay old fee
Before September 1, 2004 - ContinuingNo fee
 
How is the SEVIS I-901 fee paid and the Form I-901 filed?

Can you give me a general overview of the SEVIS I-901 fee payment process?

In general, you need to:

  • Either be currently enrolled in an approved school or exchange visitor program or have been accepted into one. You will need a Form I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Determine if you need to pay the fee. For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?
  • Pay the fee in time to have it processed before a consular or DHS official must make a decision about your visa, entry into the United States or other application where the fee is required.

Form I-901

You will need to fill in a Form I-901 with information from your Form I-20 or DS-2019 and pay the required fee. For most people, the SEVIS I-901 fee is $200. See the Fee Amount Chart for more detailed fee information.

You can fill in the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com or send a paper version to:

By Mail

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

By Courier (to expedite delivery to SEVP)

I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States
Phone Number: 1-314-425-1809 (United States Country Code 011)

If you have Internet access, completing the form online will help ensure that you provide all the information in the correct format. This helps speed processing.

Paper forms are scanned and read by machine. If information is missing or hard to read, the form will be manually reviewed. SEVP will attempt to fill in missing or hard-to-read information. This could cause a short delay in processing your form or could result in the form being returned to you for correction. When using a paper form, please print clearly. Your SEVIS ID number, last name (surname or family name) and date of birth are critical data elements. These are needed to match the information on your Form I-20 or DS-2019.

Payment Options

You can pay your fee by credit or debit card if you are submitting your form online. See the section on credit and debit cards for more information about the cards SEVP will accept.

You can pay by international money order or check drawn on a financial institution in the United States and payable in United States currency. (See the section on payment by check or money order for more information.)

Checks are accepted subject to collection. If the bank on which it is drawn does not honor the check, you will be charged a $35 fee.

  • If you fill in the Form I-901 online and choose the option to pay by check or money order, you will be able to print a payment coupon. There is a control number on the top of the coupon. Write the control number, your name and your SEVIS ID number on your check or money order and attach the coupon.
  • If you use a paper Form I-901, write your SEVIS ID number and name on your check or money order and attach the form before sending it in.

Record of Payment

An electronic payment confirmation kept in the SEVIS I-901 fee payment system will serve as proof of payment for the SEVIS I-901 fee.  
The printed confirmation can be printed from www.fmjfee.com at any time.

See the section on receipts for more information.

What are the options for fee payment?

Currently, the options for individuals to pay the fee are by credit or debit card via the Internet, by check or money order mailed to SEVP and by using Western Union Quick Pay. Any organization or individual may use one of these payment methods to pay on behalf of a student or exchange visitor. See Payment Overview for more information.

Certain exchange visitor program sponsors may be eligible to participate in a bulk filer program and pay SEVIS I-901 fees electronically using ACH.

Can you give me a checklist to help ensure I complete my Form I-901 and pay properly?

Completing the Form

You can complete the form online at www.fmjfee.com or on paper. The section, Where can I get a copy of the Form I-901?, has details on getting the form.

You will need a copy of your Form I-20 or DS-2019 for the school or Exchange Visitor Program you wish to attend.

If filling in the Form I-901 online, the system will prevent most errors. The most important information for the online system is your SEVIS ID number. Be careful to enter this number correctly.

Checklist for Paper Form I-901

  • Legible printing
  • SEVIS ID number is correct and matches your Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Your last name is entered exactly as it appears on your Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • You have given your current address
  • Your date of birth is entered exactly as it appears on your Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • You have correctly indicated the fee amount

Payment

Currently there are three ways to pay the fee:

Checks are accepted subject to collection. If the bank on which it is drawn does not honor the check, you must repay the SEVIS I-901 fee and pay an additional $30 fee to DHS Debt Management Center. See the section on returned (bounced) checks for more information.

The payment must be submitted for the exact amount of the fee due. Your payment will be returned if you:

  • Do not send a payment coupon or paper Form I-901 with payment
  • Send a payment in the wrong amount

However, SEVP is not responsible for returned payments that are lost in transit.

Checklist for Paying by Check or Money Order

Use this checklist when paying by check or money order.

  • The payment is by international money order or a foreign draft drawn on a financial institution in the United States and payable in United States currency. For more details, see the section on payment by check or money order
  • Your name and SEVIS ID number are on the check or money order
  • The check or money order is made out to I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
  • If you are using a coupon printed from the Internet, find the control number on top of the coupon and write it on your check or money order
  • Write your name and SEVIS ID number on your check or money order
  • Attach your check or money order to your coupon or paper Form I-901

Mailing the Form and Payment

Ensure your payment envelope has your correct return address. Also, be sure the envelope has both your payment and your coupon or Form I-901. Send to:

By Mail

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

By Courier (to expedite delivery to SEVP)

I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States
Phone Number: 1-314-425-1809 (United States Country Code 011)

How do applicants in the United States file the Form I-901 and pay the fee?

Applicants in the United States can use the same methods as applicants who are not in the United States See the Payment Overview for detailed information.

What if my school or exchange visitor program collects a SEVIS I-901 fee?

Some schools or exchange visitor program sponsors may collect a fee to defray their own costs for programs that support international student or exchange visitors. These are not United States government mandated fees and are not used to pay the government-required SEVIS I-901 fee.

Some schools or exchange visitor program sponsors, however, may choose to collect the government-required SEVIS I-901 fee from you and pay on your behalf. If your school or exchange visitor program charges a SEVIS I-901 fee, you need to ask if it is the US government fee. If it is, you can print your SEVIS I-901 fee confirmation from www.fmjfee.com.

Form I-901 questions

What is the purpose of the Form I-901?

The Form I-901, when properly completed, gives SEVP sufficient information to:

  • Determine the correct amount of the SEVIS I-901 fee due
  • Ensure the payment is posted to the correct SEVIS record
  • Mail the receipt to the address specified by the student or exchange visitor

Where can I get a copy of the Form I-901?

The Form I-901 is available, in PDF, for printing and downloading from the web at www.ice.gov/sevis/i901. You can also fill out the form online at www.fmjfee.com.

If you do not have Internet access, ask your school or exchange visitor program for a copy of the form. You will not be able to get forms at a United States consulate or embassy.

What documents do I need to fill in my Form I-901?

You need the information from your Form I-20 or DS-2019 to fill out the Form I-901. You do not need to send a copy with the Form I-901.

What if I have more than one Form I-20 or DS-2019?

You only need to pay the fee for one Form I-20 or DS-2019, except in the case of a person who is applying to enter the United States to participate in more than one exchange visitor program. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee using the information from the Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by the school or exchange visitor program(s) you wish to attend.

What do I do if I have changed my mind about which school or program I will attend after paying the SEVIS I-901 fee?

You need to keep the copy of the Form I-20 or DS-2019 for the school or program you paid for.

If you have not entered the country, you will be able go to your visa interview or, if visa exempt, apply for student or exchange visitor status at the POE with:

  • The Form I-20 or DS-2019 you used to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee
  • Your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
  • The Form I-20 or DS-2019 for the program you now wish to attend

When you arrive in the United States, you need to request that SEVP transfer your fee payment information from the SEVIS ID number you paid on to the one for the school or program you are actually attending.

How do I find the SEVIS ID number on my Form I-20 or DS-2019?

All SEVIS ID numbers start with the letter N.

  • On the Form I-20, the number is on the top right hand side of the first page under the words Student’s Copy and above the barcode.
  • On the DS-2019, the number is on the top right hand side of the page in the box above the barcode.

How do I find the date of issuance on my Form I-20 or DS-2019?

The date of issuance is in block 10 on the Form I-20. It is in block 7 on the Form DS-2019. If your school or exchange visitor program sponsor gives you an updated or corrected Form I-20 or DS-2019, this date may change. You may also request that your DSO or RO annotate the remarks of your updated or corrected form with Updated/Corrected – Originally Issued on [give date].

Questions about payments

What is a payment coupon?

Payment coupons are generated when you fill in your Form I-901 online and choose to pay by check or money order. You should print it out and mail the coupon in with your payment. You will not need to fill in a paper Form I-901 as well. When your payment is received at SEVP, the coupon will be used to match your payment to the information you entered online.

What are the requirements for paying by check or money order?

Your check or money order must be an international money order or a foreign draft drawn on a financial institution in the United States and payable in United States currency. Checks must be from one of the following:

  • Banks chartered or operated in the United States
  • Foreign subsidiaries of United States banks
  • Foreign banks that have an arrangement with a United States bank to issue a check, money order or foreign draft that is drawn on a United States bank.

Make checks and money orders payable to I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee.

How do I pay by check?

Your check needs to be a draft drawn on a financial institution in the United States and payable in United States currency. Make it payable to I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee. You must provide SEVP with Form I-901 information. There are two options for doing this:

  • Fill in your Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com, choose the option to pay by check or money order and print a payment coupon
  • Complete a paper Form I-901

See the Payment Overview and the Payment Checklist for more information.

Can I pay online with a check using ACH (Automated Clearing House)?

No, ACH payments are not available for individuals.

Certain exchange visitor program sponsors may be authorized to make bulk payments for exchange visitors participating in their program using ACH. See the section on bulk filers for more information. Your program should notify you if they make the payment for you. Contact your exchange visitor program if you have questions.

Can I pay with traveler’s check?

No. See the section on Payment Options for authorized payment methods.

Can I use a third party check for payment?

No. A third party check is one that is made out to you and that you endorse. Payments for the SEVIS I-901 fee must be made payable directly to I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee. You can, however, have any person or organization use a check or money order to pay the fee on your behalf.

For more information, see the section on payment by check or money order.

Can I send the Form I-901 and payment by courier?

Yes. The correct address for courier payments is:

I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States
Phone Number: 1-314-425-1809 (United States Country Code 011)

What credit and debit cards are accepted?

SEVP accepts payment by:

  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit cards
  • Debit cards (also known as check cards) that have the Visa or MasterCard logo

Credit or debit cards can only be used when paying the SEVIS I-901 fee and completing the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com.

How do I pay by credit or debit card?

The only option for paying by credit or debit card is when you fill in the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com. When you have filled in the online form, you will be asked if you want to pay by credit or debit card or by check or money order. Choose the credit card option. See the section on credit/debit cards for more information. See the Payment Overview for more details on the payment process.

Can I pay with a debit card?

Yes, if it is a debit card (also known as a check card) that has the Visa or MasterCard logo.

Can I pay with a credit or debit card when I mail in a payment?

No. Credit or debit cards can only be used to make online payments when submitting the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com.

What would cause my mailed payment to be rejected and returned?

We make every effort to use the information you provide to match your payment to the correct SEVIS record. You can help by filling out the Form I-901 carefully. See the Payment Checklist for details.

However, if the information on your Form I-901 is incorrect or illegible, we cannot process it. If there is a usable return address on the form, check or envelope, we will return your form and payment with an explanation of the problem(s).

Your Form I-901 or payment coupon could also be rejected because of other payment issues. The most common rejection reasons include:

  • No check or money order included
  • The payment is the wrong amount -- we cannot accept overpayments or underpayments
  • The payment is not an international money order or a check drawn on a United States financial institution and payable in United States funds (see the section on payment by check or money order for more information)

If your payment is rejected, make the corrections and resubmit your Form I-901/ payment coupon and payment.

What if SEVP says that my payment was returned, but I do not receive it?

SEVP makes every effort to return payments that are not acceptable. However, SEVP is not responsible for any items lost in transit or that cannot be delivered because of an inaccurate or incomplete address.

Can I pay with cash?

No. Do not send cash. If you do, your payment will be returned. However, SEVP is not responsible for returned payments that are lost in transit. See the Payment Overview for more information.

What currency can be used to pay SEVIS I-901 fee?

Currency or cash cannot be used to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. See the Payment Overview for more information.

How can I pay if I do not have access to a computer or credit or debit card?

You have three choices. You can:

  • Use the mail or a courier service to send a check or money order to SEVP (see the Payment Overview for more information)
  • Ask a third party – a friend, relative, charitable organization, etc – to help pay the fee
  • Visit a Western Union Quick Pay location

Can someone else pay for me?

Yes. Any person or organization can fill-in your Form I-901 and pay your SEVIS I-901 fee. If a third party other than your school or exchange visitor program files the Form I-901, be sure to provide them with the information from your Form I-20 or DS-2019 so they can complete the Form I-901 accurately.

How do I make a third party payment if I am paying the SEVIS I-901 fee on the behalf of a student or exchange visitor?

Payment by credit or debit card

You need to have the student or exchange visitor provide you with the following information exactly as it appears on the Form I-20 or DS-2019 from their selected school or exchange visitor program:

  • Name (last, middle, first)
  • SEVIS ID number
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Country of birth
  • City of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • School code if a student
  • If an exchange visitor
    • Exchange visitor program number
    • Exchange visitor category
  • Passport number (optional)

You can fill in the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com.

Payment by check or money order

SEVP will need the Form I-901 information and the payment. There are two options for providing the Form I-901 information:

  • You or the student/exchange visitor can fill in the Form I-901 information online at www.fmjfee.com and print a payment coupon (see the section above for details on filling in the form online)
  • You can fill in a paper Form I-901.

Mail the form or the coupon in with your payment. See the Payment Overview for more information.

What are the options and processes for paying and filing for more than one person?

Any individual or organization may pay the fee for multiple people. If filing online, each Form I-901 must be filled in individually. If payment is by credit or debit card, then a separate payment must be made for each.

If you choose to pay the fee for a group with a single check, be absolutely certain that the Form I-901 information is correct and that your check is for the correct amount. If we have to reject one form for incomplete or incorrect information and there is a single check for the entire group, we will have to return all the forms and the check. We only accept exact payments. Up to eight SEVIS I-901 fee payments can be included on a single check.

If you do pay for a group using one check, we recommend that you calculate the fee very carefully. You may wish to file online because this will help prevent data entry errors.

You may choose to bundle separate forms and payments in one envelope. If so, please be sure you staple the check or money order to the appropriate Form(s) I-901.

Some exchange visitor program sponsors may be authorized to use bulk filing to pay for groups of exchange visitors. See the information on bulk filing for more information.

Bulk Filer

What is a bulk filer?

Bulk filers are exchange visitor program sponsors that have worked with SEVP to institute a batch process for filing Forms I-901 and paying the fee with an ACH transaction.

What organizations can apply for the bulk filing program?

Currently the bulk filer capability can only support exchange visitor program sponsors. See the Fact Sheet for bulk filers for more information.

How does my organization express an interest in bulk filing?

Any organization interested in bulk filing should contact Edina Delic at US Bank via phone at 314-425-1820 to express your interest and give a point of contact. We will contact your organization directly.

Do bulk filers have to pay the fee for all applicants?

No. Bulk filers may pay the fee for whichever applicants they wish – all exchange visitors in a program or only selected exchange visitors.

If a bulk filer pays a fee for an applicant and the person participates in a different program, can the bulk filer receive a refund?

No, bulk filer payments are non-refundable.

Privacy and accessibility questions

How is the privacy of my credit or debit card payment information protected?

Payment is through a secure site specifically for credit or debit card payments. Your card information is used only to process the payment request with your bank. The United States government does not maintain your credit or debit card information – only a confirmation indicating the transaction was successful.

Is the information that I submit shared with advertisers?

No. The data collected through the SEVIS I-901 fee system is used only for DHS purposes.

Is the I-901 website accessible to people with disabilities?

Yes. The fee payment website meets the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which defines standards for making websites accessible to the disabled.

With this new SEVIS I-901 fee, there may be scam artists who set up web sites claiming to be authentic. How do I know I am on the right web site and paying the right person?

The website to file and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee is www.fmjfee.com. You should see this URL displayed in the top line of your browser. This will let you know you are on the correct web site.

We will never send you e-mail requesting any banking or credit or debit card information.

If you suspect fraud, please send a letter or email to SEVP with Suspected Fraud in the subject line.

Technical problems while paying on the Internet

Can I fill in the Form I-901 online and pay by check if I do not have a printer?

No, you must be able to print out the coupon and send it with your check or money order.

What can I do if I try to get to the SEVP I-901 site and I receive "Page Cannot Be Displayed" error?

This is a problem when you have an older version of Internet Explorer. You have two options: go the Microsoft support website or contact the Microsoft hotline for directions on how to correct the problem.

Microsoft Support Website

Go to www.support.microsoft.com. Type Q305217 in the search bar in the upper left hand corner. The search will return with one article listed - click the link and you will be directed to an article entitled Page Cannot Be Displayed Error During SSL 3.0 Server Session Timeout.

This page provides additional information on how to correct the problem.

Microsoft Hotline

You can call the Microsoft Product Support and Services hotline at (800) 936-4900.

  • From the main menu, select Option 3 - If you are calling for a Hot Fix, press 3.
  • When the Microsoft tech picks up, tell them the following:
    • Quote Q305217 as the document identifier describing the problem being experienced.
    • Confirm to the tech that this is the problem you are having.
  • The tech will assist you with the appropriate solution.
  • The tech will give you a case number starting with the letters SRX that can be used to reference your case should you need to call back.

Why does the I-901 website page begin to appear and then stop halfway through?

This is most likely due to a slow Internet connection. Try using the Refresh or Reload button on your browser.

The browser indicates that I do not have strong enough browser security to view the page. How can I pay the I-901 fee online?

All data entered into the SEVP web site and sent through the Internet is protected using 128-bit encryption and SSL version 3.0. The browsers supported are IE 5.0 or above and Netscape 4.5 and above with 128-bit encryption. Please verify the version and browser encryption strength you are using.

  • For Internet Explorer: Click Help on the top menu bar and then click About Internet Explorer. This will show the version and Cipher (encryption) strength.
  • For Netscape Navigator: Click Help on the top menu bar and then click About Navigator. This will show the version at the top of the page and encryption software supported at the bottom left hand side of the page.
    • Access the encryption and SSL versions supported by clicking on the Security button and then the Navigator selection.
    • Click Enable SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) v3 - Configure SSL v3 to enable 128-bit encryption.

When I type my information into the I-901 form and click Submit, the browser hangs and does not return another screen. Has my information been submitted?

You can call Customer Service at 1-212-620-3418 and the operator will be able to verify whether or not your information was submitted.

I clicked Submit on the screen but ended up on a page showing I-901 Instructions. What happened?

This occurs when your session exceeds the time limit for completing an I-901 payment. You need to re-enter your information in order to complete the transaction.

What browser do I need to access the website? What if my browser is not the right version?

Any browser that supports the required security -- that can establish an SSLv3 128-bit Secure Socket Layer session with our server – can be used.

This includes:

  • Netscape Navigator 7.1 and higher
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher running on a Microsoft Windows operating system
  • Safari 1.2.1 and higher running on an Apple Mac OS X operating system
  • Mozilla 1.6 and higher running on either a Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X operating system

If you do not have one of the browser versions listed above, you can download one from the website of manufacturer.

What are some tips for fee payment?

How do I avoid problems paying the fee?

What is the fastest way to pay the fee?

The fastest way to pay the fee is to file your Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com, pay by credit or debit card and print a receipt. Allow three working days for the information to be posted to SEVIS and the Department of State consular information system.

What if I have a problem with making a payment?

The SEVP website at www.ice.gov/sevis has a complete set of questions and answers for the most common problems. You may also call customer service at 1-212-620-3418 to address specific questions or issues with a particular payment. See the section on sources of help for more detailed information.

What if I complete the online Form I-901 and then do not select a payment method?

If you do not complete the payment process and receive a control number (coupon payment) or a confirmation number (credit or debit card payment), your online Form I-901 is not saved. You will need to start the process over and choose a payment method.

What if I realize I made a mistake on my Form I-901 after I filed it on the web or mailed it to SEVP?

The answer to this question depends on the error. SEVP processes the payments the day they are received, so it is likely that we have already processed your form or returned your Form I-901 and payment.

The following is a list of common errors and the suggested remedy.

Common Errors
ErrorSuggested Remedy
I paid on the wrong Form I-20 or DS-2019If the fee is the same, do not repay the fee. Keep the receipt and both forms to document the action.

See the process for reassigning a SEVIS I-901 fee from one SEVIS ID number to another.
I sent a check or money order for the wrong amount of money or did not send a checkResubmit the Form I-901 and a new payment. Your original payment will be returned, as SEVP cannot process underpayments or overpayments.
I spelled my name incorrectlyCall 703-603-3400

OR

Send an e-mail to fmjfee.SEVIS@ice.DHS.gov with Name Correction in the subject line

OR

Mail a letter to:

SEVP
ATTN: STUDENT AND EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM (SEVP)
US IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENTSEVIS I-901 FEE CRU
500 12th Street SW Stop 5600
Washington, DC 20536-5600


Explain the problem and give your name, date of birth, SEVIS ID number and the correct address for the receipt.

What if I pay too much?

We cannot accept overpayments. We do not have a process for accepting part of a payment and returning the remainder. Your Form I-901 and payment will be returned and you will need to file again. Be sure you send a payment for the exact amount.

What if I pay too little?

We cannot accept underpayments. We do not have a process for accepting part of a payment and debiting you for the remainder. Your Form I-901 and payment will be returned and you will need to file again. Be sure you send a payment for the exact amount.

What if my school/sponsor pays for me and I want to change schools/programs?

You may do this if the SEVIS I-901 fee paid on your behalf is greater than or equal to the fee for the new school or program. For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee? For your visa interview or, if visa exempt, your entry into the United States, you will need to bring:

  • Your receipt
  • The Forms I-20 or DS-2019 for the school or program that paid for you
  • The Form I-20 or DS-2019 for the school or program you will attend

Once you enter the United States, you will need to request that SEVP transfer your fee payment information.

Are more payment options being considered?

Yes. SEVP is working on a number of additional payment alternatives. None are currently available. If you have specific suggestions or input, please mail or e-mail them to SEVP with Fee Payment Alternatives in the subject line:

By Mail

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

E-mail:

You will get a standard reply acknowledging your input but not a personalized response. However, your response will be sent to the team working on alternative arrangements.

New payment methods will be announced, as they are made available.

 
Receipt and payment verification related questions

Why do I need a receipt?

The federal statute relating to SEVIS, (8 USC §1372 (e)(5), requires that a student or exchange visitor present proof of payment before being granted a visa or admission.

The SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt, along with the electronic record in SEVIS and the I-901 payment system, serve as proof of payment. In most cases, people who need to verify that you have paid can do so electronically.

However, SEVP recommends that you retain a copy of your receipt. Having the receipt will make it easier to prove you have paid. There are cases where your current SEVIS ID number may be different from the number you paid on.

The receipt is also useful when you go to a visa interview or, if you are visa-exempt, apply for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1 status at the POE. The receipt is also your assurance that your payment and fee information were properly processed and posted. All SEVIS I-901 payment confirmation receipts can be printed at www.fmjfee.com.

What do I need to take to the embassy or consulate to prove I paid my SEVIS I-901 fee?

We highly recommend bringing your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt. While the embassy or consulate should be able to electronically verify your payment, having the receipt on hand proves that the payment was processed correctly and speeds the verification process.

If you paid the SEVIS I-901 fee using a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from a different school or exchange visitor program than the one you will attend, bring the Form I-20 or DS-2019 you used when paying the fee, in addition to the form for the school or program you will actually be attending. If there is no fee differential, the SEVIS I-901 fee you paid will be accepted. See the Fee Amount Chart for information on the amount of the fees.

When do I need a receipt?

Only those who are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee will need a receipt. See the section, Do I pay the fee?, to determine if you need to pay the fee.

If you are required to pay the fee, you need to do so before your visa interview or filing an application for reinstatement, change of status, etc.

Keep your receipts along with other records pertaining to your nonimmigrant status. It will help to have a copy when:

  • Applying for subsequent visas while continuing at the same school or exchange visitor program
  • Applying for any work-related benefits
  • Entering the United States
  • Filing a petition or application with CIS

For more information, see the section explaining why you need a receipt.

How long will it take for me to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and get a receipt?

The length of time it takes to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and get a receipt depends on how long it takes for:

  • You to get your Form I-901 information and payment to SEVP
  • SEVP to process the payment

There are four ways to get the Form I-901 information to SEVP: the Internet, the mail,courier, or Western Union Quick Pay.

  • The Internet is fastest. It also speeds the processing step because the online form uses data validation rules to minimize the chances for error. If you file your Form I-901 online and pay with a credit or debit card, you can print a receipt immediately.
  • Mail service varies throughout the world, we suggest allowing at least 2 weeks for delivery of your Form I-901 and payment.
  • Courier services offer expedited delivery, but generally cost more than using the mail.

Much of the time involved depends on the mail. If you use regular mail, we suggest allowing at least two weeks for your payment to reach SEVP If courier service is available, you can decrease this time by sending your payment by courier. Forms and payments received by 10 am are processed that day. Those received after 10 am are processed the following business day. In general, payment information is posted to the SEVIS and State Department systems within three working days. Once your payment is processed you will be able to print your payment confirmation receipt by going to www.fmjfee.com and selecting Check I-901 Status/ Print Payment Confirmation.

However, there are some issues that can delay processing or cause SEVP to return your payment. See the section, How do I avoid problems paying the fee? , for tips on how to avoid payment and processing delays.

SEVP provides a printed receipt for every payment available on www.fmjfee.com, regardless of how the payment is made. If you file on the Internet and pay by credit or debit card, you will also be able to print a receipt immediately.

How do I ensure the payment is made in time for me to go to the visa interview at the consulate?

You are allowed to make an appointment for an interview before you have a receipt for your SEVIS I-901 fee payment. However, you need to ensure that there is a record of your payment before you go to your interview. There are two types of records for fee payments: electronic and paper. The electronic records are kept in three systems: SEVIS I-901 fee Payment System, SEVIS and the DOS consular database.

A printed copy of your receipt offers you the best assurance that an electronic record of your payment exists. We recommend bringing a printed receipt to your interview. A customer service representative (703-603-3400) can check the electronic records and verify that your payment has been posted. However, SEVP asks that you allow at least two weeks if you mail in your payment and at least one week if you send your application by courier, before checking on the status of your payment.

Does the time from payment to receipt vary according to how the payment is made?

Yes. See the section on how long it takes to get a receipt for more information.

What is the fastest way to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?

Using the Internet to fill in the Form I-901 at www.fmjfee.com and paying by credit card is the fastest way to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. You can print a receipt immediately.

Does it take longer to get a receipt if I pay by check instead of by credit or debit card?

Yes. Because credit or debit card payments are made in conjunction with online filing, you can print a receipt immediately. With payment by check or money order, you must allow for the time needed to mail the payment and receive the receipt by return mail mail the payment and processing time. Once the payment is complete you will be able to print your payment confirmation from www.fmjfee.com.

What if I need another copy of my receipt?

You can print your receipt as many times as needed by going to www.fmjfee.com and selecting Check I-901 Status/ Print Payment Confirmation.

Can I reprint my electronic receipt?

Yes, the SEVIS I-901 Payment Confirmation can be printed as many times as needed no matter the payment method.

Will I get a receipt if my exchange visitor program sponsor pays for me?

Yes, once your payment is complete you can go to www.fmjfee.com and select Check I-901 Status/ Print Payment Confirmaiton  to print your I-901 fee receipt.

Can receipts be e-mailed or faxed?

No. We do not e-mail or fax receipts.

What happens if my receipt does not arrive and I need it for my visa interview or to enter the United States?

If your payment was not received, it could be that it was delayed in transit. In this case, you may wish to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online at www.fmjfee.com, pay by credit or debit card and print a receipt for immediate use. If both payments are processed, you can apply to have one refunded.

When can I go to the consulate?

Most consulates require appointments for visa interviews. You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before appearing for your interview. However, you can make an appointment for an interview before you receive your receipt. Be sure to allow sufficient time for the fee payment to be processed before your interview date.

When can I file my application for change of status?

You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before filing your application for change of status. While CIS will be able to electronically verify your payment, we recommend that you send a copy of the receipt for your SEVIS I-901 fee payment with your application. Therefore, it is best to file your application for change of status after you have a SEVIS I-901 fee printed receipt.

When can I file my reinstatement?

See the section, Do I pay the fee?, to determine if you need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. If you do, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before filing your application. Due to the time constraints for filing, SEVP recommends that you pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online at www.fmjfee.com, pay with a credit or debit card and print a receipt immediately. You may wish to send a copy of your printed receipt with your application.

If I have presented the SEVIS I-901 fee receipt when I apply for my visa, do I need to present the receipt at the POE?

In most cases, if you have a visa, you will not be asked to show your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt at the POE. However, we recommend that you hand carry your receipt in case the inspector has questions.

Payment/Receipt Problems

What happens if my check does not clear the bank?

If your check does not clear the bank, the check will be sent to the DHS Debt Management Center. The Debt Management Center will send you (or the person who wrote the check) instructions for clearing the debt. There will be a penalty charge of $30.

Do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again. Clear your debt through the Debt Management Center. Their phone number is (802) 288-7600. You will be allowed to go to your visa interview or, if visa exempt, apply for entry at the POE before clearing your debt.

While nonpayment of the SEVIS I-901 fee is not a basis for removal in itself, you may be denied benefits later that are needed to maintain status, such as an extension, and then you may be subject to removal.

Call the Customer Service hotline for assistance or send an e-mail or letter with Returned Payment in the subject line if you need additional assistance. See the section on sources of help for the phone number and addresses.

What do I do if my payment and Form I-901 are returned to me?

If your payment and Form I-901 are returned, make the corrections noted. Send in a corrected Form I-901 with the appropriate fee.

Retaining the Receipt

Will I need my SEVIS I-901 fee receipt after I have my visa?

Yes. You may need the receipt to show that you paid the fee.

How long should I keep my SEVIS I-901 fee receipt?

Keep your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt until you complete your exchange visitor program (J-1) or receive your final degree (F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3).

Will the consulate keep my receipt?

No. Your receipt will be used only to verify SEVIS I-901 fee payment.

 
How are refunds requested and processed?

Who is eligible for a refund?

This chart has the most common refund scenarios. If your situation is not listed, you may submit a refund request with a full explanation of your situation and SEVP will make a case-by-case determination of whether or not to refund the fee.

Refund Eligibility

Refund Eligibility
Am I eligible for a refund if:Refund given
I decided not to come to the United States?No
My visa or application was denied?No
I was denied entry to the United States?No
I paid for expedited delivery that was not available?Yes, for the delivery fee only.
I, or someone else, paid more than once for the same student or exchange visitor when only one fee was due?Yes, for the most recent duplicate payment - so long as the refund request is received by SEVP within 90 days from the payment eligible for a refund.
I paid in error a SEVIS I-901 fee and a fee was not required in my situation?Yes, if the refund request is received by SEVP within 90 days from the most recent payment that is eligible for a refund.
I withdrew my application for change of status or reinstatement?No
The refund amount is less than $30?No
My institution paid the fee for an applicant who went elsewhere?No
I paid too much?No. SEVP rejects overpayments and returns them immediately so there is no need for a refund.
I paid for expedited delivery on a duplicate payment?No
Someone used my credit or debit card or checking account fraudulently?Yes

Who can request a refund?

Only the student or exchange visitor who paid the fee or for whom the fee was paid can request a refund except in cases of suspected fraud. If the payment was made by check or credit or debit card, the refund will be paid to the person or institution who made the payment. Fees paid by money order will be refunded to the student or exchange visitor. All refund requests must be received within 90 days from the payment eligible for a refund. No requests for a refund will be considered if received after 90 days from the payment date.

How do I request a refund?

Mail or e-mail your refund request to SEVP. The e-mail address is fmjfee.SEVIS@ice.DHS.gov. The mailing address is:

SEVIS I-901 Fee Refunds
STUDENT AND EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM (SEVP)
US IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENTSEVIS I-901 FEE CRU
12th Street SW Stop 5600
Washington, DC 20536-5600

Your request must include:

  • SEVIS I-901 Fee Refund in the subject line if you are using e-mail
  • Your name and SEVIS ID number as it appears on your receipt(s)
  • The reason for the refund (see the Refund Chart)
  • A mailing address, phone number or e-mail address where you can be contacted if more information is required
  • If you are requesting a refund because the SEVIS I-901 fee was paid more than once, indicate which payment should be refunded.
  • If you are requesting a refund due to fraudulent use of your credit or debit card or checking account, describe the circumstances and provide as much information as possible. Include the correspondence with your bank and any policy reports that you filed.

Can I get a refund if I paid twice?

Yes, unless you are obligated to pay more than one SEVIS I-901 fee (see Who Pays the Fee?). However, you will not receive a refund for any expedited delivery charges where the delivery was sent.

Can I get a refund if I paid by mistake?

You may get a refund if:

  • You mistakenly paid more than once
  • You do not owe the fee because you are participating in a fee exempt exchange visitor program

However, if you paid the SEVIS I-901 fee and then decided not to apply for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3 or J-1 status, you will not get a refund.

If you sent in a payment for the SEVIS I-901 fee, but did not attach a Form I-901 or do not have a Form I-20 or DS-2019; SEVP will return your payment. So there will be no need to apply for a refund in these cases.

Can I get a refund if I changed my mind?

No. You should not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if you have not made the decision to come to the United States as a student or exchange program visitor. If you pay for one educational or exchange visitor program and decide to participate in a different program, you may not need to pay a second fee. For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?

What if two schools or sponsors pay for me? Can I get one fee refunded?

If more than one party pays your SEVIS I-901 fee and only one fee is owed, you can get the excess fees refunded.

Where are refunds sent?

Where the refund is sent depends on who paid the fee. If a third party used a check, credit or debit card to pay the fee, the refund goes to the third party. Otherwise, the refund is sent to the student or exchange visitor’s home address as reported in SEVIS.

Payments made by check or money order will be refunded by a DHS check. Payments by credit or debit card will be in the form of a credit to the account.

If my institution paid the SEVIS I-901 fee for a student or exchange visitor who decides not to come or who enrolls in a different school or program, can my institution request a refund?

No. Third party payments are made on the behalf of the student or exchange visitor. Only the student or exchange visitor can request a refund.

While SEVP will make refunds when a SEVIS I-901 fee is paid twice, only the student or exchange visitor may request a refund. However, if the student or exchange visitor does request a refund and your institution paid the fee, the refund will be sent to your institution, not to the student or exchange visitor.

SEVP will not refund the SEVIS I-901 fee in cases where a student or exchange visitor decides not to come to the United States or is denied a visa.

 
How can SEVIS I-901 fee paid on one SEVIS ID be moved to another SEVIS ID?

What are the basic rules for applying a SEVIS I-901 fee payment from one SEVIS ID number to another?

The basic rules for moving a SEVIS I-901 fee payment between SEVIS ID numbers are:

  • The SEVIS I-901 fee must be moved between SEVIS ID numbers for the same individual
  • An additional SEVIS I-901 fee is not required (For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?)
  • The SEVIS I-901 fee amount for the new school or program must be less than or equal to the SEVIS I-901 fee already paid (see the Fee Amount Chart)
  • Only the student or exchange visitor may request the move

Follow the directions for requesting that SEVP move your fee payment.

What do I do if I paid on one SEVIS ID number and now want to go to a different school or participate in a different exchange visitor program?

If you have not received a visa or if you are visa exempt and have not applied for nonimmigrant status at the POE, you can apply the SEVIS I-901 fee that you already paid to another Form I-20 or DS-2019 if you meet the basic rules for reapplying fees.

Follow the directions for requesting that SEVP move your fee payment.

An exchange visitor program sponsor or other third party paid my SEVIS I-901 fee and now I want to participate in a different program? Can I transfer my SEVIS I-901 fee?

Yes, you may transfer the fee if you have not received a visa or if you are visa exempt and have not applied for nonimmigrant status at the POE and you meet the basic rules for transferring fees. Follow the directions for requesting that SEVP move your fee payment information.

How do I ask SEVP to transfer the SEVIS I-901 fee payment information from one SEVIS ID number to another?

If you want to transfer the SEVIS I-901 fee payment information from one SEVIS ID number to another, you need to mail or e-mail SEVP. SEVP will consider your request and determine if the fee can be transferred. See the section on the basic rules for transferring fees.

Put Fee Transfer in the subject line of your request. Give us your name, date of birth, the SEVIS ID number that you originally paid on and the SEVIS ID number you want to transfer the payment to, as well as a current, valid address Explain why the fee needs to be transferred. It will help speed your request if you include a copy of your receipt number. Include information on how to contact you if there are any questions.

SEVP will review your request and determine if the fee can be transferred. If your request is approved, you will receive an email or letter indicating that you can now print your updated I-901 payment confirmation at www.fmjfee.com reflecting the SEVIS ID from your new Form I-20 or DS-2019.

When you apply for any benefit where the SEVIS I-901 fee will be verified, you will need to provide a copy of the updated I-901 fee receipt.

 
How do I get help with SEVIS I-901 fee issues?

Where can I get help if I am having a problem with the SEVIS I-901 fee payment process?

There are four major sources of help with fee payment issues.

Sources of Help With Fee Payment Issues
Source of AssistanceType of Assistance Available
SEVP Website: www.ice.gov/sevis/i901
Available anytime
Fact sheets and FAQ section for fee payment issues
Downloadable PDF version of Form I-901
Customer Service Hotline: 1 (703) 603-3400
Available from 7:30 am to 5 pm Central time (GMT – 6) Monday - Friday
General questions about fee payment issues
Questions about a specific Form I-901 and the status of the payment
Your school or exchange visitor program sponsor General fee payment questions
Questions about your specific program
Questions about whether or not a fee charged by a school or exchange visitor program sponsor is the official SEVIS I-901 fee
Your school or sponsor may have other resources
Email to fmjfee.SEVIS@ice.DHS.gov
OR
Mail to:
SEVP
ATTN: SEVIS I-901 fee CRU
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security
500 12th Street SW Stop 5600
Washington, DC 20536-5600

Phone: 703-603-3400
Use this only when you have a question that cannot be answered by checking the website or calling the Customer Service Hotline
All questions will be answered as quickly as possible
You can expedite the processing of your answer by clearly indicating the subject of your question so your query can be routed to the appropriate person

Can I get help with a specific payment problem?

Yes. See the sources of help chart. It explains the different ways to get help. In most cases, the best way to get help with a specific problem is to call the Student Response Center at 1-703-603-3400.

Is help available in languages other than English?

The customer service hotline hotline 1-212-620-3418 has both Spanish and English speaking operators. Help in other languages is not currently available.

What if I need help with the initial SEVIS I-901 fee payment and filing process?

The SEVP website at www.ice.gov/sevis/i901 has extensive help available. You can also call the Student Response Center at 1-703-603-3400. If you have questions pertaining to your specific school or exchange visitor program, contact the person listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019.

What if I need help with verifying the status of my SEVIS I-901 fee payment?

You can call Student Response Center at 1-703-603-3400 for help verifying the status of your SEVIS I-901 fee payment. If you cannot call, you can mail or e-mail your questions to SEVP. Be sure you put SEVIS Fee Status in the subject line. See the section on sources of help for the customer service phone number and the addresses for SEVP.

What if I need help determining if I am required to pay the fee?

See the section, Do I pay the fee? If you have additional questions, contact the person listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019.

 
How are fee payment problems resolved?

What if I cannot make a full payment?

SEVP cannot accept partial payments of the SEVIS I-901 fee. A third party can pay on your behalf.

How will I know if my payment or Form I-901 is not accepted?

If your SEVIS I-901 fee payment or Form I-901 is rejected, SEVP will send you a notice explaining the reasons for the rejection. See the section on what to do if your payment or form was returned for information on how to resolve the problem.

What if my payment or Form I-901 was returned, should I repay?

If you receive a receipt returning your payment and Form I-901, you need to file a new Form I-901 and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again. Be sure to correct the errors noted on the return receipt. For more information, see the Payment Checklist.

If you did not get a notice rejecting your payment or Form I-901, but have reason to believe your payment was not processed, check with the Student Response Center at 1-703-603-3400 before you repay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Customer service will be able to tell you if your Form I-901 and fee payment were returned and the reasons why.

If your financial institution declines to honor your check (i.e. your check bounces), do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again. See the section on returned checks for the correct process to repay the fee.

What is the mechanism for resolving problem cases?

If you have problems, consult the SEVP website at www.ice.gov/sevis/i901 for information on ways to resolve common problems. You can also contact SEVP directly as explained in the section on sources of help.

What if I paid the SEVIS I-901 fee but SEVP does not have a record of the payment?

Be sure you have allowed sufficient time for the fee payment to reach SEVP. If SEVP rejects a payment you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the rejection. The Student Response Center at 1-703-603-3400 can also check the status of your payment.

If you still have an issue with the payment, you can ask SEVP to investigate. Write to SEVP via mail or e-mail. Put SEVIS I-901 fee Inquiry in the subject line. Give your name, SEVIS ID number and explain the circumstances. Include copies of any evidence of payment. SEVP will investigate and determine if the SEVIS I-901 fee is due and has been paid.

What if I paid a $35 fee and now I want to participate in an exchange visitor program that costs $180?

You will need to pay the $180 SEVIS I-901 fee. If you complete one exchange visitor program and then start another, you must pay a new SEVIS I-901 fee. If you pay the SEVIS I-901 fee for one exchange visitor program and then decide to participate in another program instead, you can transfer the fee only when the fee for the new program is less than or equal to the fee you already paid.

For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?, the Fee Amount Chart and the section on transferring fees.

How do I clear my debt if my check bounces or is rejected by my bank?

You will need to contact the DHS Debt Management Center to clear your debt. See the section on returned checks for the correct process.

What does a student or exchange visitor do if SEVIS shows that their payment status is Cancelled?

If your SEVIS record shows that your payment status is Cancelled, this means that your check was bounced or was rejected by your bank. See the section on returned checks for the correct process to repay the fee.