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The SEVIS fee is required of all F-1 and J-1 nonimmigrants that come to the US for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at institutions such as colleges, universities, and language training programs, as well as, exchange programs. It is normally a one-time fee, with a few exceptions which are discussed below. SEVIS fee payments will be used by the United States Department of Homeland Security to fund the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is the immigration database used to process documents for international students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States, as well as to facilitate their travel abroad and visa applications.

Students and Scholars who do NOT need to pay the SEVIS Fee

  • Continuing F-1 and J-1 students with an I-20 or DS-2019 who are maintaining their nonimmigrant status, even when traveling abroad or applying for a visa renewal.
  • J-1 students participating in federally-sponsored exchange visitor programs whose program codes start with G-1, G-2 and G-3 (ie: Fulbright program).
  • F-1 and J-1 students transferring between universities or programs, changing degree levels or requesting a program extension.
  • F-2 and J-2 dependents of students and exchange visitors.

Paying the SEVIS Fee

The SEVIS fee can only be paid after obtaining an I-20 or DS-2019, in one of the following ways:


Pay with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). The student needs to fill out an electronic form I-901 and print out a receipt as a confirmation of payment. The information on Form I-901 has to match the I-10 or DS-2019 exactly. DHS will also mail the student a paper receipt. The online payment can be done here:

By mail

Pay with a check, money order, or foreign draft drawn on a US bank (made payable to Department of Homeland Security). Form I-901, which can be downloaded from, needs to accompany the payment which is mailed directly to DHS at:

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

The information on Form I-901 has to match the I- 20 or DS-2019 exactly. DHS will mail the student a paper receipt at the address on Form I-901. Receipts are mailed with regular mail or, at an additional charge, with express delivery.

Evidence of the SEVIS fee payment in the form of a receipt or a payment verification print-out must be presented during a visa application interview at a US embassy or consulate. It is also important to carry a copy of this receipt when traveling to the US.

Canadian citizens are not required to have visas, but are required to present the SEVIS fee payment receipt at a port of entry as they enter the United States. Please note that it is not possible to pay the SEVIS fee at the US port of entry. Canadians must pay the SEVIS fee prior to arriving at the port of entry. For more information about the SEVIS fee, please refer to the SEVIS website, or contact ISSS.