System (SEVIS) is a web-based system for maintaining information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States. SEVIS is administered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The mission of SEVIS is to balance Homeland Security with facilitating foreign student and exchange visitor participation in America's outstanding academic and cultural exchange programs.
Frequently Asked Questions About SEVIS
Read below for common questions are visit the I.C.E site for all questions regarding the SEVIS fee. SEVIS FEE FAQ
Q: Who pays the SEVIS
A: All F-1 students students who are applying for an "initial" I-20, a change of status application or who are filing for a reinstatement after being out of status more than five months.
Q: Will other F-1
students in the U.S. have to pay?
A: No, unless the
student’s circumstances change so that he or she fits one of the categories
Q: What about my F-2
A: F-2 dependents do
not have to pay the fee.
Q: Do I have to pay if
I transfer to another school, travel outside the U.S. or renew my visa?
A: The SEVIS fee is not
required when transferring schools, changing to another degree program or
level, requesting a program extension, renewing an F-1 visa or using F-1
program benefits such as practical training.
If you are in status when you travel internationally and are not
physically outside of the U.S. for more than five months, you will not be
required to pay the fee.
Q: When do I pay the
A: The fee must be paid
at least three business days prior to applying for your visa, or applying for
admission at a U.S. port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa
requirement. The fee must be paid prior
to submission of a change of status petition or reinstatement application.
Q: Can I pay the SEVIS
fee at a university, consulate or port of entry?
A: No. At this time the
SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail
or the Internet.
Q: How do I pay the
A: The fee can be paid
to the DHS by mail or online and must be accompanied by a Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party,
inside or outside the US.
You can pay the fee at www.FMJfee.com.
Complete the form
online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express
information. Be sure to write your name
exactly as it appears on your passport.
Print a copy of
the online receipt.
Be sure to make
copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration
Q: I applied to more
than one school, and have more than one I-20 form. What happens if I pay the SEVIS fee for one
school, and then I change my mind and decide that I want to attend the other
school? Is my paid SEVIS fee
A: Yes. But you must submit the I-20 form with the
SEVIS ID number that you listed on the I-901 form with you to the U.S.
consulate/embassy. For change of status
or reinstatement applications, please see next question.
Q: What if I'm exempt from visa requirements?
A: Students who are exempt from visa
requirements, such as Canadians, should take a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt to
present at the port of entry with the appropriate I-20. It will not be possible
to pay the fee at the port of entry.
Q: What if my F-1 visa
application is denied?
A: The SEVIS fee will
not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of
the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.