The SEVIS fee is required all F-1 students. It is normally a one-time fee, however there are some exceptions. The SEVIS fee payments are used by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Information can be found on the ICE website: 

Who Pays the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

  • New F-1 students who are issued an “initial attendance” form I-20.
  • Students applying for a change of status to F-1 in the U.S. with an I-20 
  • Returning students who have been outside the U.S. for more than 5 months, were not enrolled in classes at a U.S. university on a full-time basis or were not pursuing and authorized study abroad that would continue their nonimmigrant status
  • F-1 students who have violated their status and are issued a new I-20 for the purpose of leaving and re-entering the U.S. to regain legal status
  • F-1 students who have violated their status and apply for reinstatement more than 5 months after the violation of status occurred 

Who Does Not Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

  • Continuing F-1 students with an I-20 who are maintaining their nonimmigrant status even when traveling abroad or applying for a visa renewal
  • F-1 students transferring between universities or programs, changing degree levels or requesting a program extension
  • F-2 dependents of students. 

When Should the SEVIS I-901 Fee Be Paid?

At least 3 business days prior to:

  • Applying for an initial F-1 visa at an embassy or consulate
  • Entering the U.S. for F-1 students exempt from the visa requirement (Canadian citizens)
  • Submitting an application to USCIS to change status to F-1 

How much is the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

  • The SEVIS fee is $200 USD.
  • This fee is separate from, and in addition to the visa application fee.


How is the SEVIS I-901 Fee Paid?

  • The SEVIS fee can only be paid after obtaining a form I-20.
  • The Fee may be paid on-line at with a credit card. If you do not have a credit card, the fee can be paid by Western Union.  For complete instructions for send Western Union, please visit their website at: The student needs to fill out an electronic form I-901 and print out a receipt as confirmation of payment. Once you have paid the SEVIS I-901 fee, the student MUST print the receipt. They will need the I-901 receipt in conjunction with other required materials for the US Embassy visa appointment.  
  • The information on Form I-901 has to match the I-20 exactly


Where and When to use the SEVIS I-901 Fee Receipt?

  • Present the SEVIS fee receipt at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with an F-1 visa application form and supporting documents. It is strongly recommended to have the paper receipt when applying for a visa, as well as, when entering the U.S.
  • Present the SEVIS fee receipt at the U.S. port of entry when entering the U.S. (if exempt from the visa requirement, i.e. Canadian citizens) or making a new entry to the U.S. to regain legal status
  • Include a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt with an application to DHS to change status to F-1 
  • Include a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt with an application to DHS for reinstatement to F-1 status (if it has been more than 5 months since the violation of status occurred)

How is the SEVIS I-901 Fee Paid?

If the SEVIS Fee is paid with another university’s form I-20, can it be transferred to another?
Yes, the SEVIS fee is transferable to another I-20. The student needs to bring both I-20s to the embassy or consulate when applying for the visa, as well as, the SEVIS I-901 receipt.

Is the SEVIS I-901 Fee Refundable?

No, the SEVIS fee cannot be refunded if the F-1 visa is denied, but it is valid for 12 months if the student chooses to make another visa application for the same type of program.