SEVIS Fee Facts and Payment Instructions

The Department of Homeland Security collects a congressionally mandated fee from international students and scholars to cover the cost of the operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This fee is used to administer and maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), support compliance activities, and establish SEVIS Liaison Officers.

Below is a summary of SEVIS Fee information, but for more detailed information please visit and go to the section for "Students" to view the Form I-901 SEVIS Fee Tutorial.

Please note that in July 2015, SEVP updated the SEVIS Form I-901 to include a mandatory email address field that allows SEVP to send an instant email notification to the student or scholar when their SEVIS Fee payment status changes.

Who pays the fee?

  • Individuals who wish to enter the United States either as F-1 students or J-1 exchange visitors
  • Continuing F-1 students:
    • Filing an application for reinstatement
    • Applying for a new visa or returning to the United States after an absence of more than 5 months (not including study abroad)
  • Individuals filing an application for a change of status to an F, M, or J status
  • Continuing J-1 exchange visitors:
    • Filing an application for a reinstatement
    • Applying for a change of exchange visitor category unless the new exchange visitor category is fee exempt (federally sponsored programs with program codes that start with G-1, G-2, or G-3)

Who is exempt from the fee?

  • Continuing F-1 and J-1 students
  • J-1 visa holders who are participants of federally sponsored exchange visitor programs, which are designated by program codes beginning with G-1, G-2, or G-3
  • Spouses and dependent children (F-2, M-2) of students or exchange visitors (J-2)

When must the fee be paid?

  • The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to the visa interview date, entry date or change of status application to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS prior to the scheduled visa interview, entry to the U.S. or filing of change of status application. The immigration officer will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing SEVIS.
  • Applicants who require a visa to enter the United States must pay the SEVIS fee before going to the U.S. embassy or consulate for their visa interview. It is recommended that the fee be paid at least 3 business days before the embassy or consulate interview.
  • Applicants who are citizens of Canada, Bermuda, Bahamas and residents of certain other islands (see 8 CFR 212.1a) wishing to apply for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3, or J-1 status at a Port of Entry into the United States must pay and process the SEVIS fee BEFORE appearing at the Port of Entry. It is recommended that the fee be paid at least three business days before entering the port of entry.
  • Nonimmigrants currently in the United States who apply for student or exchange visitor status must pay the fee prior to filing their change of status application.

How much is the fee?

  • $200 for students (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3)
  • $0 for spouses and dependent children (F-2, M-2, or J-2) of students or exchange visitors
  • $180 For exchange visitors (J-1), unless participating in:
  • Federally sponsored exchange visitor program (program codes start with G-1, G-2, or G-3) (then, $0)

How is the fee paid?

You will need your SEVIS ID to complete the fee payment. The SEVIS fee is non-refundable.

  1. By Internet, you must go to to complete the online Form I-901 (Fee for Remittance for Certain F, M, and J Non-immigrants) and pay by credit card.
    1. Upon accessing the website, begin by clicking the "Submit Form I-901 and Fee Payment" button
    2. On the next page you must select either Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 depending on the visa status that you will hold and the form that you have been issued
    3. On the next page, "Applicant Validation" enter you name, SEVIS ID# and date of birth
    4. On the next page, complete the personal information. The Coe College "School Code" for F-1 students is OMA214F00135000. Your SEVIS Identification Number can be found in the upper left hand corner of your Form I-20. It begins with the letter "N" and contains 10 digits.
    5. On the next page, verify the information is correct
    6. On the next page, select your payment method
    7. PRINT AT LEAST TWO COPIES OF THE RECEIPT (you will need to show your SEVIS fee receipt in the future)
  2. By mail, you must download the form at or request the form by phone at 1-703-603-3400 (inside the U.S.) Complete the form I-901 and write your name exactly as it appears on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. Prepare a check or international money order (drawn on U.S. banks only) in the required amount in U.S. dollars made payable to the Department of Homeland Security. Mail the completed Form I-901 and the payment to the address listed on the form. A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed to you within 3 days of processing the fee. Make copies of the receipt.
  3. By Western Union Quick Pay Service, you can pay the SEVIS fee in local currency. You must complete and submit the Form I-901 at prior to visiting the Western Union Location.
    NOTE: At this time, students from Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Kenya and Cameroon are only able to pay the SEVIS Fee through money order, check, and Western Union Quick Pay.
  4. By a third party such as a school or sponsor.
  5. By selected sponsors of an exchange program by submitting a bulk or group payment.

How will the SEVIS fee payment be verified?
The payment will be recorded in the SEVIS system. However, it is recommended that the paper Form I-797 or the internet generated receipt be brought to the visa interview.

  • DHS will issue a receipt (Form I-797) for every payment received
  • Individuals who file electronically can print an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment
  • Individuals may request express mail delivery service for the Form I-797 receipt at an additional cost