|Beginning September 1, 2004, a new United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule went into effect. This rule requires F-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee of $200 and J-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee of $180 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). The sections below are designed to help you understand more about this fee.
How do I pay the Fee?
To Pay Online
1. Find the Form I-901 at www.FMJfee.com. Fill it out according to our instructions below in the "How do I complete I-901?" section.
2. 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 I-20 form.
3. Print a copy of the online receipt.
4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents
To Pay By Mail
1. Obtain a Form I-901 “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants.”
Download the form from www.FMJfee.com and print it out. Fill it according to our instructions below in the "How do Icomplete I-901?" section.
Request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the US)
2. Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
3. Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on US banks only1) in the amount of $100 USD, made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security”
4. Mail the completed I-901 and payment to the address listed on Form I-901.
5. A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed within 3 days of processing the fee. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents.
How do I complete I-901?
Instructions on how to fill out the form:
Line 1: Should be filled out as exactly as Box 1 top line of I-20
Line 2: Should be filled out as exactly as Box 1 2nd line of I-20
Line 3: Self-explanatory
Line 4, 5,6,7,8: Address information where you want to receive your receipt.
Line 9: Date of birth as it appears on your I-20
Line 11: Self explanatory
Line 12: Copy from 3rd line Box 1 of I-20
Line 13: Copy from 4th line, Box 1 on your I-20
Line 14: First three digits are NYC then 214F and the remaining is:If you are coming to Rose-Hill Campus: 00708000; if you are coming to Lincoln Center Campus: 00708001.
Program Number for J-1 applicants: p100439
Line 15: SEVIS ID number from your I-20 or DS-2019.
Line 16: Passport number
Line 17: Check box A if you are going to be an F-1 student, box B if you will apply for one of the categories in J-1 status(Check your appropriate category from the list)
Line 18, 19: Self-explanatory
Click on the link to see a prefilled I-901 form with our instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions about the SEVIS Fee:
What is the SEVIS fee?
This SEVIS fee is required of all foreign nationals who come to the United States for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study in institutions such as colleges, universities, and language training programs. It is payable one time for each single educational program in which an F-1 or F-3 student participates, extending from the time the student is granted F-1 or F-3 status to the time the student falls out of status, changes status, or departs the U.S. for an extended period of time.
This fee is went into effect September 1, 2004. SEVIS fee payments will be used by the United States Department of Homeland Security to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. This program makes it possible for international students and exchange visitors to attend schools in the United States. The fee also funds the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a computer system employed to track international students and exchange visitors during their stays in the United States.
Who must pay the SEVIS fee and when?
You will need to pay the SEVIS fee if you were issued a Form I-20 on or after September 1, 2004 AND one of the following conditions applies:
1) You are seeking an F-1 or F-3 visa from a United States Embassy or consulate for first-time attendance as a student. In this case, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE visa issuance.
2) You hold a valid F-1 or F-3 visa, have been absent from the United Statesfor a period of more than 5 months (not working on your studies during this time with the prior approval of your school), and will re-enter the U.S.for a new program of study. In this case, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE re-entry to the U.S.
3) As a resident of a contiguous territory or adjacent island, you are exempt from the visa requirement (for example, you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda), and will apply for admission at port-of-entry to begin initial attendance at a U.S.school. In this case, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE entry to the U.S.
F-2 visa holders, the spouse and dependents of the F-1 visa holder, are not required to pay the SEVIS fee. See the section entitled “A Note About Processing Times” for further important fee payment considerations.
A Note About Processing Times and Payment Verification
If you pay the SEVIS fee by Internet, your payment is processed immediately and, at the time you make payment, you can print a receipt directly from your computer. This computer-generated receipt can be used to verify you have paid the fee at an embassy,consular post, or port-of-entry. Mailing the SEVIS fee does not constitute payment. The fee is processed when it is received by DHS. If you mail your payment rather than pay on the Internet, it can take a considerable amount of time for payment to be received and for you to receive a receipt by return mail.
Whether you choose to pay the fee by the Internet or by mail, a paper receipt will be mailed to the address you provide on Form I-901. You may choose to have this receipt sent to you either by regular mail or, at an additional charge, by express delivery.
A paper receipt is not required in order for you to be issued a visa or to be admitted at the port of entry. Embassies and consular posts will be able to verify your fee payment without a receipt in most circumstances if you pay the fee far enough in advance of your visa interview. Electronic payments must be submitted at least 3 business days in advance of the interview if you will rely on electronic fee verification at the consulate. Mailed payments must be sent in a manner that assures arrival at the DHS address listed on the I-901 at least 3 business days before the scheduled interview.
If I have already paid the SEVIS fee for one school, and then decide to attend another, do I have to pay the fee again?
If you have been accepted to more than one institution and paid the fee using the SEVIS ID number of an institution you will not be attending, you will not have to pay the fee again. Bring the I-20s of both the school for which you paid the fee and the school you will be attending, as well as your SEVIS fee payment receipt, to the consulate or port-of-entry (if you are applying for a visa, you should bring both of the I-20s back to the consulate)
Is the SEVIS fee refundable if I am denied a visa?
Once paid, the SEVIS fee is non-refundable, unless paid by mistake, even if your visa is denied or, subsequent to issuance of the visa, you choose not to come to the United States.
If you applied for an F-1 or F-3 visa and paid the SEVIS fee within the last year but were denied a visa, you do not have to pay the SEVIS fee again as long as you re-apply for the same kind of program with 12 months of the initial denial.