You must pay the SEVIS fee (also known as I-901 fee) in order to apply for your F-1 or J-1 visa. This fee was put into effect by the US Department of Homeland Security in September 2004 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). However, you should not think of the SEVIS fee as a ‘visa’ fee. The SEVIS fee is a fee for your F-1 or J-1 status.

Who pays the SEVIS fee?

Everyone who will be applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa for the first time MUST pay the SEVIS fee. You will need to pay this fee before attending your visa application interview. YOU MUST KEEP YOUR SEVIS/I-901 PAYMENT RECEIPT!

If you already have a valid F-1 or J-1 status, you do NOT need to pay a new SEVIS fee. Because your SEVIS fee is your purchase of an F-1/J-1 status, you would only need to pay another fee if you receive a new SEVIS ID, meaning that you received a new status.

How to pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Visit FMJfree
  • Select “Submit Form I-901 and Fee Payment”
  • Read the information on the next page and select “Form I-20” (for F-1) or “Form DS-2019” (for J-1)
  • Select “OK”
  • Enter your information as requested

Please review this tutorial for assistance.

Make sure you keep your proof of payment, such as the SEVIS fee receipt. You may need to show this proof at a later time.