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SEVIS I-901 Fee

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee is a non-refundable fee mandated by Congress to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) office and the maintenance of the SEVIS database system that contains all records of individuals in F-1 student and J-1 exchange visitor status. This fee is separate from the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee that supports U.S. Consulates.

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 J-1 student participates, extending from the time the student is granted F-1 or J-1 status to the time the student falls out of status, changes status, or departs the U.S. for more than 5 months (exception: participation in authorized study or research abroad).

Information about the SEVIS I-901 fee including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and an online portal for filing the the SEVIS I-901 Form is online at: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.jsp. A few relevant sections from the FAQs appears below.

Do I Need to Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

What is the Cost of the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

Persons Cost
For F-1 Students $ 200
For J-1 Students $ 180
For Spouses and Dependent Children (F-2 or J-2) No Cost

There are no fee waivers available for the SEVIS I-901 fee.

How do I submit the Form I-901 and pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

You will need to fill in the Form I-901 with information from your Form I-20 or DS-2019 online and either submit the form electronically with the fee payment by credit or debit card (see exceptions below) or print the form and mail it in with the fee payment; the fee cannot be paid at a U.S. embassy or consulate and it cannot be paid at a port of entry.

If you pay by credit or debit card, you should print out a receipt if you need one immediately and cannot wait to receive a receipt through the mail.

If you are submitting your I-901 form and payment via the mail, be sure to mail it to the appropriate address based on how the documents will be (courier vs. standard mail) mailed as indicated online.

Information about payment options is available on the US Customs and Immigration website.

Exceptions to Credit/Debit Card Payments:
SEVP is currently unable to accept SEVIS I-901 fee payments by credit card on behalf of students from the following countries:

  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • Cameroon
  • Kenya

Additional information is available on the NAFSA website.

When should I pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee?

The SEVIS I-901 Fee should be paid after receiving your I-20 or DS-2019 from the school you plan to attend. Fee payment is made for a specific SEVIS ID number (starts with N and appears in the upper right-hand corner of your document). Be sure to use the SEVIS number contained on the I-20 or DS-2019 from the sponsor or school you will attend, not an I-20 or DS-2019 from a school you received a document from but do not plan to attend.

You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before applying for a visa, status at a POE, or filing for a change of status—see chart below.

Are you in the U.S.?

Do you need an F, M or J visa?

When to Pay the I-901 Fee



Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at least 3 business days before going to your visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

You can schedule an interview before you make the SEVIS I-901 fee payment but be sure to allow enough time for the payment to be received and verified.


No, I am from a country that does not require a visa

Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at least 3 business days before you appear at the U.S. port of entry. You will not be able to pay the fee at the port of entry  so be sure to allow enough time for the payment to be received and verified.



Pay the fee before you apply for a change of status or reinstatement (For more information, see the section, Do I pay the fee?, to determine if you must pay the fee)

What do I do if I have changed my mind about which school or program I will attend after paying the SEVIS I-901 fee?

You need to keep the copy of the Form I-20 or DS-2019 for the school or program you paid for.

If you have not entered the country, you will be able go to your visa interview or, if visa exempt, apply for student or exchange visitor status at the POE with:

  • The Form I-20 or DS-2019 you used to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee
  • Your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
  • The Form I-20 or DS-2019 for the program you now wish to attend

When you arrive in the United States, you need to request that SEVP transfer your fee payment information from the SEVIS ID number you paid on to the one for the school or program you are actually attending.

Additional SEVIS I-901 Fee Frequently Asked Questions