Everything You Must Know about a SEVIS Fee

21K School · Aug 10, 2023 · 3 min read

The SEVIS fee is the first step toward proceeding with the US Student visa application. International students keen on studying in the United States must apply for a US student visa, but before that, they must know about the SEVIS fee.


Student and Exchange Visitor Information System(SEVIS) is an online system that the DHS or the Department of Homeland Security in the US uses to maintain the data of exchange visitors, non-immigrant students, and their dependents. The SEVIS manages all crucial details, including an individual’s reason for travelling to the United States.

SEVIS tracks F-1 students right from the moment they receive their I-20 till the time they complete their study program in the US. The F-1 students are allotted a SEVIS number, and a SEVIS record is also created for them.

It is critical for the University you choose to study in the US to be registered with the DHS. And once you register for the same, your University in the US will give you admission and offer you a SEVIS number on the I-20.

Who Should Pay the SEVIS Fee?

You must pay the SEVIS fee in four circumstances:

  1. You want to apply for a new student visa to start an IUPUI program with an I-20.
  2. You want to file for reinstatement after remaining out of status for 5+ months while in the US.
  3. You want to apply for a change in status to F-1 from another non-immigrant status while in the US.
  4. You want to travel to the US in F-1 status with Canadian citizenship.

Who Need Not Pay the SEVIS Fee?

You need not pay the SEVIS fee if:

  1. You are an F-1 student dependent with F-2 status.
  2. You are legally an F-1 student transferring between different schools across the United States.

Details Required for the SEVIS Fee Payment

There are several details you must provide to pay the SEVIS fee. These include:

  1. Name, contact details, email address, and date of birth
  2. Nation of birth and the country you bear the citizenship of
  3. SEVIS Identification Number as available on Form I-20
  4. School Code as available on Form I-20 “Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status.”

What’s the Amount to be Paid as the SEVIS Fee?

The SEVIS fee amount is USD 350 for the F-1 students. This fee needs to be paid before starting the visa application procedure.

Steps to Follow for SEVIS Fee Payment

Remember, making the SEVIS fee payment is the visa application’s first step. Therefore, you need to hurry up with it. Pay the fee either through mail or online. But the latter is better as it does not take much time to transfer money globally. Follow the steps below for the SEVIS fee payment:

  • Log on to the fmfjee website.
  • Get to the option “Submit Form I-901 and Fee Payment”.
  • Go through all instructions carefully and choose the I-20 option.
  • Next, click OK.
  • Complete the Form with all the required details. Make sure they match your I-20. The details include address, personal information, and SEVIS Number as shared in your I-20.
  • Choose the type of delivery receipt you require. It can be either expedited or a standard delivery receipt.
  • Choose the preferred mode of payment, the best being online payment like a credit card. All F-1 students with the country of birth and citizenship of The Gambia, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria or Ghana should pay through cash; a certified check is drawn from any US Bank or Western Union Quick Pay.
  • Give all required payment details.
  • Make the SEVIS fee payment.

You will get the receipt instantly after the payment. Take a printout and keep the copy with other crucial immigration documents.

Once you have paid the SEVIS fee, get the DS-160 Form and start with visa application procedure.


  1. What is SEVIS meaning?

SEVIS is an online system that the DHS uses to safeguard and maintain the details of Exchange/International Students.

  1. What is the meaning of an F-1 Visa?

F-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa through which international students can travel to the United States to study at schools/colleges/universities certified by SEVP or Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

  1. Will I get back the SEVIS fee if my F-1 visa application is not approved?

No, there are no refunds of the SEVIS fee available. Nevertheless, you will have to make the fee payment again if you re-apply for a new F-1 visa within a year of denial.


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