Prior to applying for your visa you must pay a $200 SEVIS fee (if F-1) or $180 SEVIS fee (if J-1) to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The SEVIS fee can be paid by credit card over the internet, by check, or by money order by mail. Please read all instructions fully before attempting to pay the fee. There are special instructions for students and scholars from Bermuda or Canada. If your visa has been denied, you do not need to pay the fee again if you re-apply for the same visa within 12 months of the denial.
You will be required to pay the SEVIS fee if:
You are seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for initial attendance at a university or initial participation in an exchange program. The fee must be paid before applying for the visa.
You will enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, but are not required to have a visa. The fee must be paid before you apply for admission to the U.S.
You are applying for a change of status to F-1 or J-1. The fee must be paid before you submit your change of status application.
The fee is NOT required:
For F-2 or J-2 dependents.
For J-1 participants in an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. federal government.
If your immigration status is F-1 or J-1 and you are transferring to another school, program, or program category.
If you are requesting an extension of your program or course of study.
If you paid the fee but your application for an F-1 or J-1 visa was denied and, within 12 months of the denial, you re-apply for the same status.
For a change of status application between F-1 and F-2.