Applying for a Visa and Payment of the SEVIS Fee

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires the collection of a SEVIS fee from certain J-1 exchange scholars and students. This fee is collected to fund operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which oversees SEVIS. This fee is not a university fee and provides no funds or services to the university. You can read more detailed information about this required fee at the website: I-901 SEVIS Fee FAQS.

A J-1 student or scholar who is subject to payment of the SEVIS fee must remit payment directly to DHS by completing Form I-901 electronically using the Internet or by mail. The SEVIS fee should be processed by DHS at least three (3) business days prior to the consular interview. Fees cannot be paid at the consulate.

Instructions to Exchange Visitor for Obtaining the J-1 Visa from Abroad:

  • Receive and review the DS-2019 form and all other paperwork received
  • Make visa appointment with the US Embassy/Consulate
  • Submit SEVIS fee payment in time to allow DHS to process payment at least 3 days prior to appointment
  • Print SEVIS fee payment receipt from Internet OR wait to receive form I-797 receipt from DHS by mail. Receipt must be submitted with visa application
  • Receive J-1 visa stamp in passport from US Embassy/Consulate
  • Enter US up to 30 days PRIOR to the start date indicated on the DS-2019 and no later than 30 days AFTER the start date indicated on the DS-2019
  • Report to your department upon arrival; then to the ISSS Office for program validation

Method of Payment

Payment of the SEVIS fee may be submitted by either of the following methods:

  1. On-line submission of Form I-901 to DHS using a credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express) Pay I-901 Fee
  2. Mail-in submission of Form I-901 (Print Paper I-901 Form) to DHS address on the form, along with the current SEVIS fee, payable by check, money order, or foreign draft drawn on a financial institution in the US and payable in US currency

Before submitting your payment, make sure that you are paying the correct amount.


For On-Line Submission: at the end of Form I-901, you will be able to print out an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment. Be sure to print the receipt; you will not get another chance. (You will also receive a paper receipt in the mail.)

For Mail Submission: DHS will issue and mail an official paper receipt (I-797) acknowledging payment. Express delivery service for the receipt may be requested at an additional cost.

SEVIS FEE Requirement for Those Entering US but are Exempt from the Visa Requirement

The SEVIS fee should be processed at least three business days prior to applying for admission at a US port-of-entry by non-immigrants who are exempt from the visa requirement (i.e. citizens from Canada, Bermuda, or citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, Bahamian nationals or British subjects residing in the Cayman Islands or Turks and Caicos Islands, and citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.)

NOTE: If the Consular Office determines that the person in a bona fide Exchange Visitor, the visa will be granted and the person may come to the United States on the J-1 visa. It should be noted that the Consular Officer is required to determine the intent of the applicant, and the Consular Officer's determination and decision regarding the issuance of a visa are not subject to appeal of any kind. The Department of Homeland Security will not refund the SEVIS fee if J-1 students and/or scholars are not granted a visa or choose not to come to the US after their visa was granted.

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