SEVIS Fee

Overview

All students seeking F or J status are required to pay a SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security and retain proof that the fee has been paid. The SEVIS fee is separate from the visa fee you will pay to the embassy or consualte to receive your F-1/J-1 visa. When you apply for a visa and when you enter the U.S., you will be asked to show your SEVIS fee receipt to prove that your fee has been paid. 

Canadian citizens must also pay the SEVIS fee and present the receipt at the port of entry.

The current fee: $200 for F-1 students and $180 for J-1 students.

If you are a SEVIS transfer student who is transferring your existing F-1/J-1 record to UChicago, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee a second time for the same record.

When do I pay the SEVIS fee?

You will pay the SEVIS fee after receiving your form I-20 or DS-2019 from OIA. You must pay the fee before applying for your F-1/J-1 visa.

**You will not receive an F-1 or J-1 visa until the SEVIS fee is paid.**

Paying the SEVIS Fee

DHS currently offers three methods of payment:

  • Online with a credit card (recommended)
  • Western Union Quick Pay
  • By mail

NOTE: Paying the fee online with a credit card or through Western Union is much faster than paying by mail. You will receive a receipt immediately after submitting payment and can move through the process much more quickly.

How to Pay the SEVIS Fee

Paying Online By Credit Card (Recommended)
  1. Visit the Fee Payment website and follow the instructions. Use the I-901 SEVIS fee FAQs for guidance
  2. Print your receipt and take it with you to your visa appointment.
  • Note: Nationals of certain African countries may not pay the fee by credit card. See this link for more information.
Paying Through Western Union Quick Pay (Money Order)

Paying my Western Union generally takes 2-4 days:

  1. Visit the Fee Payment website and complete the form. Use the I-901 SEVIS fee FAQs for guidance
  2. Follow the money order instructions and print out the payment coupon
  3. Go to a participating Western Union agent to pay the fee;
  4. Make sure to collect a receipt to take to your visa appointment as proof of payment.
Paying Through the Mail by Check
  1. Visit the Fee Payment website and complete the form. Use the I-901 SEVIS fee FAQs for guidance
  2. Fill out the I-901 online or the PDF version of I-901
  3. Prepare check or money order for mailing
    • You can only pay the fee by check or money order drawn from a bank located in the United States for this method of payment
  4. Retrieve your receipt to schedule your visa appointment.
  • Note: This option will take MORE TIME, and possibly cause delays in the visa process.  It is not recommended.

Additional SEVIS Fee Information

Other important points:

  • The Study in the States website provides additional information about the SEVIS fee.
  • F-2 and J-2 dependents do NOT have to pay the fee. The FAQ on the DHS website includes a list of others who do not have to pay the fee.
  • The fee can be paid by anyone on behalf of any student or exchange visitor.
  • OIA does not pay the SEVIS fee on your behalf. 
  • The fee only has to be paid ONCE per initial F-1 or J-1 SEVIS record (i.e. once per SEVIS number)
  • A visa application fee will be charged at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in addition to the SEVIS fee.
  • Depending on your home country, a visa fee may also be charged at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in addition to the SEVIS and visa application fee.
  • The printed confirmation from http://fmjfee.com serves as proof of payment for the SEVIS fee.