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Student & Scholar Services » Information Regarding New SEVIS Fee (I-901)

As of September 1, 2004, a fee of $200 is required of all NEW F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors who are applying for visas and have immigration documents issued on or after September 1, 2004. The fee is also required of applicants for change of status to F-1 or J-1 and of F-1 students applying for reinstatement if they have been out of status for over 5 months. F-1 students applying for reinstatement by travel will also be required to pay the fee, whether or not a new visa is required.

Please read the information below for details about the I-901 fee payment form, timing and methods of payment. For additional information and to find answers to your questions, please . Please note that this fee is NOT paid to UT-Arlington. Each student is responsible for the payment of the fee according to the I-901 instructions.

Individuals Subject to the I-901 fee

  • F-1 and J-1 applying for a visa with I-20 or DS-2019 issued after 9/1/04 for a new program.
  • F-1 and J-1 from countries not requiring a visa (Canada) applying for entry to start a new program, with I-20 or DS-2019 issued after 9/1/04.
  • Applicants for change of status to F-1 or J-1 with I-20 or DS-2019 issued after 9/1/04.
  • F-1 applying for reinstatement if out of status for 5 months or more.
  • F-1 continuing student applying for reinstatement through travel, whether or not a new visa is required.
  • Returning student out of US for 5 months or more.

Individuals NOT Subject to the I-901 fee

  • Continuing F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors who are maintaining status, including those transferring, changing educational level, or extending the program of study.
  • New F-1 and J-1 with documents issued prior to 9/1/04.
  • Continuing F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors who had been maintaining status and are applying for new visa.
  • J-1 exchange visitors sponsored by Federal program (program number begins with “G”)
  • F-2 and J-2 dependents.
  • F-1 student applying for reinstatement who has been out of status for less than 5 months.

Timing of Fee Payment

  • Fee must be paid and processed prior to going for visa interview
  • Fee must be paid and processed prior to entering the US if a visa is not required
  • Fee must be paid and processed prior to filing an application for change of status to F-1 or J-1
  • Fee, if required, must be paid and processed prior to filing an application for reinstatement

Completing Form and Methods of Payment

  • Applicant must have new I-20 or DS-2019 in hand before filling out form I-901.
  • The name, birth date and SEVIS number on the I-901 must be exactly as it appears on the I-20 or DS-2019. If the name or birth date is wrong on the I-20 or DS-2019, contact the school official that issued the I-20 or DS-2019, and request a corrected document prior to paying the I-901 fee.
  • Make sure the mailing address on the form is complete. Your Fee Payment Receipt, a very important document, will be mailed to this address.
  • Payment may be made by check or money order in US dollars drawn on a US Bank and made payable to the “I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee”, by an international money order or foreign draft in US dollars, or by credit card. The check, especially if paid by a third party, should contain your name and SEVIS ID number.
  • Form I-901 can be downloaded from website and completed by hand and mailed with payment, or it can be completed on-line, paid with credit card number and sent electronically.
  • Confirmation of payment can be printed after paying electronically by credit card.
  • Another individual can pay the fee on applicant’s behalf as long as he has the correct information from the I-20 and DS-2019.
  • The applicant or his agent will receive a receipt of payment in the mail, whether the payment was made by mail or electronically. Proof of payment is also entered into the SEVIS system so even if the receipt did not arrive in the mail by the time of the visa interview, the Consular Officer will be able to see the proof of payment in the SEVIS system.
  • If visa or change of status or reinstatement is denied, there will be no refund of the I-901 fee. However, if a new application is made within 12 months, a new fee will not be required.

Please Note

  • New students who have I-20s from several schools should use the information from the I-20 of the school they expect to attend when filling out form I-901. If, prior to the visa interview you decide to go to a different school after paying the fee, the fee can be transferred to the new school only if you can prove that you were admitted to the first school by showing the original I-20 to the Consular Officer. Once the visa is issued, you are required to attend the school indicated on the visa.
  • Keep a copy of the fee payment receipt and your original I-20 since you will be required to show this whenever you travel, whenever you apply for an immigration benefit, and whenever your F-2 and J-2 dependents travel.
  • The I-901 fee is in addition to the normal fees paid for a visa or for a change of status.

Procedures for Visa Application

  • Obtain information on applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa from the US Consulate or Embassy in your country. See for a complete list.
  • As soon as possible after receiving the I-20 from the school you will attend, schedule your visa interview.
  • Complete the visa application forms DS-156, DS-158, and, if required, DS-157.
  • Pay the visa application fee following the instructions from the US Embassy or Consulate.
  • Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee following instructions at
  • Take the following to the visa interview: valid passport, I-20 and letter of admission, completed visa application forms and 2 photographs, receipt for visa application fee, receipt for I-901 SEVIS fee, financial support documents, all documentation that proves you will return to your country after your studies in the US.