The SEVIS I-901 fee has been mandated by Congress since September 1, 2004 to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System program office and automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States.
Each student or exchange visitor issued an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 on after September 1, 2004 is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP. There are some exceptions and some additional categories of continuing students who must pay the fee. For more information and detailed payment instructions, please see the quick links.
Please follow the steps below when paying the SEVIS fee:
- Receive I-20 or DS-2019 from American University.
- Make visa appointment with U.S. Embassy/Consulate (if you are required to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa in your passport before traveling to the U.S. -- please note that even if you are exempt from the visa requirement, the SEVIS fee must be processed at least 3 business days prior to applying for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry).
- If paying with credit card on-line, submit SEVIS fee payment in time to allow immigration to process payment at least 3 days prior to visa interview and print SEVIS fee payment receipt from Internet.
- If paying with U.S. check/money order/foreign draft by mail, after paying wait to receive form I-797 payment receipt from immigration via mail and submit receipt with visa application. Be sure to allow enough time for immigration to process fee and return receipt by mail. Mailing time may vary.
- If paying by Western Union Quick Pay at local participating Western Union office, submit SEVIS fee payment in time to allow immigration to process payment at least 3 days prior to visa interview. Receive payment receipt from the Western Union agent at the time of payment and submit receipt with visa
- Report to U.S. Embassy/Consulate for visa interview (if required).