What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is an acronym for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, and is a database used by the U.S. Department of HomelandSecurity (DHS) to track and monitor information about students and exchange visitors who are in the United States. UAF International Programs & Initiatives reports a variety of information to SEVIS, such as your address, your program of study, and your work authorization, among other things.  

The SEVIS database itself is managed by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which is part of the U.S. Immigration and CustomsEnforment (ICE).  


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal SEVIS Fee took effect on September 1, 2004. The SEVIS fee is generally a one-time fee of $200.00 for students in F-1 status and $180.00 for students in J-1 status.  It is required for those who are applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa based on an I-20 issued for "initial attendance" or a DS-2019 issued to "begin a new program."

Proof of fee payment must be presented at the visa interview.


Important Points to Remember

Go to to pay your SEVIS fee!

  • You will need information from your Form I-20 or DS-2019 to pay your SEVIS fee.
  • The SEVIS fee must be paid at least three business days before the visa interview, unless you have a printed receipt from an Internet payment. 
  • Take copy of receipt to visa interview.
  • The SEVIS fee cannot be paid at the embassy or consulate, or at the U.S. Border.

A visa will not be issued unless the visa officer can verify that the SEVIS fee payment has been made; however, you may schedule your visa interview prior to paying the SEVIS fee.

If you are applying for admission to more than one U.S. school and have received more than one I-20, you must decide which school you wish to attend and use that I-20 to pay your SEVIS fee and apply for your visa.  If you later change your mind before entering the U.S., you will need to apply for a new visa with the different I-20.  You must attend the school of the I-20 that was used for the visa appointment and U.S. entry immediately after entering the U.S.

The SEVIS fee is not refundable, with one exception. If your visa application is denied, and you decide to re-apply for the same type of visa at a later date, you will not be asked to make a second SEVIS fee payment as long as your visa application is made within 12 months of the initial denial.  Exception: if you are denied a visa and do not wish to reapply, or if your visa application is denied a second time, you may request a refund.

Who Must Pay the SEVIS Fee?

SEVIS Fee Rules

How to Pay the SEVIS Fee

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