SEVIS Fee

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 Homeland Security (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 for students in F-1 and 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  processing website 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.

  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you are seeking an initial F-1 or J-1 visa from an embassy or consulate abroad for initial attendance at a U.S. college or university or initial participation in an exchange visitor program.
  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you have previously been enrolled at a U.S. school , but you are no longer enrolled and you have been outside the United States for more than five months, even if you have an unexpired F-1 or J-1 visa in your passport.
  • You must pay the SEVIS Fee if you are a Canadian citizen , and are therefore exempt from the U.S. visa requirement, before you can enter the United States.
  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you are already in the United States prior to submitting a change of non-immigrant status application to F-1 or J-1.
  • You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS fee if item 3 on your UAF I-20 reads "transfer pending from <name of school>", even if you will be applying for a new F-1 visa.
  • Applicants for F -2 dependent visas are NOT required to pay the SEVIS fee.
  • The SEVIS fee must be processed at least three business days before the visa interview UNLESS you have a printed receipt from an Internet payment.
  • 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.

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.

There are three payment methods:

  1. Payment in U.S. dollars by credit card over the Internet, OR
  2. Payment in U.S. dollars by check, money order or bank draft, drawn on a U.S. bank, and mailed to an address in the United States, OR
  3. Payment in local currency through Western Union .

Payment of the SEVIS fee may be made by you or by any other individual, either in the United States or abroad, including family or friends. However, anyone paying the fee on your behalf will need to have a copy of your I-20 for F-1 students, DS-2019 for J-1 students, or a completed copy of Form I-901.

YOU MUST TAKE A COPY OF THE RECEIPT TO YOUR VISA APPOINTMENT

Information regarding internet payment is provided below:

Procedure for Paying the SEVIS Fee:

  1. Obtain form I-20 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  2. Access SEVIS Form I-901 on the internet.
  3. Complete form I-901, answering all questions (you must have an I-20 or DS-2019 from UAF in order to complete form I-901). Be sure that you enter your personal information exactly as it appears on the I-20.
  4. Pay the SEVIS fee according to one of the methods described below.

Note: the preferred method is paying on the internet by credit card.

NOTE: TO COMPLETE FORM I-901, YOU MUST

F-1 Students:

  • Enter the UAF School Code ANC214F01901000 (also on your I-20)
  • Enter your SEVIS ID number, which is printed in the top right corner of your I-20, above the bar code. It starts with "N0….."

J-1 Students:

  • Enter the UAF Program Code P-1-01151 (also on your DS-2019)
  • Enter your SEVIS ID number, which is printed in the top right corner of your DS-2019, above the bar code. It starts with "N0….."

Paying on the Internet with Credit Card:
Once you have received your Form I-20 , you can make the fee payment by submitting form I-901 on-line using a credit card. The SEVIS Form I-901 is located here.

MasterCard, Visa, or American Express debit or credit cards are accepted. It does not matter if the card was issued in the United States or overseas. Follow the on-line instructions, include the required credit card information, and print out the payment screen to verify your payment. The printed receipt should be presented at the visa interview or at the U.S. port of entry as proof of payment. Restrictions apply to applicants from certain African countries. W hen paying the fee on the Internet, it is essential that your printer be ready before starting the payment process. DO NOT EXIT THE RECEIPT PAGE UNTIL YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY PRINTED THE RECEIPT. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RETURN TO THE RECEIPT PAGE.

SEVIS I-901 Fee Frequently Asked Questions | ICE