SEVIS Fee

The SEVIS Fee Requirement: What J-1 Exchange Visitors Need to Know

What is the SEVIS fee?

The SEVIS fee is a one-time fee of $180 to cover the costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Who must pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Prospective Exchange Visitors with “Begin new program” DS-2019s issued on or after September 1, 2004 who are applying for an initial J-1 visa outside the U.S.

Note: The fee cannot be paid at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

  • Since Canadian citizens are not required to get a U.S. visa stamp,  they are required to pay the fee before going to the port of entry.

Note: The fee cannot be paid at a port of entry.

  • Prospective Exchange Visitors with “Begin new program” DS-2019s issued on or after September 1, 2004 who are applying within the U.S. for a change of status to J-1 from another visa category 

Note: The fee cannot be paid at a USCIS Service Center or District  Office.     

  • Continuing Exchange Visitors*  who were on a J-1 program sponsored by the U.S. government (e.g. with a program designation number of G-1, G-2 or G-3) and who are now transferring to a J-1 program that is not sponsored by the U.S. government.
  • Continuing Exchange Visitors*  who are applying for a change ofcategory within the U.S. (unless they are changing to a program sponsored by the U.S. government).
  • Continuing J-1 Exchange Visitors* who are applying for reinstatement after a substantive violation, or who have been out of program status for more than 120 days but fewer than 270 days during the course of their program

Note: *A J-1 Exchange Visitor who has completed an Exchange Visitor Program and wants to participate in another Exchange Visitor Program is NOT considered to be a continuing Exchange Visitor.

Who does NOT have to pay the fee?

Continuing J-1 Exchange Visitors do not have to pay the fee unless circumstances change so that they fit one of the categories mentioned above.

What about my J-2 dependents?

J-2 dependents do not have to pay the fee, even if the “dependent DS-2019” was issued on or after September 1, 2004.

Do I have to pay the SEVIS fee if I transfer to another program or request a program extension?

The SEVIS fee is not required when continuing J-1 Exchange Visitors transfer to another J-1 program, change to another degree program or level or request a program extension.

Do I have to pay the SEVIS fee if I travel outside the U.S. or renew my visa?

The SEVIS fee is not required when renewing a J-1 visa or traveling outside the U.S. (as long as you are still in J-1 status).

When do I pay the fee?

If you are applying for an initial J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate outside the U.S., you must pay the fee online prior to applying for your J-1 visa.

If you are a Canadian citizen and, therefore, do not need a J-1 visa, you must pay the fee prior to entering the U.S.

If you are applying for a change of status to J-1, you must pay the fee prior to submitting a change of status.

 

How do I pay the fee?

The fee can be paid by accessing the Student and Exchange Visitor Program ("SEVP") SEVIS Form I-901 Fee processing website. As noted by SEVP: "If you choose to pay by check, money order, or Western Union Quick Pay, you must be able to print the Form I‑901 payment coupon when you complete the form online."

 

What if my J-1 visa application is denied?

The SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new J-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.

Will the Department of Homeland Security keep a record of my SEVIS fee payment on file?

Fee payments should be entered into your permanent immigration (SEVIS) record, but it is strongly recommended that you retain a copy of your receipt.

For more information on the SEVIS fee, please see:  www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm

Disclaimer

The information contained on this web page is provided as a service to the international faculty, researchers, staff, employees and administrators of University at Buffalo, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the University at Buffalo nor the Office of UB Immigration Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained on this web page, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.

Contact

Email: immsvcga@buffalo.edu        Tel. Number: (716) 645-2355