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SEVIS Fee Payment through Western Union

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announce the implementation of another method of payment for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee for international students and exchange visitors.  Beginning in November 2004, nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in more than 130 countries may pay the I-901 SEVIS fee locally using the Western Union Quick Pay service.

This initiative allows Western Union to collect the SEVIS I-901 fee, in local currency, along with the needed Form I-901 data and electronically transmit the payment and data to SEVP. The properly completed Western Union receipt serves as immediate proof of payment for a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate and for admission at a U.S. port of entry.  This option is available in any country where Western Union offers its Quick PayÔ service.

The instructions along with a completed sample of the Western Union form can be found on the SEVP Web site. For instructions on this payment option, please visit the SEVP Web site at If you need additional assistance, bring a printed copy of the instructions and the sample of the completed Western Union form, also on the website, to the Western Union Agent in order to correctly process your payment.

International students and exchange visitors may also pay by using a credit or debit card via the Internet, by check or money order drawn on a U.S. account and mailed to the lockbox or by payment from a third party (resident in USA).


What is the SEVIS fee?

This SEVIS fee is required of all foreign nationals who come to the United States for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study in institutions such as colleges, universities, and language training programs. It is payable one time for each single educational program in which an F-1, J-1, or F-3 student participates, extending from the time the student is granted F-1, J-1, or F-3 status to the time the student falls out of status, changes status, or departs the U.S. for an extended period of time.

This fee is new and goes into effect September 1, 2004. SEVIS fee payments will be used by the United States Department of Homeland Security to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. This program makes it possible for international students and exchange visitors to attend schools in the United States. The fee also funds the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a computer system employed to track international students and exchange visitors during their stays in the United States.  More information can be found at

Who must pay the SEVIS fee and when?

New Applicants for Student Status (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3)

Applicants Reapplying for Student Status (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) after a Denial of that Status

Continuing Students (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) in the United States

Continuing Students (F-1, F-3, M-1 or M-3) not in the United States

New Applicants for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1)

Applicants Reapplying for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1) after a Denial of that Status

Continuing Exchange Visitors (J-1) in the United States

Spouse or Minor Children of Students or Exchange Visitors

How much is the SEVIS fee and how do I pay it?

The SEVIS fee is US$ 200. This fee is separate from and in addition to the visa application fee. The SEVIS fee must be paid by the Internet or by mail. It cannot be paid at a U.S. embassy or consulate and it cannot be paid at port of entry.

The fee can be paid by one of two means:

1) Electronically, by completing a form I-901 online and using a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit card.

2) By mail, by submitting Form I-901, Fee remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrant, together with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency. Sources for such checks and money orders include banks chartered or operated in the U.S., foreign subsidiaries of U.S. banks, or foreign banks that have an arrangement with a U.S. bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drawn on a U.S. bank.

A third party such as a friend, family member, or other interested party can pay the fee on your behalf through the same means described above.

A Note about Processing Times and Payment Verification

If you pay the SEVIS fee by Internet, your payment is processed immediately and, at the time you make payment, you can print a receipt directly from your computer. This computer-generated receipt can be used to verify you have paid the fee at an embassy, consular post, or port of entry. Mailing the SEVIS fee does not constitute payment. The fee is processed when it is received by DHS. If you mail your payment rather than pay on the Internet, it can take a considerable amount of time for payment to be received and for you to receive a receipt by return mail.

Whether you choose to pay the fee by the Internet or by mail, a paper receipt will be mailed to the address you provide on Form I-901. You may choose to have this receipt sent to you either by regular mail or, at an additional charge, by express delivery.

A paper receipt is not required in order for you to be issued a visa or to be admitted at the port of entry. Embassies and consular posts will be able to verify your fee payment without a receipt in most circumstances if you pay the fee far enough in advance of your visa interview. Electronic payments must be submitted at least 3 business days in advance of the interview if you will rely on electronic fee verification at the consulate. Mailed payments must be sent in a manner that assures arrival at the DHS address listed on the I-901 at least 3 business days before the scheduled interview.

If I have already paid the SEVIS fee for one school, and then decide to attend another, do I have to pay the fee again?

If you have been accepted to more than one institution and paid the fee using the SEVIS ID number of an institution you will not be attending, you will not have to pay the fee again. Bring the I-20s of both the school for which you paid the fee and the school you will be attending, as well as your SEVIS fee payment receipt, to the consulate or port of entry (if you are applying for a visa, you should bring both of the I-20s back to the consulate)

Is the SEVIS fee refundable if I am denied a visa?

Once paid, the SEVIS fee is non-refundable, unless paid by mistake, even if your visa is denied or, subsequent to issuance of the visa, you choose not to come to the United States.

If you applied for an F-1 or F-3 visa and paid the SEVIS fee within the last year but were denied a visa, you do not have to pay the SEVIS fee again as long as you re-apply for the same kind of program with 12 months of the initial denial.

Lincoln University - PA International Programs