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SEVIS Common Questions

F-1 Students/M1 Vocational Students/J-1 Exchange Visitors

Effective September 1, 2004, all new F-1, J-1 and M-1 visa applicants must pay a one-time fee to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). The following information specifically addresses fee issues:

Who pays the SEVIS fee?

·         Prospective M-1 students with “initial attendance” I-20s issued on or after 9/1/2004 who are applying for an “initial” /M-1 visa from outside the U.S.

·         Prospective M-1 students with “initial attendance” I-20s issued on or after 9/1/2004 who are applying for a change to F-1 status from another visa category

·         Current M-1 students in the U.S. applying for reinstatement after being out of status more than 5 months, and who are issued an I-20 issued for reinstatement that is dated on or after 9/1/04

Will F-1 students, M-1 Vocational Students, or J-1 exchange visitors currently in the U.S. have to pay the fee?
No, unless the student or scholar’s individual circumstances change so that he or she fits one of the categories mentioned above.

What about F-2, M-2 or J-2 dependents?
Neither F-2, M-2 nor J-2 dependents are required to pay the fee, even if the dependent possess an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued on or after 9/1/2004.

Can I pay the SEVIS fee at a university, consulate or port of entry?
No. At this time the SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail or the Internet.

How do I pay the fee?
Visit the SEVIS fee webpage to pay the fee. We recommend you keep the receipt. This fee must be paid at least three days before your appointment with the embassy.

Where do I get more information?

Begin the process by contacting IBC either by email Rebecca.Canchola@ibcelpaso.edu, filling out our form, or by calling 915-842-0422.