SEVIS Fee Requirement
Once you are accepted into College of the Desert or the Intensive English Academy, you will need to get the F-1/student visa in order to enter the USA and begin your studies. There is some important information that you should know as you prepare for your F-1 visa interview. Please read this page carefully in order to be prepared for the visa application process.
All F-1 visa applicants are required to pay a fee of US $200. The SEVIS fee is in addition to the F-1 visa application fee that must be paid at the US Embassy/Consulate. The SEVIS fee is required by the US DHS to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Program or "SEVIS". The SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE you visit the US Embassy/Consulate for your F-1 visa appointment. IF YOU ARE CANADIAN, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE you reach the US port of entry/border.
You will be required to provide proof of payment to the US Embassy/Consulate during your F-1 visa appointment. The proof of payment is the receipt that you will receive after you pay the fee.
This fee does NOT go to College of the Desert; it goes to the US government. College of the Desert is sending you this notice as a courtesy to help you with the F-1 visa application process.
The SEVIS fee is US $200 and can be paid by one of the two methods below:
- By credit or debit card: Complete Form I-901 on the Internet with a credit card. Please visit the following website to submit your payment by credit card: www.fmjfee.com. You will need to use a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. This is the quickest way to pay the fee. You will need to print the receipt directly from your computer and bring it with you to your visa appointment.
College of the Desert recommends that you use the credit card option to ensure timely processing of your SEVIS fee payment.
- By check or money order sent through the mail: Submit Form I-901 with a check or money order (not cash) drawn on a US bank and payable in US currency. Many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a U.S. bank. You may therefore obtain a check from: 1) a bank chartered or operated in the United States; 2) a foreign subsidiary of a U.S. bank, or 3) a foreign bank that has an arrangement with a U.S. bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drawn on a U.S. bank.
The check should be made out to "I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee". Ensure your payment envelope has your correct return address and that your SEVIS ID is written on the check or money order. Also, be sure the envelope has both your payment and the completed Form I-901. (NOTE: This process can dramatically delay your application as you must wait for a receipt to be mailed back to you BEFORE you have your F-1 visa appointment). Send payment to:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St Louis, MO 63101
Phone Number: 1-314-418-4393
(United States Country Code 011)
NOTE: The SEVIS fee is non-refundable even if you are denied the F-1 visa.
For more information regarding the SEVIS fee, please visit the followingweb page: www.fmjfee.com
PREPARING FOR YOUR F-1 VISA INTERVIEW:
This information is for people who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the US Department of State website, at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html
1. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 international student visa. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at http://usembassy.state.gov/
2. After you receive an I-20 form from the school that you want to attend, follow the U.S. Embassy/Consulate's instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible. Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.
3. Complete the required application form. Most U.S. Embassies/Consulates now
require that you complete and submit your visa application form (DS-160)
and photos on-line. Please consult
the US Embassy/Consulate in your country for specific instructions.
4. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate's web site.
5. Pay the required SEVIS fee of $200.00. See above to find instructions on the two ways that you can pay the SEVIS fee. You must bring the receipt of SEVIS fee payment with you to the interview. Please visit www.fmjfee.com for more information about the SEVIS fee.
6. Prepare and bring all items as indicated on the
U.S. Embassy website to your visa interview, including:
- Passport valid for travel to the U. S. - Your passport
must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U.
S. (unless exempt by country-specific
agreements). If more than
one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must
submit a separate application.
Visa Application, Form DS-160
confirmation page Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your
- Photo – You will upload your photo while completing
the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in
the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
- Form I-20 – Your school will send you a SEVIS-generated
Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database.
You and your school official must sign the Form I-20. All students, their
spouse and minor children if they intend to reside in the United States
with the student, must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor
System (SEVIS). Each person receives an individual Form I-20.
Documentation May Be Required. Review the instructions for how to apply
for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate
where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish that
you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include
- Your academic
preparation, such as: transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from
schools you attended
- Scores from
tests that your U.S. school required, such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT
- Your intent
to depart the U.S. upon completion of the course of study
documentation verifying how you will pay all educational, living and
7. Remain calm and answer all the Visa Officer's questions to you openly and honestly.
If you have any questions or problems regarding the visa interview, please contact the International Student Office at College of the Desert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Printed from NAFSA: Association of International Educators and Department of State website