If you’re reading this, it is most likely because you’ve heard about the US SEVIS fee. You most likely want to know who needs to pay the US SEVIS fee. However, just in case you don’t know what it is about, I’d briefly describe what it is about.
What’s the US SEVIS fee?
The US SEVIS SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a fee imposed on international students and exchange visitors who are coming to the United States to participate in an academic or vocational program.
The fee is mandated by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and helps cover the costs associated with maintaining the SEVP, which includes verifying that students comply with government regulations and tracking their activities.
The fee is typically $200 for an F or M student and $180 for a J-1 Exchange Visitor. It must be paid prior to the issuance of a visa and is usually included in the cost of the program tuition.
Let’s take a step back and find out why people migrate to the United State and how the US SERVIS fee is involved?
People migrate to the United States for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons people choose to come to the US are for economic opportunity, family reunification, and educational advancement.
1. Economic Opportunity: People often migrate to the US in search of better job opportunities and higher pay than what is available in their home country. This often involves immigrating through work-sponsored visas or self-sponsored visas such as the EB-5 visa.
2. Family Reunification: Many people come to the US to join family members who have long since established themselves in the US, often on a family-sponsored visa.
3. Educational Advancement: People migrate to the US for educational opportunities that may not be available in their home country. This often involves immigrating through student visas, such as the F-1 visa for college and university students.
The most common US visa for people seeking educational advancement is the F-1 Visa, which is a nonimmigrant student visa intended for those who plan to attend a university or college in the United States.
This visa allows students to stay in the US for the duration of their studies, as well as participate in certain types of practical training after graduation.
How about the M-1 and J-1 Visa, what are they?
The M-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa intended for those who plan to attend a vocational or nonacademic school in the US. This visa allows people to stay in the US for the duration of their studies and participate in certain types of practical training after graduation.
The J-1 visa is also a nonimmigrant visa, but it is intended for students participating in exchange programs sponsored by a US governmental or private organization. This visa allows people to stay in the US for up to 12 months, and participate in certain types of practical training after completing their program.
What are the various types of fees needed to paid while migrating to the US?
The fees associated with migrating to the US vary depending on the type of visa and other factors, such as age and country of origin.
1. Visa Application Fee: Most nonimmigrant visas require applicants to pay a fee before they can be considered for approval.
2. Processing Fee: This is an additional fee that some applicants must pay at the time of submitting their visa application.
3. Airfare: Applicants will need to pay for their own transportation costs when traveling to the US, including any associated fees and taxes.
4. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) Fees: These are fees that must be paid to the INS for processing certain applications, such as petitions for permanent residency or citizenship.
5. Medical Examination Fees: Some visa applicants may be required to undergo a medical examination prior to entering the US. The associated costs must be paid in advance.
6. Education-Related Expenses: Some student visa applicants may need to pay for tuition, books, and other educational expenses up front.
7. Language Test Fees: Applicants for certain visas may be required to take an English language test in order to demonstrate proficiency in English. These tests often come with a fee.
One other type of fee needed to be paid if you plan to travel to study in the US is the US SEVIS fee
The US SEVIS fee helps ensure that international students and exchange visitors comply with U.S. immigration laws and regulations when studying in the United States.
By paying the fee, international students are able to gain access to the best educational opportunities available in America, while exchange visitors can experience a cultural exchange program in the United States.
Additionally, the fee helps ensure that U.S. institutions are held accountable for the safety and security of their international students and exchange visitors, creating a safer environment for individuals involved.
How is visa fees different from SEVIS fee?
The visa fee is the fee charged for a visa application. This fee covers the administrative costs of evaluating and processing applications, as well as any associated biometrics and background checks. The visa fee must be paid prior to submitting the application.
The SEVIS fee, on the other hand, is a mandatory fee imposed on international students and exchange visitors c academic or vocational program. This fee is used to cover the costs associated with administering the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which helps monitor and track international students during their stay in the US. The i-901 SEVIS fee must be paid prior to the issuance of a visa, and is usually included in the cost of tuition for the program.
How can the SEVIS fee payment be done before taking it to the embassy?
The SEVIS fee payment can be done online or by mail. To pay online, you will need to create a Form I-901 account on the official website and submit the required information and fees. To pay by mail, you will need to print out the official Form I-901 and mail it, along with a money order or check made payable to the Department of Homeland Security.
Who must pay the US SEVIS fee?
1. F-1 students
Who are the F-1 students?
F-1 students are international students who have been accepted to a degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university and are planning to attend full time for one academic year or more.
2. J-1 exchange visitors
Who are the J-1 exchange visitors?
J-1 exchange visitors are individuals who participate in cultural exchange programs approved by the U.S. Department of State, such as au pair and summer work/travel programs. They usually stay in the United States for a short period of time and are generally allowed to work during their stay.
3. M-1 students
Who are the M-1 exchange visitors?
M-1 students are international students coming to the United States to attend a vocational school or a technical institute. They usually stay in the United States for one year or less and are allowed to work part time during their studies. All three categories of students must pay the US SEVIS fee before they can be issued a visa and begin their studies in the United States.
If you are a continuing student, who has maintained status and has not completed your program of study using the same SEVIS ID, should you pay SEVIS fee?
Yes, if you are a continuing student who has maintained status, you must pay the US SEVIS fee before you can receive a new visa. Depending on your circumstances, you may be exempt from paying the fee if your program of study is using the same SEVIS ID number as when you initially registered.
For example, lets say Anna is a graduate student who came to the United States on an F-1 visa to pursue her master’s degree. She paid the SEVIS fee when she first applied for her visa and started her program.
After her first year of studies, Anna decided to switch her area of focus and transferred to a different university. Because she transferred to a new university, she was assigned a new SEVIS ID number.
Anna successfully maintained her F-1 student status during her first year of studies, and she is now continuing her studies at the new university.
In this scenario, Anna must pay the US SEVIS fee again since she has a new SEVIS ID number, even though she has maintained her student status.
She cannot apply for a new F-1 visa until she pays the fee. However, if Anna had remained at the same university, she may have been exempt from paying the fee since she would be using the same SEVIS ID number.
Eligibility criteria for paying the US SEVIS fee
In order to be eligible to pay the US SEVIS fee, you must:
– Be an international student or exchange visitor who has been accepted to a program at an accredited U.S. college or university
– Meet all other requirements for admission to that program
– Have proof of financial support (e.g., a bank statement)
– Have a valid passport and visa
What are the various reasons a continuing student should not pay the US SEVIS?
In some cases, a continuing student may not need to pay the US SEVIS fee. This is typically the case if:
1. The student has maintained status and has not completed their program of study using the same SEVIS ID number
For example, a student who completed their first year of undergraduate studies and is now continuing their second year without changing their major or transferring to a different school. Since they are using the same SEVIS ID number and have maintained their status, they would not need to pay the US SEVIS fee again.
2. The student is transferring from one institution to another within the United States but remains enrolled in the same program of study
For example, Samantha is a student from China who has been studying in the United States for two years on an F-1 visa.
She is currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program and has maintained her status by attending classes and keeping her paperwork up to date. She wants to transfer to another university within the United States to continue her studies in the same program of study.
In this case, Samantha does not need to pay the US SEVIS fee because she is transferring to another institution but remaining in the same program of study. As long as she maintains her status, Samantha can continue her studies without paying the SEVIS fee again.
3. The student is changing their academic level (e g., from undergraduate to graduate) but remains enrolled in the same program of study.
Let’s say John is an international student who has completed his undergraduate studies in the United States and is planning to continue his studies as a graduate student in the same program.
Since he is using the same SEVIS ID number, he may not need to pay the US SEVIS fee if he has maintained his status.
As long as he remains enrolled in the same program and has not completed it, he may be exempt from paying the SEVIS fee, even though he is transitioning from undergraduate to graduate studies.
4. The student is applying for an extension of their current program of study.
Continuing students who have maintained status and not completed their program of study using the same SEVIS ID do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
Should applicants reapplying for student status after denial pay the SEVIS fee again?
Yes, applicants reapplying for student status after a denial must pay the SEVIS fee again. This is because each new application requires a new SEVIS ID, and thus a new SEVIS fee payment.
A scenario where an applicant reapplying for student status after denial may need to pay the SEVIS fee again is if they were previously denied due to incomplete documentation or insufficient funds to cover their educational expenses. After resolving those issues, they may choose to reapply for student status, which would require a new SEVIS ID and payment of the SEVIS fee.
What happens if I forget to pay the SEVIS fee and attends the F1 visa interview having all other necessary documents. Will I be rejected visa or given time to pay the SEVIS fee after approval?
If you forget to pay the SEVIS fee and attend the F1 visa interview without paying it, you may be given additional time to pay the fee after approval. However, this is not guaranteed and ultimately depends on the discretion of the interviewing officer.
It is recommended that you make sure to pay the SEVIS fee prior to your F1 visa interview in order to avoid any delays or problems with your application.
If you’re transitioning from high school to college, or from college to graduate school, your records will be logged as you move between different educational institutions on your SEVIS ID. The ID keeps track of all the schools you have attended and provides an up-to-date record of your academic progress.
Why is there a difference in the SEVIS fee for an F1 visa Sometimes you are asked to pay 160 and other times 350 What s the difference between the two?
The SEVIS fee for an F1 visa is typically $350. However, for certain countries, the fee is reduced to $160. This lower fee applies to countries that have a “totalization agreement” with the United States. These agreements allow citizens from those countries to receive social security benefits in their home country and the US.
The fee is a required payment for international students and exchange visitors coming to the United States to participate in an academic or vocational program. The fee helps fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, a branch of the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security that monitors and tracks international students and exchange visitors while they are studying in the United States.
The fee also helps ensure that students and exchange visitors comply with U.S. immigration laws and regulations, providing an added level of safety and security for everyone involved.