FEE REQUIREMENT: J-1 STUDENTS/SCHOLARS
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now requires the collection
of a one-time SEVIS fee of $180 from certain J-1 Exchange
Visitor students and scholars. This fee is being collected to
fund operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Office,
which has oversight over SEVIS - the Student and Exchange Visitor
Not Required to Pay the SEVIS Fee
following exchange visitors are not required to pay the SEVIS
J-1s: No SEVIS fee is due for J-1 students or scholars, whose
program began BEFORE September 1, 2004, who maintain that status,
and whose initial DS-2019 for the current program was issued
before September 1, 2004.
sponsored by the U.S. federal government: No SEVIS fee is due
for a J-1 exchange visitor who is coming to the United States
as a participant in an exchange visitor program sponsored by
the U.S. federal government (i.e., Fulbright).
dependents: J-2 dependents are not required to pay a separate
SEVIS fee in order to obtain J-2 status or during the time the
J-2 remains in that status.
Who Are Required to Pay the SEVIS Fee
following exchange visitors are required to pay the SEVIS fee
if their form DS-2019 was issued on or after September 1, 2004:
of payment of SEVIS fee
A J-1 student or scholar, who is subject to payment of the SEVIS
fee, must remit the fee directly to DHS by completing Form I-901
electronically using the Internet or by mail as follows:
for the J-1 visa abroad:
The SEVIS fee must be processed by DHS at least 3 business days
prior to the consular interview. Fees will not be
payable at the consulate
The following steps are a guideline for obtaining a
J-1 visa from abroad:
Receive DS-2019 from the Exchange Visitor Program.
visa appointment with U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
SEVIS fee payment in time to allow DHS to process payment at
least 3 days prior to visa interview.
SEVIS fee payment receipt from Internet or wait to receive form
I-797 receipt from DHS via mail and submit receipt with visa
J-1 visa stamp in passport from U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
U.S. up to 30 days PRIOR to the start date indicated on the
DS-2019 and no later than 30 days AFTER the start date indicated
on the DS-2019.
to the Office of International Services to validate program
no later than 30 days AFTER the start date indicated on the
Entering the U.S. by individuals exempt from the visa requirement:
The SEVIS fee must be processed at least 3 business
days prior to applying for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry
by non-immigrants who are exempt from the visa requirement (i.e.,
citizens from Canada, Bermuda, and other island countries listed
in 8 CFR 212.1).
of J-1 category:
A J-1 student or scholar applying for a change of category within
the U.S. (i.e., J-1 student to J-1 research scholar)
must pay the SEVIS fee prior to the Exchange Visitor Program
approving a change of category
status to J-1: A non-immigrant in the United States seeking
a change of status to J-1 student or scholar must pay
the SEVIS fee prior to submitting the application to USCIS for
change of non-immigrant status.
for reinstatement: A J-1 student or scholar, who is applying
for reinstatement after a substantive violation or
who has been out of program status for longer than 120 days, but
less than 270 days during the course of his or her
program, must pay the SEVIS fee prior to applying to the Exchange
Visitor Program for reinstatement to J-1 status.
SEVIS fees are transferable. If an applicant pays the SEVIS fee
in connection with a previously issued DS-2019/SEVIS ID number
other than the one associated with the document that s/he actually
uses to apply for a benefit (new J-1 visa, change of status, reinstatement),
it is strongly recommended that s/he submit a copy of the DS-2019
that is connected to the paid SEVIS fee, in addition to the original
where no new fee is required
students and scholars, who have paid the SEVIS fee prior to obtaining
their current status, are not required to pay a new SEVIS fee
in connection with:
An application for an extension of stay in the current program.
application to transfer between programs in the same exchange
visitor category where no differential fee exists
(i.e., transfer between two non-fee-exempt exchange visitor
programs or transfer between two fee-exempt exchange
A re-application for a J-1 visa following denial of visa application
by consular officer, as long as the re-application
occurs within 12 months of the original denial notice.
motion to re-open a change of status application, which was
previously denied for reasons other than failure
to pay the SEVIS fee, as long as the motion occurs within 12
months of the original denial notice.
for payment of the SEVIS fee:
submission of Form
I-901 to DHS using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard,
or American Express accepted).
I-901 to DHS address on form, along with the $180
SEVIS fee paid by check, money order, or foreign draft
drawn on a financial institution in the U.S. and payable in U.S.
person (friend or family) can make the payment for an exchange
visitor by one of the two methods above.
will issue and mail an official paper receipt (I-797) acknowledging
every payment regardless of payment method. Express delivery service
for the I-797 receipt may be requested at an additional cost.
Anyone who submits an individual fee electronically will be able
to print out an electronic receipt immediately at the time of
payment for use in advance of the mail delivery of the official
SEVIS fee payments will be recorded by DHS in the J-1 students'
and scholars' SEVIS records and will eventually be used by government
officials to document the SEVIS fee payment, it is recommended
that a SEVIS fee receipt be used to request any status-related
benefit (i.e., application for visa, admission at U.S. port-of-entry,
application to change status).
DHS will not refund the SEVIS fee if J-1 students and scholars
are not granted a visa or choose not to come to the U.S. after
their visas are granted.
Note: The fee for some exchange visitors categories is $35.
Those categories are (1) summer work/travel program, (2) au pair
program, and (3) camp counselor program.