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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires all F-1 and J-1 visa applicants to pay a I-901 SEVIS fee in addition to the visa application fee that is charged by the US Embassy/Consulate.  Please check for current SEVIS fees. The fee is required by the DHS to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System or SEVIS. This is not an RIT fee; it is required by the US government. RIT is providing this notice to help you understand the visa application process.

The SEVIS fee must be paid at least three business days BEFORE you visit the US Embassy/Consulate for your F-1 or J-1 visa appointment.

You will find information on how to pay the fee on the USCIS SEVIS I-901 Fee website. While the fee may be paid either electronically or by mail, RIT recommends that you use the electronic option to ensure timely processing of your SEVIS fee payment.

IF YOU ARE CANADIAN, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE you reach the US port of entry/border by one of the methods described on the above website.

You will be required to provide proof of payment to the US Embassy/Consulate in order to have your appointment. The proof of payment is the receipt that you will receive after you pay the fee.

Who Pays the SEVIS Fee?
  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you are seeking an initial F-1 or J-1 visa from an embassy or consulate abroad for initial attendance or initial participation in an exchange visitor program.
  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you have previously been enrolled at a U.S. school, but are no longer enrolled and you have been outside the United States for more than five months, even if you have an unexpired F-1 visa in your passport.
  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you are a Canadian citizen, and are therefore exempt from the U.S. visa requirement, before you can enter the United States.
  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you are already in the United States prior to submitting a change of non-immigrant status application to F-1 or J-1.
Who does not pay the fee?
  • Continuing F-1 students do not have to pay the fee unless circumstance change so that he or she fits one of the categories mentioned above.
  • F-2 dependents do not have to pay the fee, even if the I-20 that the F-2 dependents use is issued on or after September 1, 2004.
  • Current and continuing J Exchange Visitors will not pay the fee.
  • J-2 dependents are exempt from the fee.
  • J-1 visitors whose DS-2019s are issued by the U.S. government are also exempt
Do F-1 students have to pay if they transfer to another school, travel outside the US or renew their visa?

The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring schools, changing to another degree program or level, requesting a program extension, renewing an F-1 visa or using F-1 program benefits such as practical training. If you are in status when you travel internationally and are not physically outside of the U.S. for more than five months, you will not have to pay the fee.

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