When participating in an exchange program or spending a semester abroad in the United States, you will quickly come into contact with the term "SEVIS". Below we will answer the most important questions about SEVIS and the increase in SEVIS fees.


What is SEVIS?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, SEVIS for short, is an online database of the U.S. government, which allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) access to information on foreigners visiting the United States on a J, F or M visa.
On behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Student and Exchange Visitor Program or SEVP manages educational institutions as well as students and their families with a non-immigrant visa of the categories J, F or M.
The SEVP and the U.S. Department of State use SEVIS to verify and track the following:

  • Data of all educational institutions
  • Data of Exchange Visitor Programs
  • Data of visitors in the U.S. on a J, F or M visa

Among other information, SEVIS contains data regarding the whereabouts of the visa holder, their legal status and the educational institution or host company.

What is the SEVIS fee?

In addition to the consular fee, all applicants filing for a F-1 student visa, J-1 Exchange Visitor visa or M-1 Non-academic & Vocational visa must pay the SEVIS fee prior to their consular interview. This fee, officially I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee, finances the program office and online database, among others.
Applicants who are not able to provide a payment receipt for the SEVIS fee will not be granted entry to the U.S. consulate. In case the missing I-901 payment confirmation is first noticed during the consular interview, the application cannot be completed and the applicant must attend a new appointment to provide proof of payment and finalize the application. It is generally not possible to simply send in the I-901 payment confirmation later.
The SEVIS fee is not to be confused for the consular visa application fee, which must be paid before the consular appointment as well.

SEVIS fee amount

For most J-1 Exchange Program participants, the SEVIS fee is 180 $, while F and M visa applicants currently pay 200 $.

Planned increase of the SEVIS fee

For the first time since 2008, the U.S. authorities announced an increase of the SEVIS fee, which came into effect on June 24, 2019.
F-1 and J-1 applicants, who paid their SEVIS fee before June 24, but attend their consular interview on or after June 24, are not required to pay the difference.

Visa Category  SEVIS Fees (As of June 24,2019)
J-1 Kategorien Au Pair, Camp Counselor und Summer Work Travel 35 $
All other J-1 categories (Intern, Trainee, etc.) 220 $
F-1 (Student) 350 $
M-1 (non-academic education) 350 $
SEVP School Certification Petition Fee 3.000 $


Paying the SEVIS fee

The SEVIS fee can only be paid using the SEVIS number or SEVIS ID after obtaining the form DS-2019 or I-20. Upon completion of the payment online at, applicants can print their I-901 payment receipt, which they are required to bring along for their consular interview. This payment must be made before the appointment and cannot be made at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. Providing the I-901 payment confirmation is necessary for the issuance of a student visa or a visa for any participant of an Exchange Program.






updated on 24.06.2019

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