For Current Binghamton University Students What You Need to Know About the New SEVIS Fees
Effective October 27, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal SEVIS I-901 Fee will increase to $200 for F-1 and M-1 students and to $180 for J-1 students. This is generally a one-time fee. It is required of those who are applying for an F-1, J-1 or M-1 visa based on an I-20 issued for “initial attendance” or a DS-2019 issued to “begin a new program.” Proof of fee payment must be presented at the visa interview.
Binghamton F-1 and J-1 Students Who Must Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
- You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are applying for a change of non-immigrant status to F-1 or J-1. The fee must be paid before you submit your change of status application.
- You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are an F-1 student who has violated the terms of your non-immigrant status and will be applying for reinstatement, and you have been out of status for more than five months. The fee must be paid before you submit your reinstatement application.
- You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are an F-1 student who has violated the terms of your non-immigrant status and will seek reinstatement by traveling abroad and re-entering the United States, even if you have an unexpired F-1 visa in your passport.
- You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you were previously a F-1 student at Binghamton, departed the United States and have not maintained your registration for more than five months, and now plan to return to resume your studies, even if you have an unexpired F-1 visa in your passport.
- You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are a J-1 student who wishes to transfer from a U.S. government-sponsored J-1 program (the program code starts with G-1, G-2 or G-3) to a program where the SEVIS I-901 Fee is required.
Binghamton F-1 and J-1 Students Who Do NOT Need to Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
- You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are a continuing student and plan to travel abroad, even if that travel includes applying for a new U.S. F-1 or J-1 visa
- You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are a continuing student who is requesting a new I-20 or DS-2019 that is for continued attendance.
- You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are a continuing student applying for an extension of stay, change in level of study, change in field of study, or if you are applying for reinstatement and you have been out of status for less than five months
- You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are a continuing student applying for employment authorization, including Optional Practical Training.
- You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you are transferring your F-1 status from one U.S. school to another
- You do NOT need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee if you were in valid F-1 or J-1 status, departed the United States and are returning after being absent for less than five months, even if you need to apply for a new visa.
- Applicants for F-2 or J-2 dependent visas are NOT required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
SEVIS I-901 Fee Rules
If you are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee and will be applying for a visa abroad, or will be re-entering the United States on an unexpired visa, the SEVIS I-901 Fee must be processed at least three business days before the visa interview or re-entry, unless you have a printed receipt from an Internet payment.
The SEVIS I-901 Fee cannot be paid at the embassy or consulate, or at the U.S. Border.
If you are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee, a visa will not be issued unless the
visa officer can verify that the SEVIS I-901 Fee payment has been made. However, you may schedule your visa interview prior to paying the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
The SEVIS I-901 Fee is not refundable. If your visa application is denied, and you decide to re-apply for the same type of visa at a later date, you will not be asked to make a second SEVIS I-901 Fee payment as long as your visa application is made within 12 months of the initial denial.
How to Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
Currently, there are three payment methods:
- payment in U.S. dollars by credit card over the Internet, OR
- payment in any country’s currency through an agent of Western Union “Quick Pay.” There are agents in more than 130 countries world-wide, OR
- payment in U.S. dollars by check, money order or bank draft, drawn on a U.S. bank, and mailed to an address in the United States.
Payment of the SEVIS I-901 Fee may be made by you or by any other individual, either in the United States or abroad, including family or friends. However, anyone paying the fee on your behalf will need to have a copy of your I-20 or DS-2019, or a completed copy of Form I-901.
Procedure for Paying the SEVIS I-901 Fee
- Obtain form I-20 or DS-2019 from Binghamton University
- Access form I-901 on the internet at http://www.fmjfee.com OR use the form I-901 included with your I-20 or DS-2019
- Complete form I-901, answering all questions (you must have an I-20 or DS-2019 from Binghamton in order to complete form I-901). Be sure that you enter your personal information exactly as it appears on the I-20 or DS-2019
- Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee according to one of the methods described below.
Note: to complete form I-901, you must enter the Binghamton School Code of BUF(214F)10042000 if you have been sent an I-20, OR the Binghamton Program Number of P104832 if you have been sent a DS-2019. You must also enter your SEVIS ID number, which is printed at the top right of the I-20 or DS-2019, above the bar code. It starts with the letter “N.”
Paying on the Internet
Once you have received your I-20 or DS-2019, you can make the fee payment by submitting form I-901 on-line using a credit card or debit card. The web address is http://www.fmjfee.com
MasterCard, Visa, or American Express debit or credit cards are accepted. It does not matter if the card was issued in the United States or overseas. Follow the on-line instructions, include the required credit card information, and print out the payment screen to verify your payment. The printed receipt should be presented at the visa interview or at the U.S. port of entry as proof of payment. Thus, when paying the fee on the Internet, it is essential that your printer be ready before starting the payment process. Do not exit the receipt page until you have successfully printed the receipt. You will not be able to return to the receipt page.
Paying by Mail:
To pay by mail, you must download and print form I-901 from http://www.fmjfee.com or use the paper copy provided with your I-20 or DS-2019, fill out the form and mail it with your payment to the address below.
Your payment must be in U.S. dollars by check, money order or bank draft, drawn on
a U.S. bank. Your check, bank draft or money order should be made payable to: “I-901
Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee.”
Also, be sure to print your name and SEVIS ID number in the lower left-hand corner of the check, money order or bank draft.
The need for a check, bank draft or money order in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank does not mean that only a U.S. bank can issue the document. Many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a U.S. bank, because they are chartered in the United States, or because they are foreign subsidiaries of a U.S. bank, or because they have arrangements with a U.S. bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drawn on a U.S. bank.
Mail the payment and form I-901 to: I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor
Visa Processing Fee
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020 USA
To send by courier, use the following address: I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
Phone Number: 1-314-418-8833 (United States Country Code 011)
Once the form and fee are processed, a paper receipt will be mailed to you. Return courier service is available for an additional $30.
Payment by mail is not the recommended process for fee payment from abroad, as it can take as long as four weeks from the day you mail in the fee to the day that you receive the required receipt in the mail if you are applying from outside the United States, unless you pay for courier service.
Showing Proof of SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment at the Visa Interview and/or the U.S. Port
You must be able to prove that the fee has been paid when you appear for your visa interview, and when you enter the United States. This is done by presenting a printed receipt, either from the Internet if you made an on-line payment, or a mailed receipt if you paid by mail.
Visa officers and U.S. port-of entry inspectors should be able to verify SEVIS I-901
Fee payment electronically three business days after payment is processed, but in
case of problems, having a printed receipt is the best evidence of fee payment. If
you lose or did not receive a receipt for fee payment, the U.S. government does retain
an electronic record that the fee has been paid.
A visa will not be issued unless verification of the SEVIS I-901 Fee payment can be made.
For detailed information on the SEVIS I-901 Fee payment process, and for a list of frequently asked questions, visit: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/
International Student and Scholar Services
Binghamton University Box 6000
Binghamton, New York 13902-6000 USA
607-777-2510 (phone) 607-777-2889 (fax)