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The I-901 SEVIS fee helps to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a government database that facilitates the programs of international students in the United States. All universities that host international students have access to SEVIS so that information can be kept in one place, making it easier to ensure that records and forms are valid and up-to-date.
If you are traveling to the United States from another country or are applying for a change of status within the United States, you will need to pay the I-901 fee after you receive your I-20. You will not be issued an F-1 visa unless you pay the fee.
For international students studying under an F-1 visa, the I-901 SEVIS fee as of September 2016 is $200. Spouses and dependent children traveling to the United States under F-2 visas do not need to pay a fee. Please note that the fees are subject to change.
Click here for detailed instructions on how to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. If you are outside the United States, attach the receipt of payment to your I-20 before your visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.