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What You Need to Know About the New SEVIS Fee

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal SEVIS Fee took effect on September 1, 2004. The fee of $200 is generally a one-time fee (see exceptions below) and is required of those who are applying for an F1 visa based on a Form I-20 issued for “initial attendance”. Proof of fee payment must be presented at the visa interview.

Who has to pay the SEVIS fee?

  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you are seeking an initial F1 visa from an embassy or consulate abroad for initial attendance at Wentworth.
  • You must also pay the SEVIS fee if you have previously been enrolled at a U.S. school, but you are no longer enrolled and you have been outside the United States for more than five months, even if you have an unexpired F1 visa in your passport.
  • You must pay the SEVIS fee if you are a Canadian citizen and even though you are exempt from the U.S. visa requirement, before you can enter the U.S.
  • You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee if item 3 on your Wentworth I-20 read “transfer pending from [name of school]”, even if you will be applying for a new F1 visa.
  • Your dependents applying for an F2 visa are NOT required to pay the SEVIS fee.

SEVIS Fee Rules

  • The SEVIS fee must be processed at least three business days before your visa interview, unless you have a printed receipt from an internet payment.
  • The SEVIS fee cannot be paid at the embassy or consulate, or at the U.S. border.
  • A visa will not be issued unless the visa officer can verify that the SEVIS fee payment has been made. However, you may schedule your visa interview prior to paying the SEVIS fee.
  • The SEVIS 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 fee payment as long as your visa application is made within 12 months of the initial denial.

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