The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal SEVIS Fee took effect on Seember 1,2004. The Fee of $180 is generally a one-time fee (see exceptions, below) and 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 and at the U.S. Port of Entry.
Please go to the following website to learn how to pay the SEVIS Fee: www.fmjfee.com
Applicants for J-2 dependent visas are NOT required to pay the SEVIS Fee.
The SEVIS Fee must be processed at least three business days before the 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 you visa application is denied, and you decide to reapply 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.