Visa and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Information:

To learn more about the student visa application process, please visit the Study in the States website managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

To find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country and begin the F-1 visa application process, please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State. They also provide helpful information on the F-1 application process including a current list of visa appointment wait times

What is the SEVIS Fee?  The SEVIS fee or I-901 fee is a general fee associated with F-1 or J-1 visa application processes that is assessed by the U.S. government. It is very similar to a visa application fee. You must pay the SEVIS fee/ I-901 fee before visiting the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for your visa interview. For more information, or to pay the I-901 Fee, visit or

Helpful U.S. Immigration Links:

  • SEVIS Fee:                                             
  • U.S. Embassies/Consulates             
  • U.S Department of Homeland Security:    
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

Please follow the instructions that best reflect your current status:

  • You are currently residing in your home country:
    You have been sent a certificate of eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) to be presented at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy when you interview for an F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visa. You should be prepared to present your original financial documents and your letter of admission.
    • SEVIS Fee (I-901 fee): Please pay the fee online at before going to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for your visa interview. 
    • Caution: Do not enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa unless "prospective student" is noted.  Do not enter the U.S. on a visa waiver or you will be refused at the U.S. point of entry. Dependents (F-2, J-2) must have their own, entirely separate Form I-20 or DS 2019.
  • You are currently in the U.S. and in another visa category (J-2, L-2, H-4, etc...) or you have applied for permanent residency in the U.S.:
    You are not required to become an F-1 or J-1 visa holder in order to study at Cleveland State University. Please note that, F-2 visa holders who wish to enroll in full-time credits (>11 for undergraduate studies or > 8 for graduate studies) must change to an F-1 visa. Students in F-2 status may be enrolled in a degree seeking program but may only study "part-time." The advisors in the Center for International Services and Programs will provide advice and referrals to students with any visa status, as needed. 
  • You are presently studying in the U.S. on an F-1 visa with a valid Form I-20 from another institution: 

    - U.S. immigration regulations require you maintain valid F-1 status at your current institution before your transfer to CSU. Your current institution's DSO/ International Advisor should send your immigration record to Cleveland State via the school-to-school SEVIS transfer process. If you are "out of status", you must discuss your situation with a CISP advisor during a scheduled advising appointment. A Form I-20 for CSU will not be provided to you but can be provided after you register for classes. WARNING: The SEVIS transfer process MUST be completed within 15 days of the start of your new term or you will have violated your F-1 status. You may not work on campus until your F-1 immigration transfer has been approved.
  • You are presently studying in the U.S. on J-1 Student visa:
    Please schedule an advising appointment with an immigration advisor so that we may determine if a J-1 transfer is possible. Please provide a copy of your current Form DS-2019, your J-1 visa and most recent I-94.