Proper payment of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee for F-1 student visa applicants is essential for your application to be processed. The SEVIS I-901 fee is a federal mandate to support the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which tracks F-1 students and their families to ensure the visa status is maintained while in the United States. According to our California immigration lawyers, the paperwork and fee must be processed before an immigration official will make a decision about your F-1 visa application.

Our team of experienced immigration attorneys in California recommends the following when completing the Form I-901 and paying the SEVIS fee:
  1. While you may submit the form and fee by mail, completing the form and paying online will ensure that the information is submitted correctly and allows for faster processing. If your Form I-901 is illegible, it will not be processed.
  2. You may pay by credit or debit card online, or by a check or money order mailed to SEVP. We recommend that you pay by credit or debit card online, as checks are subject to collection and SEVP is not responsible for returned payments or payments lost in transit. 
  3. The information on your Form I-901 must match the information on your Form I-20.
  4. The most common reasons why a Form I-901 is rejected include:
    • The check or money order was not included when mailed
    • The payment is incorrect
    • The payment is not an international money order or check that can be drawn upon by a United States institution and that is payable in US currency

If you do not have access to a computer, we recommend that you ask a family, friend or organization for the use of a computer to submit the Form I-901 and fee. We also recommend that you contact our office to speak with an immigration lawyer in California for assistance in preparing and processing the Form I-901, as well as the F-1 visa application. Call the Law Offices of Vaughan de Kirby to speak with a California immigration attorney at (415) 221-2345. We are here to answer your questions and help you through the F-1 visa application process.
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