I am applying for an F-1 student visa and my school collected a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee, does this cover the fee paid to the government?

Not necessarily. A California immigration lawyer can help distinguish between a fee collected by the college or university and the required I-901 fee to be paid to the government. Please read through the following scenarios and recommendations:
  • Some colleges and universities collect a fee to help with the costs that support international students. This may be called an I-901 fee, but does not cover the mandated paperwork and costs that you need to pay the US government prior to applying for an F-1 visa.
  • Other colleges and universities collect the SEVIS I-901 fee and pay on your behalf. 
  • If your college or university has charged a SEVIS I-901 fee, you must ask whether this is the government fee or a school fee. 
  • If this is a government fee, the school will provide you with a written receipt on a Form I-797 for proof of payment or separate confirmation of payment.

Call our California immigration attorneys if you have any questions, as a properly completed SEVIS I-901 form will allow the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to:
  • Determine the appropriate fee (which is usually $200)
  • Post payment to the SEVIS record
  • Mail the receipt
  • Provide for expedited delivery, if you have requested and paid extra for this service

Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee is required prior to processing your F-1 visa application and prior to your interview. If you are enrolled in or have been accepted to an approved college or university in California, or elsewhere throughout the United States, our F-1 immigration attorneys in California can provide assistance throughout the process.

Call the Law Offices of Vaughan de Kirby at (415) 221-2345 or complete the contact form on this page for a free, no obligation consultation with a knowledgeable F-1 immigration lawyer in California. You may also order our free book, School in the United States, available on our website.

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