Since the fall of 2004 all students (F-1 status) and exchange visitors (J-1) applying for US visas must pay a nonrefundable visa/SEVIS fee BEFORE visiting the US Consulate to apply for a visa. The fee (as of October 27, 2008) is US $200.
The regulations concerning the fee are detailed and the government website explanation is complicated. Lewis & Clark has prepared this website to make the process as quick and easy as possible.
Special Note for Canadian Citizens: While Canadians are not required to have a visa to study in the U.S., they are required to pay the SEVIS fee. Make sure to pay the SEVIS fee prior to entering the U.S. and have the receipt with you when you cross the border.
Easiest Process - Credit Card
(1) If you received this information in the mail with your I-20 (or with you DS-2019 if you are an exchange visitor), our office has determined that you are required by the government to pay the fee. You do not need to read government guidelines.
(2) The easiest and quickest way to pay the fee is by American Express, MasterCard, or VISA credit card or by using a debit card with the VISA or MasterCard logo. You can have a friend or family member pay the fee with their card.
(3) Go to: www.fmjfee.com. Make sure you have your I-20 (or DS-2019 for exchange visitors) in hand because you will need it. Fill out Form I-901 online, enter the credit card information and submit the form electronically. Print out a receipt and then call the US Consulate to make an appointment for your visa interview.
Alternative Process—Western Union
Students in the 130 countries that have Western Union offices may use those offices to pay the US$200 fee with Western Union’s “Quick Pay.” The US government allows Western Union to collect the fee, in local currency, along with Form I-901 data and electonically transmit the payment and data to the US government. The properly completed Western Union receipt serves as immediate proof-of-payment for a visa interview at a US consulate. The receipt is very important! You will need it to make an appointment at the US Consulate and to enter the US when you arrive.
Detailed instructions about Western Union’s “Quick Pay” forms is available at: http://www.ice.gov/ sevis/i901/wu_instr. htm.
If you use Western Union “Quick Pay,” be sure to read the instructions carefully. Be sure to take your Lewis & Clark I-20 form, a printed copy of the instructions from the website, and the sample of the completed Western Union form, also on the website, with you to give to the Western Union agent in order to correctly process the payment.
Take your I-20 with you. You will need it to complete the forms.
(1) If you received this information in the mail with your I-20, our office has determined that you are required by the government to pay the fee. You do not need to read government guidelines.
(2) Fill out the paper I-901 form. The paper version of the I-901 can be printed by clicking the link titled “Paper Form I-901 (PDF)” at: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm. Make sure you have our I-20 in hand because you will need it to answer the questions on the I-901.
(3) Go to a bank in your country of residence and ask for a US$200 money order drawn in US dollars and on a cooperating US bank. The money order should be payable to: I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee.
(4) Write the name of the student (your name) and the SEVIS identification number on the check.
(5) Airmail or Courier the form 901 and the check to:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
Phone number: 1-314-418-8833 (US Country Code is 011
I-901 Student/Exchange Vistior Processing Fee
PO Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
(6) You may have to wait several weeks. When the payment receipt arrives, call the US Consulate to make an appointment for your visa interview. Take the receipt and all of the admission and immigration documents to the US Consulate.
US Government Website Info
Detailed information about paying the fee is available at the the US Government website listed below.
If you are confused about the fee process or if you have questions about how to proceed, please feel free to contact International Student Services at Lewis & Clark College.
To learn more about obtaining a US visa to attend Lewis & Clark, see Applying for a US Student Visa
To visit the official US government website regarding the I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee, see SEVIS I-901 Fee