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Paying your SEVIS Fee

Prior to applying for your visa you must pay a $200 SEVIS fee (if F-1) or $180 SEVIS fee (if J-1) to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The SEVIS fee can be paid by credit card over the internet, by check, or by money order by mail. Please read all instructions fully before attempting to pay the fee. There are special instructions for students and scholars from Bermuda or Canada. If your visa has been denied, you do not need to pay the fee again if you re-apply for the same visa within 12 months of the denial.

You will be required to pay the SEVIS fee if:

  • You are seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for initial attendance at a university or initial participation in an exchange program. The fee must be paid before applying for the visa.
  • You will enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, but are not required to have a visa. The fee must be paid before you apply for admission to the U.S.
  • You are applying for a change of status to F-1 or J-1. The fee must be paid before you submit your change of status application.

The fee is NOT required:

  • For F-2 or J-2 dependents.
  • For J-1 participants in an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. federal government.
  • If your immigration status is F-1 or J-1 and you are transferring to another school, program, or program category.
  • If you are requesting an extension of your program or course of study.
  • If you paid the fee but your application for an F-1 or J-1 visa was denied and, within 12 months of the denial, you re-apply for the same status.
  • For a change of status application between F-1 and F-3.

SEVIS Fee Payment Options

Payment of the SEVIS fee is not limited to you. DHS will accept fee payment from a third party individual or institution, either in the United States or abroad, using any of the options below. You will be able to print a receipt electronically if you use payment option #1. You will receive a receipt by return mail if you use payment option #2. The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to the scheduled date of your interview in order for the payment information to show up on the SEVIS system. You should bring your I-901 receipt with you to your visa interview. The paper receipt can be used as verification in place of the internet verification.

Option #1: Payment by Credit Card

DHS has set up a website on the Internet to accept electronic submission of Form I-901 and payment of the SEVIS fee using a credit card. Go to We strongly recommend that you use this option if possible. Follow the on-line instructions. Print out the payment screen to verify your payment. Take the payment verification printout with you to your visa interview.

Students & scholars from the following countries are not able to use the credit card option and must use option #2 or #3 below:

  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria

Option #2: Payment by Western Union

This option allows Western Union to collect the SEVIS fee in local currency. This option is only available in countries where Western Union offers its "Quick Pay" service. A properly completed Western Union receipt serves as immediate proof of payment for the visa interview. You must request a "Blue Form" by clicking on "Payment Services" or "Quick Pay." More instructions for paying using this option can be found on the SEVIS website. To find your nearest Western Union agent location, visit the Western Union Global Payment Solutions web site.

Option #3: Payment by Check or Money Order

When paying by check or money order there are two options:

  1. Internet-generated coupon
    Students & scholars can go to the fee payment website (, enter basic information, print out a coupon, and then mail a check or money order with the coupon to a lock-box address in Missouri. Once the information and fee are processed, SEVIS will be updated with the fee payment information.

  2. Paper option
    Students & scholars can download or otherwise obtain Form I-901, fill it in, and mail it, with a check or money order, to the specified address in Missouri. Once the information and fee are processed, SEVIS will be updated with the fee payment information.

In both cases, a receipt notice will be issued when the fee is processed. All checks and money orders must be made payable to the "I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee". Only checks and money orders may be used when paying by mail. The check or money order must be made in U.S. dollars and drawn on a bank located in the U.S. The mailing addresses for paying by check or money order using the coupon or the paper Form I-901 are:

P.O. Box Mailing Address:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020

Street Address for Courier/Express Delivery:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101

Completing Form I-901

In order to complete form I-901, you must have a Form I-20 or DS-2019 and the University of Cincinnati's School Code. Our school codes are:

  • CLE214F10355000 for F-1 Students (I-20’s) and
  • P-1-00733 for J-1 Students & Scholars (DS-2019)

For Students & Scholars from Canada or Bermuda

Students and scholars from Canada and Bermuda are exempt from having to apply for a visa. You will have to provide SEVIS fee payment verification along with your I-20 or DS-2019 Form to an immigration inspector at the port of entry when applying for entry into the United States as an F-1 or J-1 student or scholar.

If your Visa is Denied

If your visa is denied you may reapply for the visa within a 12-month period, without having to pay the SEVIS fee again.


If you have obtained an I-20 or DS-2019 for a spouse or children, they do not have to pay a SEVIS fee in order to apply for an F-2 or J-2 visa.

If Admitted to More than One School

If you have been accepted to more than one institution and paid the fee using the SEVIS ID number of another institution, but you wish to attend U.C., you will not have to pay the fee again. Bring the I-20 or DS-2019 of both the schools to the consulate or port-of-entry and tell the officer you will be a student or scholar at the University of Cincinnati.

Additional Information

For additional details on SEVIS and the SEVIS fee, access the SEVIS web site at: