We are happy to assist our admitted students in preparing for their visa interviews. Here are some links that will help you to apply for your U.S. visa. If you are denied a visa for any reason, please contact the Office of International Admissions for further assistance and support.
If you were admitted to SVSU but were unable to attend and would like to renew your I-20 for a later semester, please contact the Office of International Admissions for further assistance and support.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires F-1 and J-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee of $200 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). The following information specifically addresses fee issues for F-1 students. Please click the question to view the corresponding answer.
No, unless the student’s circumstances change so that he or she fits one of the categories mentioned above.
F-2 dependents do not have to pay the fee, even if the I-20 that the F-2 dependents use is issued on or after 9/1/2004.
The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring schools, changing to another degree program or level, requesting a program extension, renewing an F-1 visa or using F-1 program benefits such as practical training. If you are in status when you travel internationally and are not physically outside of the U.S. for more than five months, you will not be required to pay the fee again.
The fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to applying for your visa, or applying for admission at a US port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa requirement. The fee must be paid prior to submission of a change of status petition or reinstatement application.
No. At this time the SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail or the Internet.
The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail or online and must be accompanied by a Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the US.
Fee payments should be entered into your permanent immigration (SEVIS) record but it is strongly recommended that you retain a copy of your fee receipt (form I-797) to use as needed.
Yes. But you must submit the I-20 form with the SEVIS ID number that you listed on the I-901 form with you to the U.S. consulate/embassy. For a change of status or reinstatement applications, please see the next question.
The SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.
For more information regarding the new SEVIS fee requirement or other visa-related matters, contact [International Student/Scholar Services office].
This information is for people who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the U.S. Department of State website.
1. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask for instructions about how to obtain an F-1 international student visa. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at https://www.usembassy.gov/.
2. After you receive an I-20 form from the school that you want to attend, follow the U.S. Embassy/Consulate’s instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible. Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.
3. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate’s web site.
You must bring the receipt of fee payment with you to the interview. If you have lost the receipt, the Visa Officer should be able to view your payment history in his or her database.
If you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months, you do not need to pay the $200 SEVIS fee.
4. Prepare and bring to your visa interview the following:
5. Stay calm and answer all of the questions honestly and completely
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of International Admissions.
*Many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a U.S. bank. You may therefore obtain a check from:
1) Have a valid passport
2) Attend a SEVIS authorized school
3) Arrive at SVSU for the start of classes and SEVIS registration
4) Carry a full course of study
5) Obey state & federal laws
6) Adhere to regulations of employment
7) Keep your I-20 or DS-2019 up-to-date