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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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SEVIS Fee Requirements

A United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule requires F-1 and J-1 visa applicants to pay a fee 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.

Who pays the SEVIS fee?

  • Prospective students with "initial attendance" I-20s who are applying for an "initial" F-1 visa from outside the U.S.
  • Prospective students with "initial attendance" I-20s who are applying for a change to F-1 status from another visa category
  • Current F-1 students in the U.S. filing for reinstatement after being out of status more than 5 months, and who are issued an I-20 issued for reinstatement

How do I pay the fee?

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.

To Pay Online

  1. Find the Form I-901 at
  2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
  3. Print a copy of the online receipt.
  4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents
  5. Additional questions see the USICE website

Research the visa application process for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at which you will apply. It is best to apply at an Embassy or Consulate in your country of citizenship or current permanent residence. The U.S. Department of State website contains country-specific Immigration instructions.

Prepare all of your documents carefully. Make sure that:

  • Your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your anticipated date of entrance into the U.S.
  • You submit the MSU admission letter, Form I-20 and your financial support documents with your application packet.
  • You prepare and submit all of the visa application forms listed in the instructions on the consular web site.

Develop a confident and positive attitude in yourself. We know from research the visa officer will probably make his or her decision about your visa within 10 seconds of meeting you. If you seem hesitant or lacking in confidence, this will come through in subtle ways during your interaction, and may hinder your case. Relax and be confident! Make sure to keep eye contact and position your body in a way that demonstrates your confidence. If you prepare for this interview by bringing documentation and clearly state an educational plan and intent to return, you can focus on communicating clearly rather than feeling nervous about what you will say. In addition, the officer will see your confidence and preparation and that will be an indication to them that you are suitable for studying abroad.

If your visa is not approved, request the reason for the denial be given to you in writing. Visa officers are required by U.S. regulation to present to you in writing the reason for a visa denial if you request it. Try to notice the name of the officer in charge of the interview. FAX to our office (MSU-Kearney International Center, FAX 507-389-2790) the paper explaining the visa denial, along with your current e-mail address and the name of the visa officer. We will send to you further instructions.

We wish you the best of luck with your visa application, and look forward to your arrival at Minnesota State University.