Applying for a J-1 Visa
Applying for your J-1 Visa
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now requires the collection of a one-time SEVIS fee of $180 1 from certain J-1 Exchange Visitor students and scholars. This fee is being collected to fund operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Office, which has oversight over SEVIS - the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.
Time of payment of SEVIS fee: A J-1 student or scholar, who is subject to payment of the SEVIS fee, must remit the fee directly to DHS by completing Form I-901 electronically using the Internet or by mail as follows:
||On-line submission of Form I-901 (www.FMJfee.com) to DHS using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express accepted).|
||Mail-in submission of Form I-901 to DHS address on form, along with the $180 SEVIS fee paid by check, money order, or foreign draft drawn on a financial institution in the U.S. and payable in U.S. currency.|
Another person (friend or family) can make the payment for an exchange visitor by one of the two methods above.
Applying for the J-1 visa abroad: The SEVIS fee should be processed by DHS at least 3 business days prior to the consular interview. Fees will not be payable at the consulate. The following steps are a guideline for obtaining a J-1 visa from abroad:
||Receive DS-2019 from the Exchange Visitor Program.
||Make visa appointment with U.S. Embassy/Consulate. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at http://usembassy.state.gov/.|
|-||Submit SEVIS fee payment in time to allow DHS to process payment at least 3 days prior to visa interview.|
||Print SEVIS fee payment receipt from Internet or wait to receive form I-797 receipt from DHS via mail and submit receipt with visa application.|
||Receive J-1 visa stamp in passport from U.S. Embassy/Consulate.|
||Enter U.S. up to 30 days PRIOR to the start date indicated on the DS-2019 and no later than 30 days AFTER the start date indicated on the DS-2019.|
||Report to the Rasmussen Center for International Education to validate program no later than 30 days AFTER the start date indicated on the DS-2019.|
Receipts: DHS will issue and mail an official paper receipt (I-797) acknowledging every payment regardless of payment method. Express delivery service for the I-797 receipt may be requested at an additional cost. Anyone who submits an individual fee electronically will be able to print out an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment for use in advance of the mail delivery of the official paper receipt.
Although SEVIS fee payments will be recorded by DHS in the J-1 students' and scholars' SEVIS records and will eventually be used by government officials to document the SEVIS fee payment, it is recommended that a SEVIS fee receipt be used to request any status-related benefit (i.e., application for visa, admission at U.S. port-of-entry, application to change status).
NOTE: Should the visa be denied or the student decides not to come to the U.S., the SEVIS fee is not refundable.