SEVIS Fee Information


The form I-20 (for F-1 visa) must be used when applying for the visa to enter the U.S. to study at Keystone College. The DSO will issue the form I-20 once you are approved to study at Keystone College. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule requires F-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). In almost all cases, new students at Keystone College will pay this fee unless they are transferring schools within the U.S. and remaining at the same immigration status. The following information specifically addresses fee issues for F-1 students.

You must pay the SEVIS fee if:

First Step
You should make arrangements to pay the following fees before applying for the visa:

  1. Pay the SEVIS fee - if required - at least 3 business days before the visa interview if  you pay by credit card (if you pay by credit card, you can print the SEVIS fee receipt) or pay the SEVIS fee several weeks before the visa interview if you pay by check or money order.

    Visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for instructions on paying the fee and for the fee form – I901.  We recommend paying the SEVIS fee electronically because the receipt can be printed immediately.
  2. Pay the VISA Application Fee. Follow the instructions given by the U.S. consulate in the city where you will apply for the visa.  To find U.S. consulate information on student visa and the forms needed visit the Travel State Gov website.

Second Step
Take the following documents to the visa interview: I-20; SEVIS Fee Receipt; Visa Application Fee Receipt; Proof of Financial Guarantee for study in the U.S.; Visa Applications – DS 156, DS-158, and DS-157; letter of Keystone College admission; passport; two photographs; and any other documents required at the consulate. 

Final Step
Once you have received the student visa, you should make plans to arrive at Keystone College in time for new student orientation.  Please read the arrival information on the web site because it has useful information about your documents and entry processing at the port-of-entry.  Please address questions to Shirley Michaels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will other F-1 students in the U.S. have to pay?
No, unless the student’s circumstances change so that he or she fits one of the categories mentioned above.

What about my F-2 dependents?
F-2 dependents do not have to pay the fee.

Do I have to pay if I transfer to another school, travel outside the U.S. or renew my visa?
The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring schools, changing to another degree program of 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. 

Can I pay the SEVIS fee at a university, consulate or port of entry?
No. At this time the SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail or the Internet.

Will the DHS keep a record of my payment on file?
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.

I applied to more than one school, and have more than one I-20 form.  What happens if I pay the SEVIS fee for one school, and then I change my mind and decide what I want to attend the other school?  Is my paid SEVIS fee transferable?
Yes, But your 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 change of status or reinstatement applications, please see next question. 

What do I need to apply for an F-1 visa, change of status or reinstatement?

What if my F-1 visa application is denied?
The SEVIS fee will not be refunded.  However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of 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 the Shirley Michaels, Designated School Official at shirley.michaels@keystone.edu.

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