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Understanding SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a web-based system for tracking international students and exchange visitors in the United States. Highline College is required to report student information and academic progress to the SEVIS system.

A special fee of $200.00 is required for students and exchange visitors who wish to enter the United States as an F-1 student with a Form I-20 issued on or after September 1, 2004. Only individuals who apply for an F-1 visa will have to pay the SEVIS fee. Any student who leaves the country 5 months or more and will re-enter the US with an F-1 visa will have to pay the fee again.

The following students do not have to pay the SEVIS fee:

  • F-2 dependent applicants do not have to pay a SEVIS fee.
  • F-1 visa holders applying for an I-20 extension will not be required to pay a new fee.
  • F-1 visa holders transferring to a new school do not have to pay a SEVIS fee.
  • F-1 students applying for a change in educational level do not have to pay a SEVIS fee.
  • F-1 students taking a temporary absence (Outside of the U.S.) of less than 5 months do not have to pay a SEVIS fee.

Fee Payment

The SEVIS fee needs to be paid before you go for your interview at the U.S. Embassy or consulate. There are two ways to pay the fee: online at, or by mail. Electronic payments must be made at least 3 business days before the scheduled interview with the consular officer. Mailed payments must arrive at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) address shown on the Form I-901 at least 3 business days before the scheduled interview.

You should bring the payment receipt to the interview. Individuals who file electronically will be able to print an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment. For those students who choose to pay by mail, DHS will issue an official paper receipt called an I-797.

NOTE: At the moment, we do not recommend that students pay by mail because the process could take a long time.

Electronic Payment Instructions
Students can pay via the Internet by completing Form I-901 at and using a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit card.

Instructions to Pay by Mail
Students can submit a Form I-901 together with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency. Sources for such checks and money orders include banks chartered or operating in the U.S., foreign subsidiaries of U.S. banks, or foreign banks that have an arrangement with a U.S. bank to issue a check, money order, or foreign draft that is drawn on a U.S. bank.

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

SEVIS Contact Information
For further information or to check your SEVIS fee status, please contact the SEVIS fee Help Desk at 785-330-1048 (Monday-Friday, 8am to 6pm, Central Time).

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