Obtaining a Visa

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Helpful Links:

U.S. Department of State website

  • Learn about applying for a visa or visa “renewal” 
  • Student visa categories
  • Visa application process and advice

The U.S. Embassy website 

  • Provides links to all U.S. consulates.
  • Determine what documentation and/or other requirements are needed when applying for an entry visa.

The I-901 SEVIS fee is charged by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to defray the costs of the administration and maintenance of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) that is used to monitor and track F-1 students, J-1 Exchange Visitors and their dependents. The SEVIS fee applies to students:

  • Who are entering the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student
  • Are changing status within the U.S. to F-1 or J-1

Please note that if you are already in F-1 or J-1 status in the U.S. and are transferring your status within SEVIS to Washington University in St. Louis, then this fee has already been paid.

This payment cannot be made until you receive your I-20/DS-2019. Once you receive your I-20 or DS-2019, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee by completing an I-901 Fee Remittance form, in English, online. Print the payment confirmation after payment is complete, as you are required to have proof you paid the fee in order to obtain an entry visa.

When you go for your interview at a U.S. consulate abroad, confirmation of SEVIS fee payment must be shown to the consular officer. You can request a visa appointment prior to paying the SEVIS I-901 fee, but must have paid the fee and have a printed payment confirmation prior to your visa interview. If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not require a visa, and you will need to show the SEVIS fee payment confirmation to the officer at the port of entry. Please be advised that you should retain your payment confirmation with your immigration documents, as you may need evidence of this payment in the future.

F-1 and J-1 students who have paid their required I‑901 SEVIS fee can access FMJfee.com on their mobile devices. Though you still must have a printed receipt for the payment, you will be able to access FMJfee.com and check the status of the payment. The mobile‑friendly site will provide news and updates regarding the SEVIS fee, as well as answers to SEVIS fee frequently asked questions.

Entry Visa Application Advice
Making a Successful Visa Application
Intent to Return to Home Country