As of September 1, 2004, all students intending to enter the United States on an F-1 visa must pay a separate $200 fee to the US Department of Homeland Security.
This $200 SEVIS fee must be paid and fully processed before you arrive to the US consulate or embassy in your country for your student visa interview.
The $200 SEVIS fee took effect on September 1, 2004, and is required by the US Congress to help pay for the costs of SEVIS, an automated computer system used by schools, including the Boston Academy of English, to ensure that students remain in status during their stay in the United States.
Note that this $200 SEVIS fee is separate from any visa fees you must pay to have your F-1 visa processed in your home country.
For official instructions on paying the $200 SEVIS fee, you should refer to the website of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A summary of the instructions is below:
It is possible for a friend, relative, or sponsor in the United States to make the $200 SEVIS payment on your behalf. They will need to follow the same payment instructions and complete the form with your information. Please note that the person making the $200 SEVIS fee on your behalf will need a copy of your I-20.
If you pay your $200 SEVIS fee online, you will be able to print a receipt of your payment immediately. If you pay through Western Union, you can obtain your receipt by going to www.fmjfee.com and choosing ‘Check I-901 Status/Print Payment Confirmation’. You should print this receipt and take it to your student visa appointment at the appropriate consulate or embassy in your country as proof of payment.
The SEVIS fee payment must be submitted before you attend your visa interview. You will also need to submit the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application (see https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/) and submit any associated fees. This will include a $160 Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee, and may include additional fees depending on your country. Visit the website for your local US embassy or consulate to learn about the fees, visa application process, and how to make your payments.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has created an official list of Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) to help answer your questions about making the $200 SEVIS fee payment.