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SEVIS Fee Requirement

Once you are accepted into College of the Desert or the Intensive English Academy, you will need to get the F-1 / student visa in order to enter the USA and begin your studies. There is some important information that you should know as you prepare for your F-1 visa interview. Please read this page carefully in order to be prepared for the visa application process.​





All F-1 visa applicants are required to pay a fee of US $200. The SEVIS fee is in addition to the F-1 visa application fee that must be paid at the US Embassy/Consulate. The SEVIS fee is required by the US DHS to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Program or "SEVIS". The SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE you visit the US Embassy/Consulate for your F-1 visa appointment. IF YOU ARE CANADIAN, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE you reach the US port of entry/border.

You will be required to provide proof of payment to the US Embassy/Consulate during your F-1 visa appointment. The proof of payment is the receipt that you will receive after you pay the fee. This fee does NOT go to College of the Desert; it goes to the US government. College of the Desert is sending you this notice as a courtesy to help you with the F-1 visa application process.

How do I pay the SEVIS fee?

The SEVIS fee for the F-1 visa is US$200. It can be paid for by one of three ways:

  1. By credit or debit card

    Complete Form I-901 on the Internet with a credit card. Please visit the following website to submit your payment by credit card: www.fmjfee.com. You will need to use a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. This is the quickest way to pay the fee. You will need to print the receipt directly from your computer and bring it with you to your visa appointment. College of the Desert recommends that you use the credit card option to ensure timely processing of your SEVIS fee payment.

  2. By Western Union

    Follow the instructions below:

    • Fill out the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com. A payment coupon will be generated upon completion of the form.
    • Print a copy of the payment coupon and take it to your local Western Union.
    • Fill out the Quick Collect/Quick Pay Form according to the information found at the bottom of the printed coupon. Example below:
      Company Name (or Code City): SEVISFEE
      Account Number: Coupon Number (ex: 010222013872390)
    • Present the coupon and your payment to the Western Union Agent for processing.

    Payment will be linked to your Form I-901 and your online payment confirmation will be available immediately at www.fmjfee.com

    You must complete the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com prior to visiting your local Western Union.

    Completing the form online will generate a unique coupon number that you will need to validate and process your I-901 SEVIS fee payment at Western Union. You cannot submit a payment via Western Union without the coupon number. You do not have to print and bring the coupon to Western Union; you only need the unique coupon number in order to submit your payment. If a third party is paying your I-901 SEVIS fee on your behalf, you will need to provide them with your coupon number to enter into the Account Number field of the Western Union Quick Pay/Quick Collect Form.

  3. By check or money order sent by mail

    The check should be made out to "I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee".Submit Form I-901 with a check or money order (not cash) drawn on a US bank and payable in US currency. Checks must be from one of the following: Banks chartered or operated in the United States; Foreign subsidiaries of United States banks; Foreign banks that have an arrangement with a United States bank to issue a check, money order or foreign draft that is drawn on a United States bank.

    • * If you fill in the Form I-901 online and choose the option to pay by check or money order, you will be able to print a payment coupon. There is a control number at the top of the coupon. Write the control number, your name and SEVIS ID number on your check or money order and attach the coupon.
    • * If you will out the Form I-901 by hand, print clearly. If you use a paper Form I-901, write your SEVIS ID number and name on your check or money order and attach the form before mailing it in.

    You can print a payment receipt from the FMJFEE website (www.fmjfee.com); you will not be mailed a receipt. The payment confirmation can be printed anytime by clicking on the "Check I-901 Status/ Print Payment Confirmation". After entering your SEVIS ID, Last Name, and Date of Birth you will be able to print your payment confirmation.

    Send payment to:

    By Mail
    I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
    P.O. Box 970020
    St. Louis, MO 63197-0020, USA


    By Courier
    I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
    1005 Convention Plaza
    St Louis, MO 63101, USA
    Phone Number: 1-314-418-4393
    (USA Country Code 011)

NOTE: The SEVIS fee is non-refundable even if you are denied the F-1 visa.

For more information regarding the SEVIS fee, please visit the following web page: www.fmjfee.com.


 F-1 Visa Interview



This information is for people who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study. For information on bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue studies, or renewing your visa, or for more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the US Department of State website.


  1. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 international student visa. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at http://usembassy.state.gov/.

  2. After you receive an I-20 form from the school that you want to attend, follow the U.S. Embassy/Consulate's instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible. Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.

  3. Complete the required application form. Most U.S. Embassies/Consulates now require that you complete and submit your visa application form (DS-160) and photos on-line. Please consult the US Embassy/Consulate in your country for specific instructions.

  4. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate's web site.

  5. Pay the required SEVIS fee of $200.00. See above to find instructions on the two ways that you can pay the SEVIS fee. You must bring the receipt of SEVIS fee payment with you to the interview.
    Please visit www.fmjfee.com for more information about the SEVIS fee.

  6. Prepare and bring all items as indicated on the U.S. Embassy website to your visa interview, including:

    • Passport valid for travel to the U. S. - Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U. S.  If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.

    • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview

    • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Please carefully follow these photo guidelines​.

    • Form I-20 – Your school will send you a SEVIS-generated Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20. All students, their spouse and minor children if they intend to reside in the United States with the student, must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Each person receives an individual Form I-20.

    Additional Documentation May Be Required to establish that you are qualified..

    Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply.

    For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

    • Your academic preparation, such as: transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended

    • Scores from tests that your U.S. school required, such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, or GMAT

    • Your intent to depart the U.S. upon completion of the course of study

    • Financial documentation verifying how you will pay all educational, living and travel costs

  7. Remain calm and answer all the Visa Officer's questions to you openly and honestly.

If you have any questions or problems regarding the visa interview, please contact the International Student Office at College of the Desert at knelson@collegeofthedesert.edu.
Printed from NAFSA: Association of International Educators; Department of State website and www.ice.gov.