Visa Series – 3: SEVIS I-901

Sometimes it does feel like all I do is pay for things…

By now, you’ll have started to realise that a year abroad involves a lot of cost. One of these costs is the SEVIS-I901.

‘What’s this?’, you may ask.

The SEVIS-I901 is a way for the US government to know who’s coming into the country and for how long. SEVIS stands for ‘Student and Exchange Visitor Exchange Information System’, and the I901 is a form you fill in order to obtain a visa.

To do this, you need your DS 2019 (remember that one from last week?), and the I901 website (link valid at time of writing). It shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes, as all the information you need is personal (name, date of birth etc) or on your DS 2019.

Once you’ve filled in your information, you need to pay the SEVIS fee. This cost me $180, and is separate to the cost of the actual visa.

After you’ve paid, you’ll receive a payment confirmation. Bring this with you to your visa interview, as it’s proof that you’ve paid the SEVIS fee. You can book a visa appointment before you pay the fee, but be aware that it may take time for your payment to clear ad be verified. You’ll also receive a SEVIS ID. Make a note of this, as you’ll need it for the DS-160.

As it’s quite a complicated topic, the US Department of homeland Security has a whole set of Frequently Asked Questions over here. Be sure to check this out if there’s anything you don’t understand.

Are you applying for a visa? Let me know in the comments, or drop me a message! Check back next week for a post on the DS-160!


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