The Student and Exchange Visitor Program System (SEVIS) is a government database used to collect data and issue DS-2019’s for J-1 non-immigrants. A $180 SEVIS fee must be paid for J-1 Exchange Visitors in an “initial” program of study or research. The fee supports operational expenses towards the SEVIS database. The SEVIS fee is in addition to any visa fees or USC fees.

  • J-1 exchange visitors transferring to USC from a US institution do not pay a SEVIS fee.
  • J-2 dependents do not pay a SEVIS fee.

You are permitted to schedule your visa interview at the US embassy before paying the SEVIS fee. However, please note that you must pay the fee at least 3 business days prior to your visa interview. Print the fee payment receipt to present at the visa interview and at the US Port of Entry. Your visa application will be denied if you do not pay the SEVIS fee.

Note for Canadians: Citizens of Canada and certain islands exempt from visa requirements must pay the fee at least 3 business days prior to entering the US.

Paying your SEVIS Fee On-line

  • To complete this process, you’ll need the following:
    • Passport
    • DS-2019 (you will need your personal SEVIS ID number indicated on the top right corner of your DS-2019. It starts with “N” followed by 10 digits)
    • Printer
  • Be sure the biographical information on your DS-2019 is correct, particularly the name and birth date. If this information is incorrect, do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Contact OIS to request a correction.
  • Be sure to type your name exactly as it appears in your passport and DS-2019.
  • Visit to pay your SEVIS fee on-line.
  • Visa, Mastercard or American Express are accepted as forms of payment.
  • Print a copy of your on-line receipt and attach to your DS-2019.