I have recently graduated with my undergraduate degree from a US university, and have successfully gained admission into a PhD program at a different US university. I have already transferred my SEVIS record to the new school, and have currently returned to my home country (India) in order to apply for a fresh visa sticker using the i-20 issued for my PhD program.

I wish to know if I am required to pay the SEVIS 1-901 fee again, since I am technically applying for a new F1 visa under a different i-20, even though my SEVIS ID (transferred to the new school) remains the same as it was 4 years ago.

1 Answer 1


No, the I-901 SEVIS fee only has to be paid once for a particular SEVIS ID. If you are applying for a new visa with the same SEVIS ID, you don't need to pay again. This is true even if you have transferred to another school. But you should always bring the receipt showing that you already paid the fee for your SEVIS ID.

The ICE page about the I-901 SEVIS fee explains how to get the receipt online by going to fmjfee.com.

The rule that you don't have to pay again is shown on the ICE I-901 SEVIS fee FAQ by clicking "Who Does Not Pay The Fee" > "When is paying a I-901 SEVIS Fee again not required for continuing students?":

... You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again if you transfer between approved schools at the same educational level. ... You do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again if you are an F-1 or F-3 who is changing educational levels. Examples are:

  • You graduated from high school and are going directly into college using the same SEVIS ID
  • You received your Master’s degree and going directly into a doctoral program using the same SEVIS ID

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