Studying in the United States requires you to pay the SEVIS fee. This post will guide you on the steps to pay SEVIS fee in Nigeria. If you are an international student planning to travel to the United States
Before you process a visa to study in the United States of America, you need to do more than just the regular US Visa application and interview process by paying a SEVIS fee.
While some people have been able to go about this successfully, paying a SEVIS fee in Nigeria still creates a major issue in meeting the requirements for studying in the U.S.
Therefore, I have compiled an easy way to help you understand what this SEVIS fee stands for and how to pay for it.
What is a SEVIS fee?
The Student and Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS) is a program initiated by the U.S. immigration service. This is to ensure that when you want to study in the United States, your status and other necessary profiles are registered with the country.
The SEVIS fee is set to provide structure to noncitizens who are visiting the U.S. solely for study purposes and to be able to meet up with educational demands. Thus, other benefits attached to studying in the U.S. is determined by your student or training profile established when you have paid the fee.
Who are Exchange Visitors?
Exchange visitors is a term used to describe individuals who are visiting the United States to be a part of programs developed by the nation to facilitate training and education. For instance, if you are visiting the United States to benefit from seminars, workshops, government scholarships, public research works and fully funded scholarships in some cases. You will need to pay a SEVIS fee as an exchange visitor in Nigeria.
Besides, skilled professionals or volunteers who are qualified for coaching sessions in designated institutions in the U.S. are referred to as exchange visitors.
Importance of a SEVIS fee
Paying the SEVIS fee is one important step before you can be a student in the United States. Though you will need to apply for either the F or J visa category for nonimmigrants in the U.S. you can not ignore the SEVIS payment.
The payment is pivotal to the following;
Paying the SEVIS fee approves you as a student in the United States who is ready to fulfil the learning purpose. Also, your information is stored by the system and whatever else is required by people acquiring knowledge in the U.S. also applies to you.
As a non-citizen of the United States, you are expected to be aware that the student and exchange visitors program provides all your study help. This means that if you need to change your institution of learning or course of study, leave or return to the U.S. your status as a student remains preserved.
To improve and implement new strategies whether technology-based or so on for issues regarding studying in the United States, SEVIS plays a major role. This is because the fee you paid is attached to developing means to provide solutions to problems that students face in the U.S regarding registration data and many more.
Instructors, teachers, program directors and staff associated with SEVIS and the program are constantly trained on current updates. This is to provide the best educational services whether formal or informal to foreigners who have come to study in the United States.
After your study in the U.S., you have the chance to get jobs or employment in different sectors. However, the basic step is allowing yourself to get registration with the immigration service as a student to show that you have obtained educational or vocational degrees in the country.
Furthermore, having your data programmed into the immigration service of the U.S. as a student can provide you with the privileges of switching to the immigrant status easily.
Who should pay the SEVIS fee?
Since the student and exchange visitors immigration system was integrated in 2004, additional rules have been set;
Individuals who have been offered admission to a higher institution in the United States starting from 2004
Students in vocational institutions in the United States
Individuals who are changing the course of study from a scholarship scheme or paid training program
Skilled professionals such as medical practitioners, educators, researchers, and technology experts who want to visit the U.S for further training.
Cost of SEVIS fee in Nigeria
The cost of the student and exchange visitors program fee has changed over the years. If you are paying for SEVIS fee in Nigeria, ensure you confirm the price beforehand.
First, for foreign students who have been offered admission into any higher institution of learning or vocational training centre in the U.S., you will be required to pay a $350 SEVIS fee.
Next is for foreign participants in government-oriented programs, training, seminars, and short study programs who are expected to pay $220 for SEVIS.
In addition, if you visiting the United States to study with your children, husband or wife who is not studying, you are not required to pay SEVIS fee for your spouse or dependents. If your programme is fully sponsored by the U.S. government, there is no need to pay SEVIS dues.
However, individuals interested in selected schemes that have to do with volunteer training in the U.S. or summer programs and so on are to just pay $35 as a SEVIS fee.
How many times do you pay the SEVIS fee?
The SEVIS fee is paid once during your visa application process. This is not the same as a visa fee but more like a registration with the immigration system of the U.S. that approves your student status.
Also, in case you have paid your SEVIS due and eventually, you do not get your visa in the space of 12 months you will have to pay a new SEVIS fee. Your SEVIS fee is valid for only one year
Is anyone exempted from paying the SEVIS fee?
The following people are excused from paying for the student and exchange visitors program;
People who have paid the fees before
Well, when you have paid the SEVIS fee once, you do not have to pay again as long as you are still a student in the United States. It is a one-time payment that covers all your student status in the country.
Therefore, you can transfer the previous payment if you desire to apply for another study course in the United States. You should also be aware that the $35 payment is under specialised short-term summer or volunteer training in the U.S.
Therefore, it cannot be compared to the $220 or $350 fee for students in higher institutions or skilled learning programs in the U.S.
Citizens of the United States and certain European countries
However, citizens of certain countries or individuals who have been living in the United States and are not new to studying there for years do not pay for the student and exchange visitor programs.
Participants of fully financed government programs
When you are selected to participate in programs organized by the U.S. government, you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee. This is because it has been covered by the government.
Family members and dependents who will be travelling with you to the United States and do not want to study there
If you have relatives ( spouse, children, parents) who will be going with you to the United States, they should only get a visa. The SEVIS fee does not apply to family and friends because they are not studying, except they are anyway.
Individuals who have been cleared by the admitting institution
Certain institutions can clear you if they are sponsoring your study in U.S. Although, you will be informed of this or probably given a code to identify you as a student.
Eligibility for SEVIS payment
Your qualifications for the SEVIS payment stand on the fact that you are an intending foreign student in the U.S. Also, it means that you have an admission letter to verify your claim or you are among the selected participants of a government-sponsored program or skills training.
When to pay the SEVIS fee
When applying for a SEVIS fee in Nigeria. The payment is made before you apply for a visa, once you have been informed of the selection to study in the United States. This is at least 14 working days before your visa interview at the embassy located in your country.
Also, be informed that it is an online payment for which you need to print out a receipt as proof.
Where to Pay For SEVIS Fee in Nigeria
Unfortunately, you can not pay for SEVIS fee in Nigeria. You can only pay for it in Benin Republic or someone in the US.
How to pay for SEVIS fee in Nigeria
There are two major payment options available to Nigerians who want to pay the SEVIS surcharge in full. This includes;
Western Union payment
This payment is valid for the SEVIS due because it allows for the change of your local cash to the accepted exchange in the U.S.
Thus, you are required to download the payment form online at www.fmj.fee.com. and fill it appropriately. Then you will submit this for further processing at any Western Union agency in Nigeria. Afterwards, your payment receipt will get to you which you can check out on the website.
Kindly note that some banks in Nigeria offer the Western Union service in Nigeria.
Money order or Check
To pay for the SEVIS fee using a money order, you can do this by filling a cheque or money order at a recognised bank. Banks such as First Bank of Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank can help you with this money order.
Thus, all you need to do is visit the bank with the details you need to pay for the SEVIS fee which you will give when you apply first of all. Your payment notification will be sent to you through your email address which you can print out.
The master and debit card can be used only if you are not paying within Nigeria or you are a foreign citizen.
Additionally, you can send your payment in form of a mail to the U.S. immigration service, however, this takes time and involves more risk. The first two options are preferable except you have other trusted sources in case you choose to use a courier or mail service to send in your payment.
Furthermore, it takes time to generate an identification of payment with a mail or delivery service unlike through money order or a Western union paycheck.
Also, note that travel agencies can be your best bet for easy and stress-free payment of the SEVIS charge. Should you require help, do not hesitate to contact us.
Steps to pay the SEVIS fee in Nigeria
Step 1: Visit the provided U.S. immigration website for this at www.fmjfee.com.
Step 2: Take note of the SEVIS identification assigned to you, if it is your first time paying
Step 3: Pay your SEVIS charge online through any of the available means
STEP 4: Adhere to all instructions and information given while you need to pay
Your details, biodata and other basic information about the school of study will be required. Follow the prompts and fill out the form properly.
For people who want to pay the SEVIS fee for others, you need to provide your details as instructed.
STEP 5: Print your authorization details as well as your receipt
These details are vital to come along with your interview at the embassy, therefore once the notification pops up during your application, print it immediately.
What happens after payment of the SEVIS fee?
The next steps are valid after the successful payment of the SEVIS charge;
- Print out your receipt of payment if you got one immediately
- Await a correspondence on your payment within 3-5 business days
- Apply for a U.S category J or M study visa
- Attend your visa interview at the U.S. embassy with your receipt of the SEVIS payment
Address of U.S. embassy and consulate in Nigeria
The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos
Address: 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos
The U.S embassy in Abuja
Address: Diplomatic Drive, Central District, Abuja.
Kindly note that you can get help for SEVIS on the following platforms;
If you Need Help With the payment of SEVIS fee in Nigeria
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