Paying SEVIS Fees After the Visa Interview – Would Visa be Approved or Denied?

If you are attending F1, M or J visa interview, you should pay the SEVIS Fee before attending the Interview. But, you forgot and you want to know if you can pay SEVIS Fee after the Visa Interview?

For the most part, if you did not pay the SEVIS Fee before the interview, one of the following things could happen:

  1. Visa is Approved, but 221(g) is issued to pay the SEVIS fee and submit the 221(g) form and Fee Receipt
  2. Visa is Denied and for not paying the SEVIS before the interview
  3. Visa is Denied and for a host of other reasons unrelated to the SEVIS Fee
  4. Visa is Approved, but later denied after paying the SEVIS fee

Let’s look at an F1 Visa Interview shared by a student who did not pay the SEVIS Fee before the interview.

My case was I have attended F-1 Visa interview at the US Consulate in Chennai, India. The Visa Officer Said my F1 Visa was approved. And she kept passport with and asked me to submit my SEVIS Fee payment confirmation.

Before that, she asked me whether I had maid my SEVIS payment and I  asked for the payment receipt. But, I didn’t take it with me for the interview. So, she said to submit it along with the 221(g) form.

Unfortunately, I received my passport without the F1 Visa stamp and attached with the passport was reason for rejeciton form – 214(b).

I think the F1 Visa was denied because I made the SEVIS fee payment after I came back from the Interview. It’s possible that the Visa Officer would have thought I gave a false statement that I already paid the SEVIS Fee.

But, honestly I paid my SEVIS fee in 2016 and I did not know that the SEVIS fee payment expires in 1 year. So, After reading the clear instruction again when retrieving my old SEVIS ID, I paid the SEVIS fee again. Then submitted the payment receipt along with the 221(g) form.

Now, are you wondering what will happen to your F, M or J Visa, if you forgot the pay the SEVIS Fee before the student Visa Interview?

Here is one more question related to SEVIS Fee payment.

I attended F1 visa interview on the 3rd week of July and cleared it. I’m stupid and ignorant enough to not have paid the SEVIS fee yet. I just read moments ago that one needs to pay the $200 SEVIS fees, and US homeland security’s website says that a student on F1 status has to pay it BEFORE attending the visa interview.

I’m flying in one week and I will pay the SEVIS fee today. However, I’m wondering, if I will encounter any problems at the port of entry since the payment receipt will bear a date which falls after the date of my visa interview.

This is just a couple of possible scenario related to SEVIS Fee payment. There could be more. Please check the discussion section below as well.

Pay SEVIS Fee After the Interview

Visa officers would run into applicants who did not pay the SEVIS fee time and time again. Perhaps, the applicant paid the fees and ended up transferring to the university or the SEVIS ID changed and did not transfer the SEVIS fee to the new SEVIS ID.

The Bottomline?

Pay the Fees before the visa interview. 

Why do you want to give the Consular Officer a chance to deny your visa by not paying the SEVIS Fee before the visa interview?

As you can see from the examples cited above, one applicant’s F1 Visa was denied and for that, we would have to blame the student.

I would have definitely sent a cover letter while submitting the SEVIS Payment receipt explaining the reasons for paying the SEVIS fee after the interview.

And the second applicant got the Visa approval and Consular office did not notice the nonpayment of SEVIS Fee during the interview.

Resources:

It’s hard to predict what will happen to your specific situation. If your record is squeaky clean and if the consular office says that visa is approved, and you are more likely to the passport back with the visa stamp. If you have a different experience, please do share them in the comments below.

15 Comments

  1. Stephy on July 26, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    I attended visa interview today and forgot to pay my sevis. The officer gave the 221g blue form and told me to pay it at the door box. I did it right after interview. Will I get the visa? Please reply

  2. Shruti Chandrasekhar on May 25, 2018 at 8:56 AM

    Hi, I didn’t know about what sevis fee is. After the visa interview the Vo asked me to pay the sevis fee and handed over the 221 g form I attended the visa interview at Chennai consulate on may 11th. I immediately paid the sevis fee and submitted my documents to the drop box. It’s been two weeks my status still shows administrative processing. Please help what should I do. My university starts on June 4th. Is there any way I can expedite the case.?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 25, 2018 at 8:10 PM

      Please contact the consulate via traveldocs support center. That’s the only way.

    • Santanu Dey on May 31, 2018 at 8:58 AM

      Have you sent it via mail ? If not send a mail if it is still on hold.

      • Santanu Dey on June 5, 2018 at 12:31 PM

        HAVE YOU GOT IT?

  3. Jane on August 14, 2017 at 2:20 AM

    Please can I pay my SEVIS fee 1 day to my interview that is 24 hours.will it reflect???

    • Illus on May 21, 2018 at 9:40 PM

      Did it reflect? My interview is tomorrow. Is it okay if I pay sevis today?

  4. Niharika Nehra on June 30, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    I did the same thing, the visa officer told me to pay it at the application centre. Did you get the visa?

  5. ficro on November 30, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    I did the same mistake. Forgot to pay the sevis fee. Realized that when my documents were verified at the counter prior to the interview with the visa officer. The lady at the counter told me that i could still go ahead n the visa officer would tell me what to do. The visa officer asked me few questions about my work etc. and then said the sevis fee wasnt reflecting. I told him i was informed about this at the docs verification counter and asked him if there was something i could about it. He went in and came back after a min or so and gave me a 221g and asked me to submit the receipt at the ofc and that he was giving me back my passport. Did that immediately after the interview n now m waiting. Fingers crossed. Any inputs would help a lot. Thnx.

    • setu on November 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      I don’t think its that big a issue. I paid my sevis after the interview and things went well. I was not questioned during the interview. So i immediately paid the sevis fee after the interview. Our case files could differ, may be thats the only reason he brought it up during your interview. Things should be fine. Submit the docs listend on your case status report against your case id. If you are asked to send a travel itinerary with your passport, please attach proof that your travel plans are still valid and necessary.

    • hari on November 1, 2017 at 11:03 AM

      I was in same situation, where i forgot to pay my SEVIS fee and went to visa interview. VO told me to pay the sevis fee. luckily VO took my passport and gave 221 g to submit SEVIS receipt by email. After two days my visa got approved.

      • Neha on September 25, 2018 at 2:49 AM

        Hey, I had a similar situation today and glad to know you got it so soon. Which consulate?

  6. Setu on December 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Hey man, i made the same mistake but paid my sevis fee two hours after succesfully getting through with the interview. Did you get your visa? Or faced any problem?

  7. naveen kumar on August 3, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    even i forgot to pay SEVIS fees …..but i payed 12hrs before my VI ……i was dumb to forget important payment to US home land security….. But i can’t say the consequences of paying sevis fees after VI. Actually when u go to VI guy at the 1st counter check ur SEVIS statuts, how can he forget about checking SEVIS fee status??????

  8. True Red on August 3, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Howz it possible?? they ask for SEVIS receipt along with passport, i20 etc in VI during document submission only..

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