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.

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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.