How to pay the $160 F-1 Visa Fee
Make sure you pay the right fees, in the right order.
Do I need to pay the $160 F-1 Visa fee?
If you are applying for a F-1 Visa to study in the US, you are required to pay a $160 fee. The F-1 Visa is categorized as a “non-immigrant visa”, and per the US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs, every non-immigrant visa applicant must pay a $160 visa application processing fee.
Note: The F-1 Visa application fee must be paid regardless of whether or not the US Embassy issues you a visa. Visa fees are non-refundable, and if you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the support center at your nearest US Embassy. Indian passport holders must direct their queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At what phase of my visa application should I pay the fees?
To make your F-1 Visa fee payment, you must create a CGI Federal profile. You must pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, submit your DS-160 application, and create your CGI Federal profile. Once your $160 visa fee payment is confirmed and a receipt number is issued, you will then be able to book your visa appointments with the US Embassy.
Live Webinar: Filling out a DS-160 Application for the F-1 Visa
Applying for a F-1 Visa in India and not sure where to start with the DS-160 Application form? Sign up today for our free live webinar to avoid making serious mistakes and get a jump start on your US student visa application process! We’ll open the floor to a 30 minute Q&A session at the end. You’ll learn how to:
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How long do I have to schedule an appointment after paying the visa fee?
Once you complete payment, you will be issued a receipt number. Per US Travel Docs, the receipt is valid for up to 1 year from the date of payment. If you fail to schedule your visa appointments within the 1 year timeframe, your receipt will expire and you will need to pay the $160 fee again before you can schedule your visa appointments.
What are my payment options?
The $160 visa fee payment must be made in your local currency. It can take up to 2 days from the time you complete payment until your receipt number is activated in your CGI Federal profile. Here is a list of different payment options for F-1 Visa fees in India:
1. Direct Bank Transfer
The US Embassy enables you to make a National Electronics Funds Transfer (NEFT) or a direct bank transfer from your bank account to complete your visa fee payment. Once you log into your CGI Federal profile, you will be provided a unique account number (the US Embassy uses a Bank of America account to receive visa fee payments) to which you can send the payment. This is often the safest payment method; typically, students are issued a receipt number that becomes active on the CGI Federal profile anywhere between 2-48 hours from the time of payment.
2. Payment by Mobile Phone
Visa applicants can also choose to complete the $160 fee payment using the IMPS system (Immediate Payment Service) through their mobile device. You must be registered with your respective bank to use this payment method and you must have a valid Mobile Banking Personal Identification Number (mPIN). This is often the fastest method for your visa fee payment since the IMPS system can be used 24x7 as opposed to using a bank transfer, which has strict timing on money transfers.
3. Payment by Cash
Finally, F-1 Visa applicants can complete their visa fee payment by paying in cash at any of the designated branches for AXIS Bank, Citibank, or DRUK Bank. Once you log into your CGI Federal profile, you must visit the payment page, print out the fee collection slip, and visit the nearest branch to make your payment. You must ensure that the bank issues you a receipt as you will need to enter this receipt number on your CGI Federal payment confirmation page to activate and confirm payment.
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