As a new applicant, you must pay a one-time I-901 SEVIS fee: $200 for F-1 and $180 for J-1
to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before you can apply for a visa. You will need the SEVIS fee payment receipt in order to apply for your visa at the U.S. Consulate in your home country. This fee is not required for F-2 or J-2 dependents.
You must pay the SEVIS fee in U.S. dollars, either online (using a credit card) or through the mail (by U.S. check, money order, or bank draft). Once payment is received, it takes three business days to be processed. This means your payment must be received at least three days before you apply for a visa at the U.S. Consulate in your country (or at least three days before your entry into the U.S. if you are a Canadian citizen).
You must have your I-20 or DS-2019 form before you can pay the SEVIS. After receiving the I-20 or DS-2019 form, you will need to know your SEVIS identification number. The SEVIS identification number is printed in the upper right section of the I-20 or DS-2019. Detailed information and instructions on paying the fee can be accessed at U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.