Important Information

Before setting an appointment with the consulate you must pay the I-901 SEVIS fee (instruction enclosed).  You may make the payment via credit card on the internet or send your I-901 payment to the address provided in the instructions.

Also please note:

  • Regulation requires all prospective F and M students and all J exchange visitors to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before the U.S. Department of State issues them a visa to study in the United States.
  • The I-901 SEVIS Fee is different from the fees for visa services issued by the U.S. Department of State.
  • F and M students and J exchange visitors must pay their I-901 SEVIS Fee in order to study in the United States, and/or to remain compliant and maintain their status.
  • F and M students and J exchange visitors must print their I-901 SEVIS Fee payment receipt to present as proof of I‑901 SEVIS Fee payment at their visa interview. Showing the email notification alone will not be sufficient.
  • The SEVIS ID on the payment confirmation receipt must always match the SEVIS ID on the student or exchange visitor’s most current Form I-20 or DS-2019. If the SEVIS ID is different, please email [email protected] to confirm if a new I-901 SEVIS Fee payment is required.
  • On July 26, 2015, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Form I-901 was updated to include the collection of applicant email addresses. The new SEVIS Form I‑901 now includes a mandatory email address field that allows the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to send an instant email notification to the student when their I‑901 SEVIS Fee payment status changes. 


How to Acquire a U.S. Entry Visa

Arrange an interview with the United States Embassy in your home country.  Once you have set the appointment you will need the following documents to present to the consulate:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Original I-20/DS-2019 from Montana State University
  3. Original invitation letter from Montana State University stating the purpose of your visit
  4. Proof of financial support

Other issues:

  1. You may enter the United States 30 days prior to your program start date BUT NO SOONER.
  2. Financial support for the entire school year is absolutely important.

When you arrive at the Port of Entry in the United States you will have to present:

  1. Original I-20/DS-2019
  2. Passport
  3. I-94 Departure Record Card (you will fill this card out during your flight)
  4. Any other documents the officer may ask for (i.e. admission letter)

When you arrive at Montana State University:

  1. You must visit our office at 400 Culbertson Hall (this must be done any time during the first few days after arrival)
  2. Bring all your official documents (Passport, I-20/DS-2019, I-94 card)


You must always safeguard your original I-20/DS-2019 and maintain your valid passport.  They are your official documents authorizing your presence on U.S. soil. If you have any questions regarding any of the requirements, please feel free to email [email protected].