International students, exchange visitors and scholars attending US schools or conducting research in the United States, in most cases will be required to pay a $100 fee when applying for visas.
The charge is in addition to the fee students must pay to obtain a US visa and will come into force from 1 September this year.
According to a June 30 press release from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the fee will help cover the costs of administering and maintaining Student Exchange and Visitor Information System, an Internet-based system that maintains information on foreign students and exchange visitors to the United States and helps to facilitate their entry.
"The fee applies to F, J and M nonimmigrant classifications; however, participants in certain J-1 exchange visitor programs will pay a reduced fee of $35 or be fee-exempt," said the ICE press release.
Students, scholars and exchange visitors from abroad whose schools or programs are approved in SEVIS will be required to pay the appropriate fee - in most cases, $100 -- prior to obtaining their visas.
The purpose of the fee is to cover the costs for the continued operation of the Student Exchange Visitor Programme, including the administration and maintenance of SEVIS.
The fee will also fund the establishment of a cadre of liaison officers to help school administrators and students use SEVIS more effectively.Payment of the fee can be accomplished using a credit card via the Internet, by cheque through the mail or by a third party such as schools or sponsors.