The fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to applying for your visa, or when applying for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa requirement (e.g. Canadian students). Students who are exempted from visa requirements should keep a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt to present at the port-of-entry with their Form I-20.
Request the form by phone at 1-800-870-3676 (inside the U.S.)
Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your passport/Form I-20.
Mail a check or international money order (drawn on U.S. banks only) in the amount of $200 made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security” along with the completed application to mailing address listed on Form I-901.
The SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again, as long as you have proof of the original payment.