The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an Internet-based system which tracks and monitors non-immigrant students (F and M visas) and exchange visitors (J visa) and their dependents.
As part of the visa application process, you are required to pay a $200 USD F-1 and a $180 USD J-1 SEVIS registration fee. This fee is in addition to any other visa application fees required in your home country. You are strongly advised to pay the SEVIS fee online. The online payment site also provides information on alternate methods of payment.
Be certain to print your payment receipt before you log off your computer. Be aware that there may be a delay before the receipt prints. It is essential that you take this receipt with you to the Embassy when you apply for your visa.
For official information regarding immigration and SEVIS see the following site: