If you are not currently in F-1 or J-1 status, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee (pdf) in order to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa and enter the US in F-1 or J-1 status or change to student status. You will also need to pay the SEVIS fee if you choose to file a “Change of Status (COS)” inside the US, or are returning to Carnegie Mellon after a leave of absence. Information on the SEVIS fee payment will also be included when OIE mails your document and general information can be found at SEVIS Fee FAQs page.
Applying for a U.S. Visa, Security Clearance & Travel Documents
For complete information about applying for or renewing a U.S. visa, security clearance and visa delays, documents to travel with, and more, visit the Travel section of the OIE website.