Visas and Entry into the U.S.

The following is a list of important steps you need to take in order to prepare for your arrival on the Minot State University campus. We look forward to meeting you!

COVID-19 Fall 2020 Restart: Frequently Asked Questions

Your Form I-20
Once you have been accepted to Minot State and ALL supporting documentation mentioned in the application checklists has been received, the Admissions Office send your form I-20.

Your I-20 will be 3 pages long. Be sure to sign and date the bottom of page one.

Your I-20 should always be kept in a safe place. You will be required to present this document whenever you cross the U.S. border or travel within the U.S.

Accompanying Dependents: You must notify the International Admissions Specialist of any accompanying dependents in F-2 status and provide biographical information (e.g., full name,address, city, country of birth, etc.) and immigration information (e.g., passport information, visa information, etc.) regarding those dependents.

SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) is an Internet-based system in which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains info on non-immigrant visitors holding F, M and J visas.

You will be able to pay the SEVIS fee once you have received your I-20 form.

  • International students must pay the fee at least 3 business days before applying for a visa.
  • Canadians must pay the fee at least 3 days before crossing the border in F-1 status for the first time. Canadians are exempt from the visa appointment requirement. 

The fee can be paid to the Department of Homeland Security by mail or online, and must be accompanied by a Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the US.

To Pay Online:

  1. Find the Form I-901 at www.Fmjfee.com
  2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard, American Express information. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20.
  3. Print two copies of the online receipt. Bring one copy with you when you travel, and keep the second copy in a safe place.

To Pay by Mail:

  1. Obtain a Form I-901 "Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Non-immigrants" from www.Fmjfee.com.Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20.
     
  2. Prepare a check, international money order, or foreign draft (drawn on U.S. banks only) made payable to "The Department of Homeland Security."
    • Mail the completed I-901 and payment to the address listed on Form I-901.
    • A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed within 3 days of processing the fee. Be sure to make copies of your receipt. Bring one copy with you when you travel, and keep the second copy in a safe place.

To Pay through Western Union:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has implemented an alternative method of payment for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee for international students and exchange visitors. Students from 130 countries are able to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee locally using the Western Union Quick PayTM service. You can find directions from USCIS here.

The visa is the most commonly misunderstood immigration document. It is a stamp that the United States consulate or embassy gives foreign nationals in their passports and which they must have to enter the United States.

The validity of a visa stamp pertains only to the period during which it may be used for admission to the United States. It does not indicate how long you may stay in the United States. You can find more information about maintaining your visa here

A visa can only be issued by a U.S. Embassy/consulate. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate for detailed instructions; requirements for processing the visa will vary by location, and many offices will require a visa interview. Check with the US Embassy/Consulate in your home country for their requirements. Allow a minimum of 4 weeks for this process to be complete.

» Tips for your Visa Interview

Canadians: Canadian citizens are visa exempt and do not need a visa from an embassy to enter the United States. Except for the visa stamp, Canadians follow identical rules and regulations to other International Students.

You may enter the United States a maximum of 30 days before the start date listed on your Form I-20.

All new international students, including graduate and transfer students must attend the F-1 Regulations Workshop. Undergraduate students are also required to attend the New Student Orientation run by Enrollment Services.

We recommend that you arrive the Wednesday before classes start, so that you have a little time to get settled and begin to recover from jet lag before New Student Orientation and the F-1 Workshop.

Be sure to bring all of your documentation regarding Minot State University (including proof of financial resources). It is crucial that you bring your documents in order to successfully obtain entry into the United States. Without proper documentation and identification you will be denied entry until all documentation is present.

Canadians and the I-94: This is the small white card (Arrival/Departure record) given to Canadians at the port of entry to the United States, and which an immigration officer validates and staples into the passport. This is a very important document as it indicates the visa classification you are given upon entry to the United States and the length of time you may stay. A notation of D/S (for Duration of Status) will be noted on most student or exchange visitors I-94’s.

Shuttle from airport/train station to campus:
Minot State University Enrollment Services office will be providing complimentary train and airport shuttle services. This service is available to all new and returning students! Please request your flight or train pick-up at  www.ASKMSU.com/shuttle as soon as you know your arrival information.  A shuttle will also be available to students for shopping trips to Walmart and Dakota Square Mall shopping centers on the weekend before classes begin.

If you need to take taxi transport to campus: 
The university is just a 5 min drive. There are two taxi companies in Minot: 
Taxi 9000 phone: (701) 852-9000
Central Cab Company phone: (701) 852-8000 

Phones that connect directly to a taxi company are located in the airport on the north wall, to the right of the luggage belt. Phones are also available to make local calls free of charge.

If you would like to access wi-fi on a personal device (iphone, iPad, laptop, etc.) while at the Minot airport this service is offered free of charge.

  • User ID: MOT
  • Password: MOT

You are responsible for informing the Housing office of your arrival date and time. This is extremely important because international students are allowed to check-in before the general campus population in order to attend New Student Orientation and rest over the weekend. However, you MUST notify housing of your exact arrival date and time in order to ensure that staff will be able to assist you when you need them. 

AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOUR ARRIVAL DETAILS, contact the housing office by emailing msu.housing@minotstateu.edu or call +1-701-858-3363. You will be put in contact with your Residence Hall Director to make the necessary arrangements for check-in.