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 and F-1 Status: Frequently Asked Questions

Your Form I-20
Once you have been accepted to Minot State and have provided all required admissions documents, the Minot State Admissions Office will send your electronic form I-20 to you.

Be sure to print the I-20 and sign at the bottom of page one. We recommend printing the I-20 in color and stapling all three pages together. Do not attempt to show the electronic I-20 to border agents or visa officials on your mobile device.

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. We recommend that you print the new government rules, which state that printed I-20s can be used for travel. Border agents should already be aware of this new rule, but having access to the document during travel may be helpful to you.

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
  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 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.

We recommend that you arrive with sufficient time to get settled and begin to recover from jet lag before you need to attend any required meetings or activities for new students.

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

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.

The very first time you enter the U.S. as an F-1 student, you will be issued an I-94: Entry/Departure Record at the port of entry.

Your I-94 shows where and when you entered the country, and for how long you are allowed to stay. If you are issued an electronic I-94 record, you can print a copy of it any time by visiting the I-94 website and entering your passport information. F-1 students who have been in the U.S. prior to 2022 will have a paper I-94 stapled into their passports.

Your I-94 will indicate the visa status (F for non-immigrant students) and will be marked  “D/S” for “duration of status”. That means you will be able to remain legally in the United States for as long as you “maintain F-1 status”.

To get a copy of your most recent I-94 document, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.

  • Click on "Get Most Recent I-94"
  • Agree to the terms
  • Enter your personal information, passport number and country of issue

Minot International Airport
Scheduled passenger flights to the Minot airport (MOT) is currently provided by Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Allegiant Air. There are six daily flights to and from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on Delta, and three daily flights to and from Denver International Airport (DEN) on United. Allegiant Air provides multiple flights throughout the week to Las Vegas (LAS) and Phoenix-Mesa (IWA).

Delta Airlines
United Airlines
Allegiant Airlines:

Passenger Rail
The Minot Amtrak station is served by one east bound and one west bound train each day.

AMTRAK Rail Road Reservations & Scheduling
401 1st Ave SW
(800) 872-7245

Local Transportation
Ride share services Lyft and Uber operate in Minot. There is no local taxi service so make sure to download the Lyft and/or Uber apps onto your mobile device to request a ride from the airport to campus when you arrive.

If you need to access wi-fi on a personal device 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. 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 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.