You apply for admission to a school in the U.S. and are accepted.
If you are applying as an F-1 or M-1 student, you will receive a SEVIS I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for Academic and Language Students from the University of North Dakota (UND) after you are admitted. If you are applying as a J-1 student, you will receive your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.
You must complete item 11 on page 1 of the I-20 form. By signing this form, you accept the terms and conditions specified on page 2 of the I-20. If you have a DS-2019, you must sign the bottom of page By signing this form, you accept the terms and conditions specified on page 2 of the DS-2019.
The SEVIS fee must be paid before your visa interview. You may pay the SEVIS fee by credit card, by check or bank draft from a US Bank, by international money order, or through Western Union. The SEVIS I-901 website has detailed information and frequently asked questions about the SEVIS fee.
Contact the nearest United States Consulate in your home country to find out about the procedures for applying for a student visa (F-1, M-1, or J-1 visa). Take your current passport, your complete I-20 form or DS-2019, proof of English-language proficiency, proof of financial status, and proof of payment of the SEVIS fee to the United States Consulate to apply for your visa. You should apply for your visa at the earliest possible time! (note: Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S. as a student.)
Once you have your I-20 form or DS-2019, your U.S. visa, and your passport, you are ready to travel to the United States. If you are traveling to the U.S. by airplane, airline staff will provide you with an I-94 card that you must complete and present to the immigration official along with your I-20 form or DS-2019. If you are entering the U.S. at a land port, you will receive your I-94 card at the border.
At the port of entry to the United States, the immigration official will stamp your I-94 and I-20 form or DS-2019 with the date and port-of-entry. The officer will then return your stamped I-20 and I-94 card to you. Your I-94 card should be stapled into your passport. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provides important information about your visa status and about what to expect when you arrive at a U.S. Port of Entry: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/index.htm
Congratulations! You are now a student in the U.S. You now have four important documents to keep safe: I-20 (or DS-2019), passport, visa, and I-94 card.
Once you’ve arrived in Grand Forks, you will attend the International Student Orientation and meet with your International Student Advisor to learn more about your immigration status.