Office of International Programs

Applying for a Visa FAQ's

Listed below are a few of the most common questions we receive about the student visa process. If you do not see the answer to your questions here please be sure to send us an e-mail so that we can help you with your concern. 

Do I need a visa if I am a Canadian citizen? *

  • Citizens of Canada are NOT required to obtain a U.S. visa to enter the United States. However, a U.S. Immigration official will inspect your papers upon entry. You must have proof of Canadian citizenship, your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 form), proof that you have paid the SEVIS fee, proof of admission to a US university and proof of financial support. Make sure your documents are marked F-1 or J-1 D/S upon entering (especially if you are driving into the U.S.)!

* New for Canadian Students Entering at a Land Port of Entry *

  • Canadian students entering at a land border port can speed up their entry by using an online I-94 application. You can apply and pay for your I-94 one before arriving at the border. You can do this up to 7 days before your entry. The cost is $6. You will receive a provisional I-94 and be issued an original I-94 at the border provided you meet all the other requirements necessary for your non-immigrant status. Visit the CBP website to learn more. 

 What if I have received a second I-20 or DS-2019 form from another school?

  • DO NOT enter the United States using a college or university’s I-20 or DS-2019 form if you do not intend to enroll at that school. If you have been admitted to more than one school, you must enter using the form for the school that you plan to attend and be sure to inform the other schools that you will not attend.

What if I am unable to attend USM after I receive my I-20 or DS-2019?

  • You MUST inform your the International office at USM immediately so that your SEVIS form can be cancelled. You CANNOT enter using your USM immigration form if you plan to go to another school.

What if I am going to another school in the U.S. before I come to USM?

  • You should only get an I-20 from the FIRST school you will attend. When you are done your program at the first school, you will need to have your SEVIS I-20 record transferred to USM.

Can I use my tourist visa to enter the US?

  • NO! You will have to leave the US and re-enter in the appropriate status.