Instructions to Enter the United States

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Upon your full acceptance into Northwestern, an I-20 Immigration form will be express mailed to you for you to process as you enter the United States. This may be done no sooner than 30 days prior to the start of the term.

Your status is F-1 student. Your attendance must be full time.

  1. Please present your I-20 document to the immigration officer. You will receive your processed Form I-20 along with an I-94 card with your admission number. You may be required to present other personal information, such as birth certificate, and proof of financial resources for your education. Also be prepared to present information from the admissions office, such as your acceptance letter, etc.
  2. These documents are extremely important and must remain in your possession throughout your U.S. education and training. You must have them with you each time you leave the United States. You must present these forms each time you enter the U.S. after visiting outside the country. Please take care not to lose or damage them.
  3. There is a SEVIS I-901 fee of $200.00 for your I-20 form. You are required to pay that fee prior to entering the U.S. The instructions for payment are available on the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website at International students may also pay by using a credit card via the Internet or by check or money order drawn a U.S. account. You must pay this fee or your I-20 Form to enter the United States will not be processed and you will not be able to enter the U.S. for study.
  4. To complete proper registration with the University and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you must meet with the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) upon your arrival or within the first 5 days of the term. It is required by you to have your I-20 form signed by the PDSO every 10 months to keep your enrollment certification current for the duration of your attendance at Northwestern.


Lori Hanegraaf, Principal Designated School Official (PDSO)

U.S. Government Contacts

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Customer Service: 800-375-5283 or visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Local Office: USCIS Field Office, 2901 Metro Dr., Suite 100, Bloomington, MN 55425

Bureau of Consular Affairs (U.S. Department of State)

For information on passports, visas and international travel, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

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