The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a web-based system for maintaining information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States. This site has information related to the SEVIS fee, visa application and arrival in the U.S., maintaining your student status and other resources.
Obtaining a Student Visa
St. Olaf College will only issue an I-20 form for the F-1 student visa application after a student has been accepted, verified his or her financial support, and confirmed his or her attendance with a $600 deposit.
Students should apply for their F-1 student visa as soon as they are able to, but no more than 120 days before the start of their program of study at St. Olaf and at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Here are tips on applying for a student visa. You will need to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee (currently $200) and visa processing fee.
Maintaining Student Status
International students and exchange visitors should understand the importance of maintaining their status while in the U.S. Failing to maintain your status could result in serious consequences and may affect your ability to remain in or return to the United States. (Adapted from SEVIS fact sheet.)
You should consult with the International Student Advisor (ISA) on the latest regulations and procedures. St. Olaf College expects its students to pursue their studies full-time, attend their registered courses, and make satisfactory academic progress. Although not exhaustive, you are responsible for the following in order to maintain your status:
- See the ISA at the beginning of each semester so you can be registered in SEVIS.
- Maintain a full class load (minimum 3.0 St. Olaf course credits) and make progress towards your courses, including attending all courses.
- Consult with the ISA before you travel outside of the U.S. or change your enrollment status.
- Contact the ISA before (but no later than 10 days after) you change your major(s), address, withdraw from St. Olaf, transfer to another school, extend or shorten your program of study, or experience changes in your financial status.
- Abstain from any unauthorized on or off-campus employment.
Leaving and Re-entering the U.S.
If you are leaving the U.S., even to Canada or Mexico, and will return to continue your studies, you should prepare the following, and speak with the International Student Advisor before you leave:
- I-20 and make sure it has a travel signature less than 6 months old from the DSO.
- A current passport valid for at least six months after the date of your reentry.
- A valid, current F-1 visa (certain exceptions apply for Canada and Mexico: see the ISA).
- Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
- Official transcript
- Letter of Verification from the Registrar’s Office.
- If you are outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months on a leave of absense, you will need to have a new I-20 issued to you before returning to the the U.S.
Bringing your most recent I-94 Departure Card will facilitate your reentry, if reentering through a land Port of Entry. If you are flying, the airline will collect your I-94 prior to departure and you will complete a new one upon reentry.
If you do not have the above information, you might be refused re-entry into the U.S. at the Port of Entry. However, some international students who reenter the U.S. without a properly endorsed Form I-20 may be admitted into the U.S. for a 30-day period and issued a Form I-515A by the border official that must be processed within this 30-day period. Please see the International Student Advisor as soon as you get to campus to process this form.
General immigration information can be found at US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
Driver’s License and State Identification Card
If you intend to drive a motor vehicle while in the U.S., you should have a valid International Driver’s License or apply for a Minnesota one. To apply for Minnesota driver’s license, identification, or permit, you should view these requirements.