Reentry to U.S. to Acquire F-1 Status

Individuals who choose to reenter the U.S. to acquire F-1 status, must follow the steps below.

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1. Obtain an F-1 Form I-20 from ISSS

The I-20 is a "certificate of eligibility" for F-1 status; the form alone does not grant F-1 status itself. The process for obtaining an I-20 depends on whether you are (a) newly admitted to the University and have not yet begun taking classes; or (b) currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

Newly Admitted Students to the University of Minnesota 

After admission to the University, confirm your enrollment, so you will be eligible to receive an I-20. If you have questions about the requirements to receive your I-20, email [email protected]

Students Currently Enrolled at the University of Minnesota

Submit a completed Financial Certification Statement to an ISSS adviser during drop-in hours or a scheduled appointment. If you expect to have funding from the University of Minnesota after acquiring F-1 status, and you want that funding indicated on your I-20, you will need to submit evidence of the funding (for example, a scholarship offer letter) with your Financial Certification Statement.

An AI “Determine Current Visa Status” registration hold will be added to your UMN record as part of the I-20 processing. This hold will be removed once you complete the International Student Preparation Course and ISSS Check-in after you re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status.

2. Apply for an F-1 Visa

Apply for an F-1 Visa by following these 5 steps.

3. Re-enter the U.S. Before Your I-20 Program Start Date

Reenter the U.S. before your I-20 program start date. The earliest you are allowed to reenter the U.S. is a maximum of 30 days before your I-20 program start date.

Complete the ISSS Check-in

Complete ISSS Check-in.

Last updated: March 1, 2024