Canadian citizens can enter the U.S. in student status without obtaining an F-1 or J-1 entry visa in their passport. However, Canadian citizens must obtain an I-20 or DS-2019 and pay the SEVIS fee before entering the U.S.
Do NOT enter the U.S. in tourist status (B1/B2 or Visa Waiver). Individuals with these immigration statuses are not eligible to register for an academic course of study.
Upon entry, you must present to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, admission letter, proof of financial support for at least one year, and receipt of SEVIS fee payment.
If you are a Canadian citizen who is currently in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 visa status and plan to remain in that same visa status, you must transfer your F-1 or J-1 SEVIS record to the UMN.