Canadian Students in the U.S.

If you’re a Canadian student enrolling at UMFK (who does not also have U.S. citizenship and is not a permanent legal resident of the U.S.), you’re still considered an international student, though some regulations differ from those of students from other countries.

Unlike students from other countries, Canadian citizens are not required to obtain an F-1 visa to attend school in the United States. However, you still need to receive an I-20, pay the SEVIS fee, and be granted F-1 student status at your port of entry into the United States.

Permanent Canadian residents who are not Canadian citizens must still apply for an F-1 visa like international students from other countries.

Canadian students must still abide by the same F-1 regulations as other international students and are responsible for maintaining their F-1 status.

Canadian Citizens: Obtaining F-1 Student Status

Before entering the country to begin your studies at UMFK, you must request an I-20 from the university. Once UMFK issues you an I-20 and you’re ready to come to campus and begin your studies, you must request F-1 student status from the customs officer at the U.S. Customs port of entry and present your I-20 and other necessary documents. Be sure to have the following documents on hand when you cross the border to come to UMFK:

  • The original I-20 issued to you by UMFK
  • Your UMFK admission letter
  • Original financial documents (as proof you can pay living expenses for yourself and your dependents while in the U.S.)
  • Proof that you’ve paid the SEVIS fee (such as your receipt from when you paid the fee)
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (such as your Canadian passport)

Note: you cannot request F-1 status more than thirty (30) days before starting classes.

When you enter the United States through a port of entry, a U.S. Customs officer will review your documentation and determine your eligibility for F-1 status. They will then stamp your passport and create a digital I-94 record which you can retrieve proof of through the CBP I-94 website or the CBP One™ mobile app (available from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store). More information about the I-94 is available from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Download the CBP One™ App

Apple - download on the App Store Google - get it on Google Play

NOTE: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) now automates the Form I-94 process at air, sea, and land ports of entry. A paper I-94 will no longer be provided at such ports except in limited circumstances. For more information, please review CBP’s I-94 Automation Fact Sheet.

Residency While Studying in the U.S.

If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you are not required to live in the U.S. while taking classes. Students living across the border while attending classes are considered border commuter students. When deciding whether to reside in Canada or the U.S. while taking classes, please note that border commuter students are not eligible to work in the United States.