Student Visa Requirements for Graduate Admissions

Applying for Your Student Visa

After you’ve been accepted to the University of Minnesota, you must apply for a student visa. Most students (including those with an assistantship) require an F-1 student visa, which in turn requires an I-20 document issued by our office.

Instructions on How to Receive Your I-20

  • Submit the Enrollment Form to confirm your intent to enroll at the U of M. You will find a link to this form on your application status page after you have been admitted. 
  • After confirming enrollment, you will be able to submit the I-20 Request form. You will find a link to this form on your application status page after you have been admitted. ALL international students must complete the I-20 Request form, including those with funding awards and those transferring from another school inside the United States.
  • Wait approximately 2 weeks so that we can prepare your I-20.
  • When your document is ready, you will receive an email notification which includes information about shipping options.

While You Wait for Your I-20

Especially for Duluth Campus International Students

I-20 Shipping

To receive your I-20 document, please choose one of the following delivery options and follow the appropriate instructions.

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Option 1: Express Mail Service at Your Expense

With the Express mail Option, you will receive your documents via DHL, FedEx, or UPS and you will receive tracking information. The service is coordinated through a third-party called E-Ship Global. E-Ship Global collects your address and credit card information, then sends our office a notification with a shipping label so that we can prepare and send your envelope. To request express mail service:

  1. Please wait until you receive an email from our office indicating that your I-20 is ready, then submit the “I-20 Delivery Request” form, accessible via your application status page.
  2. Visit the E-Ship Global website and create an account.
    • You must use the website provided above – do NOT use the DHL, FedEx, or UPS websites directly.
    • You will need the following information:
      • Your University of Minnesota ID number (found in your application for admission and in your decision letter)
      • Mailing address
      • Email address
      • Phone number
      • Credit card information
  3. Select University of Minnesota - Twin Cities as the sender of the shipment. You will have several University of Minnesota locations to choose from.
    • Select "Graduate School Admissions" from the list (309 Johnston Hall, 101 Pleasant St SE, Minneapolis MN 55455).
      • University of Minnesota - Duluth I-20s are shipped from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, so you need to select University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
  4. Verify your information before final submission. Errors in credit card and/or address information will result in a delay.

After you submit your request to E-Ship Global, our office will receive a shipment notification directly from E-Ship Global. There is no need for you to contact us separately. After we prepare your shipment for delivery, you will receive an email from E-Ship Global with your tracking information.

If you have additional questions about the service, or if you experience technical difficulties with the E-Ship Global website, please email

Option 2: Authorization for Pick-up

Due to restrictions in University business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person I-20 pickup is not available until further notice.

You may pick up your documents in person, or authorize a friend or relative to do so on your behalf, from our office in Johnston Hall on the Twin Cities campus.

To request pick-up, submit the “I-20 Delivery Request form”, accessible via your application status page.

Option 3: Regular Mail Service

  • There is NO tracking or receipt information for regular mail service.
  • Documents may be lost.
  • Delivery times vary widely and may take one month or more, depending on the country.
  • You must wait a minimum of 6 weeks before requesting a replacement I-20 if you choose regular mail service.

If you are sending your I-20 to a country where mail services are less reliable, we strongly recommend using the E-Ship Global express mail option.

To request regular mail service, complete the I-20 Delivery Request form, accessible on your application status page.

I-20 Transfer Process

If you currently hold an F-1 visa from another institution, you must request a transfer of your SEVIS record to the University of Minnesota. Follow the steps below to transfer your SEVIS record.

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Contact the International Student Advisor at Your Current School

You and your advisor will determine your “Transfer Release Date.” Before deciding your release date, consider the following:

  • Our office cannot access your SEVIS record or prepare an I-20 for you until AFTER your release date.
  • The processing time for an I-20 is about one week AFTER your release date.
  • You cannot enroll for classes or begin working on the U of M campus until AFTER your release date and AFTER your U of M I-20 has been issued.

Provide Your Current Advisor with the Full Name and SEVIS School Code for the University of Minnesota Campus You Will Attend

We recommend printing this page or sharing this URL with your advisor to ensure that your record is transferred to the correct school in SEVIS.

  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities: SPM214F00039000
  • University of Minnesota-Duluth: SPM214F00039001

Submit The Online I-20 Request Form

This form is accessible via your online application dashboard AFTER you have been admitted to a program.

Be Patient as Our Office Prepares Your I-20

Remember, we cannot begin preparing your I-20 until you have submitted the Financial Certification form AND your Release Date has passed.