Important Information Citizens of Canada and Bermuda

A citizen of Canada or Bermuda who would like to attend an SEVP-certified school as an F-1 student does not need to apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Citizens of these countries may apply for F-1 status directly at the port of entry (POE).

Note that a citizen of one of these countries who wants to obtain F-1 status still has specific responsibilities:

  • Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee
  • Receive a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status,” from a DSO at an SEVP-certified school
  • Maintain status

In terms of immigration regulations, the only difference between Canadian, Bermudan, and other international students coming to the United States is that citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need to apply for a student (F-1) visa; they may simply enter with the I-20, valid passport, Bates admission letter, SEVIS Fee payment receipt, and evidence of financial support. They will however, have to pay the SEVIS fee at least 3 days before entering the U.S. The SEVIS fee cannot be paid at the border.

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are subject to the same regulations regarding employment in the United States, requirement for full-time study and all other provisions for maintaining status. *It is especially important for Canadian students to be vigilant about entering the United States in proper student status (F-1), as border officials are accustomed to admitting Canadian citizens in “visitor” status.