Visa Requirements

General Visa Requirements

International students must attend the college or university specified on their visa or they may be refused admittance to the United States. Prospective students must not enter the United States on B-1 or B-2 visitor's visa, as the Immigration and Naturalization Service will not approve a change to F-1 or J-1 student status. Prospective international students must not, under any circumstances, enter the United States on a WT visa if they are planning to become a full-time student. The WT visa status cannot be changed, under any circumstances, once you are in the United States. A student entering the United States for study must maintain his or her F-1 or J-1 status. More information is available at the Ivanhoe International Center.

Please be aware that it is now taking up to 2 months to have the visa approved. There are a number of security checks required before the visa will be approved, and this process is time-consuming.

In order to apply for a visa, you must go to the US Embassy or the US consulate nearest to you. Be sure to take all pertinent documents for your visa interview, including the I-20 or DS-2019 form, financial documentation, a valid passport, proof of a permanent residence outside the US, one or more passport type photos, and a nonimmigrant visa application. Each consular post may have slightly different requirements for the visa application. Check with the office where you plan to apply prior to your application & interview.

It may be helpful to visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

The deadline for application for undergraduate students is at least 90 days prior to the beginning of the term for which admission is desired; for graduate students, the deadline for fall is April 1, and the deadline for spring is September 1. Please be advised that recent events will affect the visa process and the length of time necessary to obtain a visa. Be thoroughly prepared when applying. Also, you may not enter the US more than 30 days before the start date on the I-20 form.

Applying for a Visa

Once you have received the I-20 or DS-2019 form, you should start making arrangements to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa. You will need to register in the SEVIS system in order to apply for the visa. Instructions are available at There is a fee to register, and as of October 27, 2008, that fee is $200. The fee is payable to the US government, NOT our university.
We STRONGLY encourage you to visit an EducationUSA office in your country or region. They will help you through the process of applying for a visa. This web site will help you find an office near you. You may also visit the US Embassy or Consulate web site for help with the visa application process. To find the Embassy or Consulate nearest to you, please visit this web site:

There are plenty of on-campus and off-campus housing available for students > Learn More about Housing or Learn More about Residence Life

Contact Us:
Ivanhoe International Center
SD School of Mines & Technology
501 E Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD  57701-3995
Phone: 1.605.394.6884
FAX: 1.605.394.6883