Congratulations on your acceptance to Dakota County Technical College. We are excited to welcome you to our community, to our campus, and to our classrooms. Before you begin, there is important information that you need to know and steps that you need to complete to be successful. More information about the international student process can be found at https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/
Please be aware acceptance to Dakota County Technical College does not guarantee you will be granted a student visa to study in the United States. You are responsible for registering with the USCIS as an international student and applying for a Student Visa. Below lists the steps to apply for the visa.
Applying for a Student Visa:
- Receive your I-20. An I-20 Form and an acceptance letter will be sent directly to the international student at the address provided. This document is needed to apply for a student visa and enter the USA.
- Purchase mailing slip. Students are required to purchase the mailing slip through UEMS This ensures that you are able to track your admissions package. To start, sign up for a student account.
- Pay the SEVIS Fee. Once you have received your I-20 you must pay the $350 SEVIS fee. This needs to be completed prior to their appointment at an U.S. embassy or consulate office. You can pay this fee online
- Contact US Embassy to request a visa interview. Once the SEVIS fee is paid, international students must contact the U.S. embassy or consulate office in their county to arrange for a visa appointment. (Canadian Students Exempt).
Planning for your Arrival – If the F-1 student visa is granted.
International students students can arrive no earlier than 30 days before the start date listed on the I-20
- Purchase plane ticket: Inform International Advisor of arrival date. You will be provided additional contact information to be able to contact the International Advisor if issues occurring when going through US Customs and Boarder.
- Consider reviewing the airport you will be arriving in website for information on the process and layout of Customs.
- You will need transportation upon arriving in the Minneapolis Airport to bring you to your destination. There are taxis for hire at the airport.
- The closest hotels cost between $75-$150 USD per night.
- Confirm housing: Housing – it is the responsibility of the student to locate housing. DCTC does not offer on campus living. Housing should be located before arriving in the US. Resources to find housing include:
- Determine Transportation: there is a limited bus route (public transportation) that students living in Apple Valley and Rosemount can utilize. More information can be found at https://www.metrotransit.org/home
- Riding a bicycle is discouraged as the highway that DCTC is located on has heavy traffic driving at speeds upwards 60MPH (97 KMH)
- You may need to consider purchasing a vehicle. If you decide to drive you will need to obtain a Minnesota Drivers Licenses. International Drivers License can only be used for a short amount of time.
- If you purchase a vehicle you will need to purchase insurance.
- It is a crime to own and operate a vehicle in the US without insurance.
- You can start studying for the drivers test before you arrive.
- You will need to meet with the International Advisor to obtain the needed documents when you are ready to apply for the driver’s license.
Upon arrival – the student should contact one of the International Student Admissions Advisors (see below) to arrange for an appointment to pay for insurance and register for orientation.
- Provide the Office of Admissions a copy of your signed and stamped I-20 Form, F-1 visa and your I-94 customs form (received at a U.S. airport).
- Pay the international health insurance fee.
- Take the ACCUPLACER Course Placement test prior to registering for classes.
- Attend International Orientation and Registration session. More information will be sent in your admissions package.
- International students are required to be enrolled full time every semester during their stay. Work with an Academic Advisor to register for at least 12 credits. 9 credits must be in person.
- Pay the first semester’s tuition and fees immediately after registering for classes.
- Pay the premium for the required Health Insurance for International Students
- Abide by college policies regarding student conduct and satisfactory academic progress standards.
Maintaining Status and Graduation
- International students must make an appointment and meet with the International Advisor to register for classes every semester.
- Every August students must purchase the annual insurance plan.
- If traveling outside of the US students MUST meet with an International Advisor to have their I-20 signed. Failure to get the I-20 signed will result in a student being denied reentry into the USA.
- Graduating and a verified letter for a family members visa interview? Each student can request two letters verifying their graduation.