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Canadian Exchange

Coming from Canada

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In most cases, Canadian citizens exchanging from a university in Canada to an NSE member in the United States will be processed by their host U.S. campus using the J-1 exchange visitor status. Some NSE campuses, however, may utilize the F-1 student status. Canadian students do not require a visa but will pay a SEVIS fee. Non-Canadian students exchanging from Canada to the U.S. will need to make an appointment for a visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

Appropriate application form and information on required documentation will be supplied by your NSE host university in the United States. Completed forms, along with documentation listed below, must be taken to the U.S./Canadian border or Port of Entry where the J-1 or F-1 status will be issued.

You must provide financial evidence (e.g., bank statements) which show that you, your family, or sponsor have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study in the U.S. Exchange visitor fees, proof of residence outside the United States, and evidence that you intend to leave the U.S. at the completion of your exchange will be required.

At the U.S./Canadian border or Port of Entry, the Customs official will affix an admissions stamp to your passport indicating the date of admission, status, and length of stay (duration of status) permitted. Please be sure that you are given entry to the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student, NOT as a tourist. If you drive across the border, you may also be issued a paper Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Form). If you enter via an airport, the Form I-94 is issued as an electronic record and obtained at your host institution. Review procedures for arrival at the U.S./Canadian border or Port of Entry: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/i-94

You may also be asked for evidence of your student status (e.g., recent tuition receipt and transcripts), a letter of acceptance from your host university, and the name and contact information for your Designated School Official (DSO), including a 24-hour emergency contact number at your host campus. Most NSE member colleges and universities will require that you purchase health insurance from their institutions.

You will pay a SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee of $220 for J-1 status or $350 for F-1 status in addition to the visa application fee. This cost is subject to change without notice. Ask your NSE designated international contact to explain the payment procedure that will be required of you. Some NSE member institutions may assess an additional fee to support their own institution's student exchange visitor office and automated reporting systems.

You may learn more here: https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/faq

Language Proficiency
All NSE members in the United States are English-speaking with the exception of universities in Puerto Rico. Students for whom English is not their first language may be asked to demonstrate English proficiency through submission of TOEFL or other test scores.

The language of instruction at all NSE members in Puerto Rico is Spanish although some courses may be taught in English. Students exchanging to NSE campuses in Puerto Rico must demonstrate Spanish proficiency on their home campus preferably through an interview with a faculty member or administrator whose first language is Spanish.

Health Insurance
Exchange visitors are required to have health insurance for the duration of their exchange program. At minimum, insurance coverage must include medical benefits of at least $100,000 USD per person, per accident or illness; repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000 USD; and expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000 USD. Per accident or illness deductibles cannot exceed $500 USD. Contact the NSE coordinator or designated international programs contact at the NSE host campus prior to purchasing insurance as some NSE member campuses will require that you purchase through their institutions.

Working While Studying in the United States
You must come to the United States with enough money to live and pay your bills while you are studying, without needing to work. Visa regulations allow on-campus employment. Off-campus work authorization may not be possible. For further information, talk to the Designated School Official (DSO) on your host campus.

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