Immigration Documents

The following are options for how you can receive your admission documents (including I-20/DS-2019) once they have been prepared for you.

All emails and correspondence must include your full name and your Bemidji State University student identification number (8 digits).

Choose one of the following

A. United States Post Office mail (This option is free, but it is not trackable and can take over six weeks.)

Your immigration documents can be sent by regular mail at no charge. Tracking is not available. It can take six weeks or longer to arrive. Your permanent international address will be used unless you provide us with an alternate address, which must be sent to

B. Express Mail Service (This option has a cost. However, your I-20 or DS-2019 is trackable and will arrive via express delivery in three to five days.)

The International Program Center accesses an express mail service called UEMS. It enables you to request and receive your I-20 or DS-2019 through FedEx or UPS. Take note that this option is at your expense (the cost usually ranges from $40USD to $65USD). Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx or Discover cards only) will be charged upon making the order. PayPal and wire transfer are also accepted.

You may only request through UEMS. Do not directly pay or go through the FedEx or UPS websites. This service is efficient, reliable and at a discounted price. Every transaction or communication will go through UEMS, who will immediately notify our center concerning details of your request.

If you use this service, you will be required to create an account with a username and password. To request shipment, it is required that you provide your full name, BSU student ID number, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, as well as credit card information.

If you experience any difficulty in registering and processing the shipment, please use the “Help” link in the site for step by step instructions. If you have additional questions about how to use this service, please e-mail

C. Authorize A Friend Or Relative

A friend or relative may be authorized to pick up your immigration documents directly from our office. If you wish to do this, please email us at with the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Your BSU Student ID number
  • Your friend’s/relative’s full name, and Student ID number (if they are a BSU student).
  • A statement authorizing them to pick up your documents from the International Program Center.

Note: Your friend/relative must be ready to provide photo identification when picking up your documents at our office (passport, student ID, driver’s license, etc.).

Obtaining your Visa

As soon as you receive your email from our office letting you know of your admission, you should pay your SEVIS fee! Your SEVIS identification number, as well as BSU’s school and program codes are in your admission email.

Contact the nearest U.S. consulate for instructions to obtain your student visa (J-1 students follow the same basic directions as F-1 students, but substitute “DS-2019” for “I-20”). Apply for your visa early to provide ample time for processing. As a reminder, we do not allow late arrivals.

Visit the U.S. Department of State website for complete information on applying for your visa.

Only bring the USCIS Form I-20 from the school you plan on attending for visa processing at the U.S. consulate. You must also provide verification to the consulate that you have the financial resources required for your education and stay in the United States.

Canadian citizens do not currently require a student visa in their passport. You need to check your I-20 for accuracy and sign item #11. You will need proof of payment of the SEVIS fee. Submit your I-20 to the U.S. Border Patrol when you come into the country to study. You may be required to show evidence of sufficient funds and additional identification and/or verification of admission.

F-1 Students in the U.S. who are transferring to Bemidji State University: If you are transferring directly from another U.S. institution, please request to have your I-20 transferred to Bemidji State University. Once your SEVIS record has been released to BSU, we will then create a BSU I-20 for you to pick up upon your arrival in Bemidji. However, if you are planning to leave the U.S. before arriving at BSU, you will need to contact us to make arrangements to get your BSU I-20 prior to departing the U.S. You will need to use BSU’s I-20 to re-enter the U.S. During orientation, present your I-20 to the Director of International Programs to validate your transfer. Your transfer will not be considered complete until this is done.