Foreign Exchange and International Students
MPS has returned to normal pre-pandemic procedures. Please check this page for future updates. Please note - enrollment in a specific High School is not guaranteed, and is subject to grade and building capacity restrictions.
Placements for all students with F1 and J1 visas are centrally managed and individual schools cannot promise enrollment. Interested J1 agencies must begin the enrollment process with the Enrollment Department.
J1 Visa Information
J-1 Visas are for high school age Foreign Exchange students enrolling through a registered International Exchange Organization. They may enroll in U.S. public schools for a maximum of 12 Months. J1 students are welcome to participate in graduation events but cannot receive a diploma.
Exchange Agencies are required to be registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office and to follow CSIET recommendations and be on CSIETs Advisory List of approved organizations. This is for the protection and well-being of students and host families.
Placement of students enrolling in MPS with a J1 visa are subject to the attendance area boundaries of the host family. For example, if the host family's address is in the Henry High attendance area, Henry would be the school of enrollment offered to the exchange student.
Important Application Windows & Deadlines:
The application window for J1 enrollment for Semester/Term One and Full Year is from April 1-May 30.
The application window for J1 enrollment for Second Semester/Term only is September 15-November 15.
F1 Visa Information
Who can apply for an F-1 Visa:
• Foreign students entering in grades 9-12
• Students entering grades 9-12 between the ages of 15 to 20 at the time of enrollment
Who cannot apply:
• Students entering in grades Pre-K-8
• Students who already have a diploma in the country of origin
• U.S. citizens or legal residents and Immigrants or refugees residing in the U.S.
Duration of an F-1 Visa
Maximum stay – One Year. Minimum stay – One Quarter
F-1 Visas are for International Students. They may enroll in U.S. public schools for a maximum of 12 Months and are required under federal law to pay tuition.
Please be advised that in recent years students applying for U.S. visas frequently experience extensive delays. Unfortunately MPS has no control over this process, but recommends applying as early as possible to allow ample time for your US Visa to be issued.
Tuition Information: Please contact the P/DSO regarding current tuition requirements. Please note we are only able to accept Cashiers or Certified check drawn on a US-based bank for tuition payment. Unfortunately we are not able to provide refunds and can only return the check un-cashed if the student does not arrive within 15 days from the start of school.
Steps to enrolling an international student obtaining an F-1 Visa:
1) ALWAYS START HERE:
Visit https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students for specific guidance and details from the official US Government website for International Students.
2) After completing steps above, the host parent meets with MPS DSO (US Designated School Official) to Complete the I-20 information form, Submit the tuition payment (required prior to creation of I-20, see below for tuition procedures) and receive an original, signed I-20 from from the District PDSO or DSO
3) Host parent mails the original I-20 form to the student in their home country. The student brings the I-20 to their local U.S. consulate to obtain the F-1 Visa. Please note this stage of the process can be quite long. Please see details on the website above in step 1.
4) The student submits payment electronically of the I-901 SEVIS fee SEVIS (FMJFee.com) when applying in the home country.
5) Once the host parent knows the student’s arrival date, they can make an appointment with the Enrollment Department. Travel delays are unfortunately very common in this process. We can hold a confirmed students spot up to 15 days after the start of school.
6) Once the student arrives in Minneapolis, the student/host family must contact the Enrollment Office within three business days to schedule a prompt in-person visit to the Enrollment Center with the students passport & visa to officially register through US -SEVIS. This is a requirement of the US visa process. At this appointment the student will have an English language proficiency assessment and receive a school placement.
Additional F1 Information
The application window for F1 enrollment for Semester/Term One and Full Year is from March 1-June 15.
The application window for F1 enrollment for Second Semester/Term only is September 15-November 30.
Students who meet credit requirements for graduation may receive an MPS High School Diploma.
If an F1 student will travel outside the U.S. during the school year, the host family and student must bring their 1-20 to the DSO to sign the travel section of the I-20 to approve reentry to the United States.
F-1 student and their families are responsible for maintaining the student’s legal status. Please visit Study in the States for more information.
B1 Visa Information
Holders of B-1 and B-2 visas generally cannot enroll into any K-12 public school in the U.S. All Non-Immigrant Visas are regulated by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS).
Minor children of adults who are in the U.S. on a B1 visa for work, study or medical care may be enrolled in a public school.