Registration Information for International Students
If you hold a nonimmigrant visa of any type, have been formally admitted to the University of Minnesota, and are registering for the first time, there are three holds which may be placed on your record-AI (check of nonimmigrant status documents), ME (health clearance), and AZ (English proficiency). Please read the following information carefully.
Document Check and International Student Orientation (AI Hold)
Upon your arrival, come to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for a document check. We recommend calling 612-626-7100 first to find out what days and times document checks are being done. You must bring your passport and other documents indicating your legal status in the U.S. (i.e., I-94 form, current U of M and any previous I-20 or DS-2019 forms, and any Employment Authorization Document). Students arriving with F-2 or J-2 dependents must also present dependent documents at Document Check. Sponsored students should bring all documents related to their sponsorship. An adviser at ISSS will examine these documents, create a file for you, and temporarily remove the AI hold from your record so you can register. At this time you will also sign up for the mandatory International Student Orientation, during which you will receive essential information about maintaining your legal status and about living and studying in the U.S. and at the University of Minnesota. Once you have completed this orientation, ISSS will permanently remove the AI hold. ISSS is located in 190 Humphrey Center on the West Bank.
Mantoux Test (ME Hold)
Noncitizens of the United States registering for the first time at the University of Minnesota must have a Mantoux test, a test for tuberculosis, after which their ME holds will be released. Call Boynton Health Service, 612-625-3222, for an appointment.
If you have had a Mantoux test within the past 12 months and bring proof in English of your testing, this test will not be required. A positive reaction indicates that you have been exposed to tuberculosis but it does not necessarily mean that you have contracted the disease. If your test is positive, you will be allowed to register for classes, but you will be required to have a chest x-ray and to return for the results. Be sure to tell the nurse if you have been recently immunized for tuberculosis, since this could cause a reaction to the Mantoux test.
Other Immunization Requirements
Minnesota law requires that all students provide in writing the month and year when they were immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria. You must complete and sign the Student Immunization Form you received with your admission letter.
Mandatory Health/Hospitalization Insurance
All international students and their dependents are required to purchase the Student Health Benefit Plan unless they are covered by a U.S.-based employer-sponsored health plan or the Graduate Assistant Health Plan. Insurance coverage must be continuous from the date of arrival in the U.S. through the final date of departure from the U.S. This means that international students will be charged for insurance coverage even if they are registered for fewer than 6 credits or are away from campus for the summer or an academic semester.
English Proficiency (AZ Hold)
New international students who have not met the University's English proficiency requirement have a hold placed on their records. The AZ hold will be released by an English as a Second Language adviser.
Students with a TOEFL score lower than that required by their college, or for whom the TOEFL was waived at the time of admission, may be required to take an English Language Proficiency test. You must pay a $30 testing fee when you register for the test at the Language Center, 52 Folwell Hall.
If you do not meet the English requirements for your college, you will be required to register for noncredit English classes until you achieve the required test score.
If you have questions about the English language requirement, contact an ESL adviser at 612-624-4000 or 612-624-1183.
Full Course of Study
All international students holding F-1 and J-1 visas are required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to register for a full course of study each academic semester. To meet DHS requirements, graduate students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits per semester. Undergraduates are required by DHS rules to register for a minimum of 12 credits each semester. Any audit registrations will not be counted towards full-time enrollment. (NOTE: Certain academic programs or University offices, as well as exchange and scholarship program sponsors and other private educational funding agencies, may use a different credit requirement for their students. If this credit requirement is higher than that of the DHS, it takes precedence over the DHS requirement.) Exceptions to this rule are possible only in a limited number of circumstances. To request an exception to minimum credit requirements, prior approval from ISSS is mandated by DHS regulations. Please come to the ISSS office or call 612-626-7100 if you have questions about this requirement.
People who hold F-2, B-1, or B-2 visas may not enroll in courses at the University of Minnesota. Consult an ISSS adviser for information on change of visa status.