You Are Admitted

Prearrival Information

Under U.S. Immigration Regulations, foreign students may be admitted to the U. S. for a period up to 30 days before the indicated report date or program start date listed on form I-20 or DS-2019.

 Foreign Student & Scholar services bannerSEVIS I-901 Fee

  F,M and J nonimmigrants are required to pay this fee authorized by Public Law 104-208, Subtitle D, Section 641. If you are subject to this fee and do not pay it, you will not be issued an F,M or J nonimmigrant visa for admission to the United States. If you are in the United States applying for a change of status and are subject to this fee, you must pay the fee or your application will not be processed. In order to determine if you are required to pay the fee, please read the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website  .  

The SEVIS fee must be paid and fully processed before you arrive at the consulate for the visa interview. 

If you do not need a visa to enter the U.S. as a student or exchange visitor, the fee must be paid and fully processed before applying for entry at a U.S. port-of-entry. A receipt will be sent by mail to the address that you indicate with your payment. Further, for those that pay the SEVIS fee on-line, a payment confimation can be printed out immediately after the payment is made, and used as a receipt until the mailed receipt is received.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to bring a SEVIS fee payment receipt with them for the visa interview, or for those that do not need a visa, to the U.S. port-of-entry. Having a receipt for the SEVIS fee payment will facilitate the visa application process. However, if you are unable to print a receipt from an on-line payment and/or do not receive your mailed receipt in time for your visa interview, you can still go to your interview as long as your fee has been processed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

For more detailed information on the fee payment process, go to the SEVIS website  at

 Visa InformationForeign Student & Scholar services banner

If you are applying for your first visa or are renewing a visa, these 10 tips are designed to help you achieve a better interview.

Foreign Student and Scholar Service prepares certificates or petitions for the Exchange Visitor J-1 visa and advises foreign scholars who need to change visa status, extend a visa, travel temporarily out of the United States or bring dependents to this country. Immigration Regulations and Federal Laws

  • Extension of stay
  • Leaving and reentering the U.S.
  • Maintaining or changing visa status
  • On-campus and off-campus employment and practical training at pre-and post-completion stages of study
  • Exchange visitor program for students and scholars
  • Social Security Card application
  • State and Federal income tax laws and tax treaties

Finally, the office serves as a liaison to federal agencies dealing with foreign student and scholar concerns, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, United States Informational Agency, and Internal Revenue Service.

Temporary Housing Foreign Student & Scholar services banner

You should plan to arrive in Missoula two to three days in advance of the Foreign Student Orientation date, in order to be here in time for the Orientation Programs. On those dates, temporary accommodations in the residence halls will be available to students who have applied for University residence halls (dormitories). Please note that you may have temporary accommodations if our office is notified in advance of your arrival plans. There will be a small per night charge until the dormitory officially opens. For a smoother adjustment, you are strongly encouraged to live on campus during your first year at The University of Montana-Missoula.

Travel Information to MissoulaForeign Student & Scholar services banner

Serving Missoula, Montana, are two major airlines with connections from many major U.S. cities: Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines. In addition several smaller airlines, such as Horizon Air, Alaska Air, Skywest or Bigsky Airlines, serve Missoula from other U.S. Cities You will be flying into the Missoula International Airport (MSO). The Greyhound bus line also serves Missoula. There is no train service to Missoula.

Transportation to UM from airport and bus depotForeign Student & Scholar services banner

Airport and bus depot pickup is provided to students who have advised our office in advance of their arrival time. This service is available only 2-3 days before orientation. Students arriving at any other time may rent a cab or hire the Airport Shuttler (406) 543-9416 or 888-446-3107.

Paying for your EducationForeign Student & Scholar services banner

You may pay your tuition and fees through a company known as peerTransfer. The University of Montana has found this company to be a cost effective way for you to pay with funds from your home country. Many times it is cheaper than wiring funds from your own bank. This also prevents the problem of reaching the daily charge limit that some credit cards impose. If you choose this option, look for "The University of Montana" as the school to pay. However, you are free to choose whatever method you feel comfortable with.