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Foreign Exchange & International Students

MPS Guidelines for Enrollment of International & Foreign Exchange Students F1 & J1
[updated OCT 2020]
URGENT UPDATE: Unfortunately, Due to the COVID-19 pandemic no applications will be accepted as the impact of Coronavirus is assessed. This suspension is likely to be extended indefinately pending further developments and guidance from authorities.
SPRING 2020 J-1 PLACEMENTS ARE  VERY LIKELY  TO BE SUSPENDED INDEFINATELY IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE, PLEASE CHECK THIS PAGE FREQUENTLY FOR UPDATES. *If* applications are able to be accepted there will be caps on the number of students each agency can place in MPS and all applications will be strictly provisional and subject to cancelation due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.
If you are a potential student or potential host family, we recommend you thoroughly research the agency's reviews and track record, and ask specific questions of the agency about their COVID/shutdown contingency plans in the event of travel restrictions, shutdowns or illness. We also recommend you consider the impact of distance-only (virtual) learning on your experience and if that will meet your expectations of the experience.
IF you are *Currently* enrolled as part of a J-1 Exchange and wish to return home you should contact your Exchange Organization immediately for guidance as they are responsible for your well-being and safety. If you are concerned about your situation, call the Minnesota Secretary of State's office at 651-296-2803 and alert them, and call us at 612-668-3700 to inform us so we may advocate for your assistance in resolving your individual situation.
Check this page often for future updates.
1) Placement in a specific High School is not guaranteed, and is subject to capacity restrictions and MPS Policy and enrollment priorities and at the discretion of Minneapolis Public Schools. 
2) ALL J-1/F-1 placements are centrally managed, individual schools cannot promise enrollment slots and the enrollment process must begin with the Enrollment Services to guarantee a placement.
NOTE: Minneapolis Public Schools follows best practices to recognize and prevent Human Trafficking (under J-1 and F-1 Visa programs) for the protection of visiting students.
F-1 Visas are for International Students. They may enroll in public schools for 12 months maximum. Tuition IS required under state law (see below)
School Year 2020:
F-1 APPLICATION WINDOW for Full-Year & Spring 2021 IS SUSPENDED. We hope to be able to admit students for the 2021-22 schoolyear. Please check back for updates.
J-1 Visas are for Foreign Exchange students arriving through a registered International Exchange Organization. They may enroll in public schools for a maximum of 12 Months
J-1 APPLICATION WINDOW for Full-Year & Spring 2021 is SUSPENDED 
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)
Guidelines for Enrollment in Minneapolis Public Schools:
F-1 Students:
  • Can enroll in grades 9 - 12 for a maximum of 12 months
  • Must be approved by the District PDSO
  • Can enroll for a full school year or one semester
  • Must turn 15 years old by their arrival date
  • Must obtain a completed US-INS Form I-20 issued by the District PDSO
  • Must pay full tuition by Cashiers Check drawn on Major US-Based bank before an I-20 can be issued (no exceptions)
  • Must pay tuition via a Cashier’s Check or Certified Check from a US-based bank. Tuition is presently $9400 (This amount is subject to change, and in the future a non-refundable application fee of $50 may be assessed)
  • MUST appear in person to be checked-in by the PDSO within 7 days of arrival in the United States per federal law
  • Can only attend the high school listed on the I-20
  • Can earn high school credit, participate in graduation exercises and receive a diploma
  • Can usually be placed in the requested school (however this is subject to capacity)
  • Are not required to reside within the city of Minneapolis
  • Must be 18 years old or or under for the *duration* of the school year
  • A local host family arrangement (or hosting by relatives) is required.
J-1 Students:
  • Can enroll in grades 9 thru 12 for a maximum of 12 months
  • Must be approved by the District PDSO or DSO
  • Must be sponsored through a CSIET approved exchange organization
  • Must be sponsored by an International Student Exchange Organization (ISEO) that is registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State
  • Can participate in graduation exercises but cannot receive a diploma
  • Can generally be placed in the requested school (however this is highly subject to capacity and some schools fill very quickly)
  • Do not pay tuition
  • Are required to reside within the city of Minneapolis
  • Slots in a given school are for individual STUDENTS, not Exchange Organizations (EO's). Placement at specific school might not be held for EO's if existing student cancels.
  • Caps may be enacted in individual schools and for individual EO's to preserve access for others.
F-1 Inquiries begin here: General information on United States F-1 rules & procedures
List of Minnesota Registered Exchange Organizations (for students and hosts)
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Foreign Exchange & International Students are served by:
The New Families Center
3345 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis 55407
Contact: Martha Swanson, PDSO
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If you have questions about the enrollment process, please contact us at or call us at 612.668.1840 or 612.668.3700.