Most international students at Concordia have I-20 forms and F-1 student status, and the information here can help you understand and maintain your student status. A few students have a DS-2019 and J-1 status; these students should receive information directly from their sponsoring organization about maintaining J status.

F-1 status is granted to students entering the US to attend colleges, universities, and other academic schools. Rather than have a specific end date, it is usually granted for the period D/S (this should be written/stamped in your passport and on your I-20). D/S means Duration of Status, which means as long as you follow the student regulations and maintain your student status you may remain in the US. If you fail to maintain status, you lose your legal authority to be in the country and are required to leave. Concordia can assist you by providing information and keeping the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a government database of international students, updated with your changes to help you properly maintain your F-1 status.

 For more information and common steps related to the maintenance of F-1 status, visit our Maintaining F-1 Status page.

For information on visa and passport expiration/renewal, visit our Visas and Passports page.

USCIS regulations permit currently enrolled F-1 students to work on campus. On-campus jobs are plentiful at Concordia and most departments hire student workers. Regulations limit F-1 students to working no more than 20 hours total per week while school is in session. During official school breaks*, eligible F-1 students may work up to 40 hours per week on campus. 

For more information on working at Concordia and in the United States, visit our Working in the U.S. page.

Please click here to visit the International Community website for information about U.S. taxes.

Go to the Federal Building/Post Office, 657 2nd Ave. N., #320, Fargo, N.D.

Please bring the following items with you: 

·      Passport including U.S. visa

·      I-20

·      I-94 entry form

·      Evidence of being employed and in F-1 status; this document is a job offer on letterhead signed by your supervisor and a DSO

·      Completed social security application

Only F-1 students who work are eligible to apply for and receive a social security card.

Certification of F-1 Employment Form

F-1 students may be eligible for employment in the U.S. after graduation in certain circumstances, including Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is defined as “temporary employment for practical training directly related to a student’s major area of study.” The idea is that you can gain practical experience in your field of study to round out your academic experience before returning to your home country. Most students do pursue OPT after they graduate.

In most cases, OPT can be authorized for a maximum period of 12 months for each level of study. Granting of OPT is not automatic, although most applications are approved.

Other possibilities aside from OPT exist (such as H1B), although Concordia staff are not qualified to assist students with these. We recommend discussing these with potential employers and researching what is required and obtaining proper legal advice from immigration attorneys.


This is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily (up to three years and can be extended once) in a specialty occupation. It is an employment-based visa, and the employer and employee apply together. While it is a nonimmigrant visa, employees with this visa type may be able to apply for permanent residence. Generally, an immigration attorney is consulted to apply or at-large organizations the human resources department may handle this. Concordia is not qualified to provide assistance with this.

NAFTA and Other Free-Trade Agreements

Employment-based visas may be available for professionals from countries (e.g., Canada, Mexico) who have free-trade agreements with the U.S.

Clay County can provide the testing and resources to obtain a state ID and driver’s license, if proper identification is given. Passport with unexpired I-94 arrival and departure form, signed I-20 form, and Social Security Card are most likely the best choices to establish your identity and U.S. residency for international students.

Please visit our ID and Driver’s License page for more information.

All international students at Concordia are required to enroll in the health insurance plan through the college's provider, EIIA. Policy information is available by contacting Ms. Karleen Mjolsness at Health insurance costs will be billed to your student account each semester.

The Health Services Office promotes the health and well-being of students by assisting them in making choices regarding their physical and mental health. While clinic services are not available on campus, the Health Services coordinator consults with, and helps, students who need to establish care off campus, and connects them to other community resources. Our Health Services coordinator will reach out to you during your first month at Concordia to discuss any health concerns you may have, as well as address any questions you have regarding navigating the healthcare system in your new community.

For more information on medical billing and health insurance, visit our Healthcare page.

There are a multitude of services that exist on campus to help you thrive during your time at Concordia. To name a few, the Center for Student Success, Counseling Center, and Health Services Office. Whether your concerns are academic, health, or life related, we will work to help you find solutions.