Homeland Security Approves NMC’s Application to Enroll Foreign Students (December 3, 2009)

The Department of Homeland Security has approved the Northern Marianas College’s application to enroll foreign students under the Department’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

An approval from the Department of Homeland Security means that the Northern Marianas College meets the requirements to admit and enroll nonimmigrant students.

As a result, the College can now issue foreign students Certificates for Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, or the Form I-20, a document required to apply for “F” (academic programs) and “M” (nonacademic vocational programs) student visas.

The approval from Homeland Security also means that the College will help assume the responsibility for monitoring, tracking, reporting, and recordkeeping of nonimmigrant foreign students and ensure that international students are maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status.

The request to enroll foreign students under the Federal system was originally submitted by the College last June, and it was followed by a visit from DHS officials in October.

“Through NMC’s acceptance into the SEVP, the College will be able to continue offering a first-rate education to students from other countries throughout the world,” said NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez.

“Foreign students contribute to the diversity of cultures, ideas, and perspectives here at the College so it is important that their ability to enroll at the College is continued,” added President Fernandez.

To obtain a student visa, foreign students will need to have been accepted at NMC in either an academic or nonacademic vocational program. Student Visa applicants will then meet with College officials to receive the necessary documents required for enrollment into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

SEVIS is a web-based information system that keeps track of foreign students and other exchange program participants, and allows information sharing among various institutions and government agencies that students and exchange visitors are involved with during their journey to the United States and their stay in the country.

This new process primarily applies to foreign students who are not already students at the Northern Marianas College. Those who are already enrolled should contact the NMC Office of Admissions and Records at for more information.

Student Visa applicants must pay a fee to be enrolled in SEVIS, and they will need to retain their proof of payment for presentation during their visa interview at a U.S. embassy in the country of student’s origin The fee varies according to the type of study or exchange program they are participating in and the type of visa they are applying for. The SEVIS fee for most students is $200. For more information on SEVIS enrollment requirements, please visit

Student Visa applicants would need to make an appointment for a visa interview by contacting the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. That information is available at Visa processing procedures can vary, depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but all student visa and exchange visitor visa applicants are given priority.

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