International Students Need to Know

International Students are individuals studying at CNM full-time in degree or exchange programs in legal student immigration status (F-1 or M-1 Student status).

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Changing Status

Do you have a current visa, and you'd like to change your status to an F-1 or M-1? Learn how to change your status.

Central New Mexico College provides education toward completion of a 2-year associate degree. Upon graduation, you have the option to continue your education to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree at a 4-year college.

Steps to Become an International Student at CNM

  1. Apply to CNM.
    1. High School diploma or equivalent
    2. English Proficiency
    3. Complete application
    4. $50.00 USD application fee
  2. Be accepted by CNM.
  3. Submit any and all documents required for the I-20, you will need to wait until we ask you for these documents before they can be sent
    1. Passport (Valid at least 6 months from the first day of class)
    2. Financial Documents
    3. Affidavit of Support
    4. Any and all other forms sent to you
  4. Once you have submitted all documents and they are approved, you will be sent the information on where to register for your I-20 to be shipped. There is a shipping fee of $60.00 USD.
  5. When you receive your I-20, you will need to schedule an interview with your local United States Embassy. This interview will cost you an average of $500.00 USD ($350.00 for the interview and $120.00 - $160.00 USD for the visa).
  6. The interview will take anywhere from 90 seconds to 5 minutes
  7. Most of the time you will find out if your visa is approved or denied shortly after the interview
  8. Once the United States Embassy approves your visa, you may register for classes. You will need to either pay in full or arrange a payment plan with the CNM Cashier Office.

Invitation Letter

To receive an invitation letter you will need to go through the process:

  • Apply to CNM
  • Be accepted by CNM
  • Provide documents required for I-20 including passport and financial documents (for our school you need to demonstrate that you/your family/sponsor have a minimum $19,200.00 USD in the bank)

Working on a Student Visa

As an international student, you are able to work on-campus as a student employee. There are very few on-campus jobs available to international students, so please do not count on this source of income. A student who is out of status is not eligible for benefits, including employment. Work with your DSO if you’d like to pursue employment opportunities.

You’ll only be allowed to work 20 hours per week or fewer during the Fall and Spring semesters. You may work full-time during summer semesters if you are registered for a minimum of 6 credits.

Global Education Dates

Spring 2023

Application Open Now
Application Deadline October 31, 2022
Deadline for Submitting I-20 Supporting Documents November 15
Payment Deadline Following after registration
Mandatory International New Student Orientation January 4
Semester Begins January 9

Fall 2023

Application Open TBA
Application Deadline June 31
Deadline for Submitting I-20 Supporting Documents July 15
Payment Deadline Following after registration
International New Student Orientation August 23
Semester Begins August 28

Visa Compliance

Student Responsibilities

  • Keep your passport valid for at least 6 months into the future
  • Enroll in a full class schedule (12 hours or more)
  • Make progress towards your degree
  • Meet with your DSO before traveling outside of the US
  • Complete an income tax return each year
  • Do not accept employment or internships without prior approval from your DSO. If approved, work no more than 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring terms
  • Ask for an I-20 extension BEFORE the current form expires

Things you must report to your DSO within 10 days

  • Change of address
  • Change of legal name
  • Early graduation
  • Change of academic major or minor
  • Change of financial sponsor
  • Any other change of information on the I-20

If you travel outside of the US

Make sure that you carry the following:

  • Your I-20 with a travel signature* dated within the last 12 months
  • Your valid passport
  • Your valid visa
  • Proof of enrollment
  • If you changed status while in the US, a change of status approval notice (I-797)

* To obtain travel signatures on your I-20, bring the document to your DSO at least 1 week before you depart.