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International Students Need to Know

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


Global Student scholarship 

This $1,000 scholarship will assist one international student looking to study at an American university for a least 10 months.

For full information on the scholarship, including application information, visit

Changing Status

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


International Student Certification of Finances

International Student Verification Form

Sample Affidavit of Support

Scholarships for International Students

At this time, CNM does not offer financial aid for international students, but there are organizations that offer scholarships, fellowships, and grants for students who want to study in the United States. We encourage you to search for private and government sponsors for educational expenses. 

Working on a Student Visa

As an international student, you are able to:

  • Work on-campus
  • Work off-campus in cases of severe, unforeseen economic necessity
  • Work for
 certain international organizations

There are very few on-campus jobs available to international students, so please do not count on this source of income. Each of the above categories requires you to maintain valid F-1 status. A student who is out of status is not eligible for benefits, including employment. Each employment category has specific eligibility requirements, and most are also divided into subcategories, so be sure to work with your DSO if you’d like to pursue employment opportunities.

Job postings for on-campus positions can be found:



Just remember that 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.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Spring 2018

Application Deadline

November 1

Deadline for Submitting I-20 Supporting Documents

November 15

Registration Deadline

December 8

Payment Deadline

December 16

International New Student Orientation

January 11-12

Term Begins

January 16

Info session on post-completion OPT

January 19 

1st day to file for OPT (pre-completion or post-completion for 2-term programs)

January 29 

1st day of OPT may begin (pre-completion or post-completion for 2-term programs)

April 30

Summer 2018


1st day to file for post-completion OPT for 3-term programs

May 7

Last day to file for post-completion OPT for 2-term programs

June 28

1st day of post-completion OPT for 3-term programs may begin

August 6

Fall 2018


Last day to file for post-completion OPT for 3-term programs

October 4

1st day to file for post-completion OPT for 4-term programs

September 10

1st day of post-completion OPT may begin for 4-term programs

December 10

Spring 2019


Last day to file for post-completion OPT for 4-term programs

Feb. 7

Pre-Arrival Planning

Before You Leave

Make copies of important documents, including visa application documents, and leave them with a family member or friend. Email a set to yourself and pack originals and a copy in your carry-on luggage.


Start reading news stories and articles about current events in your home country and in the US. People you meet will be interested in talking politics with you and it will help you get a feel for the kind of environment you'll be dropping yourself into. You might also find it helpful to purchase a travel guidebook. Popular brands include the Lonely Planet and Frommer's guidebook series.

Mobile Phone / SIM Card

Check with your carrier to see what your options are. Do you already have a decent international plan? Does your phone need to be unlocked to accept a sim card? Need a new sim card? Here's one option:

New Student Orientation for Spring 2018

As an incoming International Student at Central New Mexico Community College, you must complete the online Pre-Arrival New Student Orientation before you can register for classes.

You can access the orientation module at


Enter the following information to being:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • 9-digit CNM Student ID number (this number begins with 010XXXXXX)
  • Your date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
  • Your student type on the log-in screen 

Then click Enter.

*Do NOT click Enter as Guest as your completion will NOT be recorded.

Make sure you complete the entire module and quiz questions as soon as possible so you can register for classes. 

All new international students are ALSO required to attend in-person New Student Orientation on campus Thursday, January 11th - Friday, January 12th. Therefore, please plan to arrive in Albuquerque no later than Wednesday, January 10th. 

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

  • Carry with you
  1. Your I-29 with a travel signature* dated within the last 12 months
  2. Your valid passport
  3. Your valid visa
  4. Proof of enrollment 
  5. 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.

  • Reminders:
  1. Check to see if the countries you are visiting require a travel visa
  2. If your US visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa at a US Consulate or Embassy abroad. Plan accordingly
  3. Make sure there are no holds on your student account


Are you ready for an internship, a practicum, or other study-related work? Download the CPT Reporting and OPT Reporting forms and make an appointment with your DSO.