The SEVIS form I-20, included with your letter of acceptance authorizes you to apply for admission at the nearest port of entry in your area (land/air/or sea). Canadian citizens do not require an entry visa to enter the United States, but DO require an I-20.
To enter the U.S. in F-1 student status, Canadians DO require an I-20 and proof of payment of the SEVIS fee. To pay the SEVIS fee, go to www.fmjfee.com and follow the instructions. Be sure to make a copy of the receipt to take with you when you enter the United States.
At the port of entry, Canadian students must present the Form I-20 and supporting financial documentation to the immigration inspector to be admitted into the U.S. in F-1 status. You will be given an I-94 Admission/Departure card to complete. Be sure to look at your I-94 card before you leave the inspection area to ensure that it has the notation “F-1, D/S” written on it. Canadian students must have an I-94 card to confirm current F-1 status. If not, you are considered to be in Visitor (B-2) status, a status which does not permit study in the U.S.
Some Canadians have mistakenly assumed that regulations that apply to international students do not apply to them. Students from Canada are subject to the same regulations regarding employment in the United States, requirement for full-time study and all other provisions for maintaining status. It is especially important for Canadian students to be vigilant about entering the United States in proper student status, as immigration inspectors are accustomed to admitting Canadian citizens as visitors.