For Special English Programs and seminars designed with fewer than 18 classroom hours per week, the study program is considered “incidental” to their visit and so students may enter the country on a tourist (B-2) visa or on the WT visa waiver program.
According to Department of Homeland Security regulations, study programs of 18 classroom hours per week or more must require student (F-1) visas. For programs requiring student (F-1) visas, our International Programs office can issue the Form I-20 required to obtain the visa.
REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING F-1 VISAS FOR SEP AND SEMINAR GROUPS
International Programs of Outreach College is authorized to issue the Form I-20 to eligible students.
Step One: APPLICATION
The sponsoring institution must submit:
- a separate application for each student (please contact us for application)
- an official financial statement for each student. The financial statement must be on bank letterhead and include the name of student or immediate relative (father, mother, sister, brother); name and address of bank; account number; account balance (minimum US $500 for each week of study), signature of bank official; date of statement. Document must be dated within six months of the beginning of the study term.
Alternative to individual financial statements: The sponsoring institution may submit a financial statement on behalf of the entire group.
- full course fees for the group (required before I-20s are issued)
Deadline: We recommend submitting applications, financial statements, and course fees at least 10 weeks prior to the first day of the program.
STEP Two: SEVIS PAYMENT
In order to issue the I-20, the International Programs office must enter all students into the computerized Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which monitors the immigration status of international students and scholars.
Students are required to pay a SEVIS processing fee of $200. The payment must be made online (www.FMJfee.com) with a credit card.
STEP Three: PERSONAL INTERVIEW
After making the payment and receiving the I-20, each student must make an appointment for a personal interview at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Students should be prepared to explain their study plans and show evidence of intention to return home upon completion of the program. If approved, the F-1 visa is issued.
For more information on visa issuance, please consult the USCIS website (www.uscis.gov)