New America College can help you apply for a student (F-1) visa. In order to begin this process, NAC requires the following information:
• Completed NAC application for admissions
• Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months
• High school diploma (translated to English) or a notarized secondary school equivalent
• Evidence of financial stability
Once NAC has the above information, they will issue you a letter of acceptance and a SEVIS I-20 form. For further instructions please read APPLYING FOR AN F-1 VISA OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES below.
If you wish to apply to transfer your current visa to a student visa, please read APPLYING FOR AN F-1 VISA (CHANGE OF CURRENT STATUS) WITHIN THE UNITED STATES below. NAC welcomes you to call our corporate office at 303-829-2911 for more help and information.
The following are rules and regulations in regard to F-1 student visas, congruent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Student Visitor Exchange Information System (SEVIS)
Individuals who hold an F-1 visa are classified as non-immigrants and are temporarily in the United States to study full-time at an academic or language institute. F-1 non-immigrants are admitted for duration of status (for as long as the nonimmigrant student remains enrolled in a SEVIS approved school full-time and otherwise maintains status).
Students need to report the following types of information to their Designated School Officer (DSO) in a timely manner:
• Enrollment at the beginning of every session (excluding authorized break periods)
• Address changes within 10 days of the change
• Change in sources of financial support
• Change in course load
• Change in program of study
• Change in academic status
• Intent to travel outside the United States
• Application for change of immigration status
• Need to extend program
• Intent to transfer
• Change in dependent status
APPLYING FOR AN F-1 VISA OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES
Prospective nonimmigrant students who are not in the U.S. must apply to the local U.S. consulate for an F-1 visa. This requires a visa interview. The student must bring several items to the interview:
• The signed Form I-20 from the school the student plans to attend
• Evidence that the SEVIS I-901 fee (http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm) has been paid
• A signed passport, valid for at least six months after the date of entry into the United States
• A Form DS-156; Nonimmigrant Visa Application with photo
• A Form DS-157A; Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
• A Form DS-158A; Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant.
• Transcripts from high school should be translated into English.
• Financial evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses for at least the first year of study
Prospective nonimmigrant students from visa exempt countries will need to bring their documentation to the Point of Entry (POE) and apply for entry as an F-1 nonimmigrant student. The next topic has more information on the entry process for visa exempt students.
UPON ARRIVING IN THE UNITED STATES
Nonimmigrant students may enter the United States at any time during the 30 days prior to the program start date listed on the Form I-20. If the student contacts the school to inform they will arrive late, the school will defer the program start date in SEVIS and provide the student with an updated Form I-20. If the program start date has passed, the school will not be able to defer attendance. The student should contact the DSO for a new Form I-20. While it is possible that the POE will allow the student to enter after the program start date, if the record has been cancelled, the DSO will not be able to activate it. The student will have to leave and reenter with a new Form I-20 or apply for reinstatement.
Students who cannot arrive by the program start date must contact the DSO to defer their program start date and get a reprinted Form I-20.
Upon arrival at a U.S. POE, the nonimmigrant student must present:
A Form I-20, signed by the DSO of the school they will be attending
A valid visa which will have the SEVIS Identification number and the name of the school the student will attend (unless the student is visa exempt)
A valid passport
Students must furnish the above documentation during the primary POE inspection. POE officials may also take students aside for further inspection. This is referred to as secondary inspection.
APPLYING FOR AN F-1 VISA (CHANGE OF CURRENT STATUS) WITHIN THE UNITED STATES
Prospective nonimmigrant students who are already in the United States must file a Form I-539 with USCIS to change from their current nonimmigrant status to an F-1 student. Most classes of non-immigrants can begin studying at your school while their application is pending. The exceptions are non-immigrants that are currently in B-1, B-2, or F-2 status. These non-immigrants cannot begin a program of study prior to approval of their change of status. Students who are already M-1 students cannot change status to F-1.
It is required for all F-1 non-immigrants to have medical/health insurance. Proof of insurance is required with the first semester of enrollment. Students will not be allowed to register for classes after the first semester without proof of health insurance. The corporate office has information on some insurance programs. Students can apply through the corporate office or find one independently.
FULL TIME STATUS
F-1 non-immigrant must maintain fulltime status at all time. Students must schedule a minimum of 18 hours per week for ESL programs and a minimum of 12 credits per ESP Business or Basic Skills courses per academic semester.
Courses can be taken at other schools and count toward this requirement if the SEVP certified school that has enrolled the student accepts the credits from those schools as contributing to the student’s program of study. The regulations limit the number of online and distance-learning credit hours that count toward the full-time requirement. The rules are as follows for F-1 nonimmigrant students:
Undergraduate students may count a maximum of three credit hours via online or distance-learning courses towards a full-time course load.
Students enrolled in English language programs may not take any of their full-time course load via online or distance-learning courses.