Welcome to Santiago Canyon College! Please review our new student checklists.
We are very pleased that you have chosen to attend SCC, and we look forward to meeting you. The staff of the International Student Office (ISO) is here to help you learn about and follow the F-1 student visa regulations. There are many benefits and restrictions associated with the F-1 status, and we’ll assist you with understanding how the immigration regulations intersect with College policies.
1. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee
All F-1 international students exchange visitors must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. This fee is separate from visa fees.
Please visit www.fmjfee.com to pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee.
You must have a complete and accurate Form I-20. If you do not have a Form I-20 or if the information on the form is incorrect, contact our office for assistance.
Do not pay for a dependent child or spouse who is on an F-2 visa. There is no I-901 SEVIS fee due for a dependent child or spouse for these visa types.
2. Apply for Your F-1 Visa
Apply for your F-1 visa: As soon as you receive your I-20, complete the Online Visa Application (Form DS-160).
Schedule a visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Important! Apply for Your Visa as Early as Possible. F-1 visas may be issued up to 120 days before the program start date listed on your I-20
**Citizens from Canada & Bermuda do not need to apply for a visa. You will simply present the I-20, I-901 SEVIS fee receipt, and financial documentation to the immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry. A passport will be required. For more information, visit U.S. Department of State's travel pages.
Tips and Required Documents for Visa Interview
See the F1 Visa page for information about preparing your supporting documents and getting ready for your visa interview.
Visas for SEVIS Transfer Students
If you are changing schools within the U.S. and transferring your SEVIS record to the SCC, there are visa and travel policies unique to your situation.
You can travel with a valid, unexpired F-1 visa and a “transfer pending" SCC I-20, even if the visa has your previous school's name on it. As long as your visa is still valid and you have not been outside of the U.S. more than five months between the end of your previous program and your return to the U.S.
You are allowed to stay in the U.S. with a transfer pending I-20 as long as the end of your previous program and the start of your new program is no more than 5 months. You are also allowed to travel outside the U.S. with a transfer pending I-20 and return at any time to the U.S.
A. COMPLETE THE ENGLISH & MATHS COURSE PLACEMENT
The ACE/ESL Guided Self-Placement is designed for students who English is their second language or who have not intensively studied English in school for at least seven years.
- If you have taken ESL or English courses at another college or university, please speak to the International Student Counselor for appropriate placement.
- Students who completed four years of high school in the U.S. can take the English Guided-Self Placement.
If you have completed a class at another U.S. institution that meets the prerequisite requirement for a course at SCC. In that case, you can request a course prerequisite clearance.
B. MEET WITH THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ACADEMIC COUNSELOR
Once you have your English & Maths course placement recommendations, schedule an appointment with Maria Chaidez, International Student Counselor. You will be able to plan your first semester courses based on your educational goals. Appointments are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Click here to view her availability.
Note: Counseling appointments are released every Friday for the following week.
Once you have completed the above steps, you can register for classes on your assigned registration date.
- Log on to WebAdvisor using your WebAdvisor username and password.
- On the student menu, click on “Student Planning."
- Click on “Plan Your Degree and Schedule Your Classes" to register for the courses listed on your Online Student Education Plan.
- How to Register Using the Online Student Education Plan (Video)
- How to Register Step by Step Instructions (PDF)
- 3-DAY NON-PAYMENT DROPS: Enrollment fees must be paid IN FULL within 3 days of registration (including weekends and holidays as WebAdvisor is available 24/7), or all of your courses may be dropped and released to other students. The day you register counts as day 1 of the 3 days. Drops may occur at any point after the 3-day deadline. In addition to the 3-day non-payment drop policy, there is a final outstanding balance drop date. Please check the section information for the drop and refund deadline to avoid fees.
D. COMPLETE THE NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
This orientation is an overview of studying as an F-1 international student and includes information about our campus, student health insurance, and academic requirements to maintain your F-1 status.
Earliest Admission Date (30-Day Arrival Window)
Entry to the U.S. more than 30 days before the program start date is against U.S. immigration law. The only exception is for students whose SEVIS record was transferred from a previous school and they have received a Transfer Pending I-20. The Earliest Admission Date will be blank in the Program of Study section on a transfer pending I-20 form.
Students issued an Initial (new) I-20 are allowed to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date printed on their I-20. This is the earliest date you are allowed to enter the U.S. and is called the “30 Day Arrival Window." The Earliest Admission Date is printed in the Program of Study section on the I-20 form.
SEVIS Transfer Students — Earliest Admission Date and Multiple Trip Exceptions
The 30-day rule is only for travel with an Initial I-20. If your I-20 Form Issue Reason is “Transfer Pending" and the Earliest Admission Date is blank, you are allowed to return to the U.S. at any time between the end of your previous program and the start of your SCC program.
You can use your SCC “transfer pending" I-20 for one entry to the U.S. before your academic program starts at the SCC. You will not be eligible for a travel signature for multiple entries until after your academic program begins.
Travel Endorsement Signatures on Form I-20
First entry during the 30-day arrival window: Your first entry into the U.S. using your Form I-20 from SCC does not require a Travel Signature
Multiple entries during the 30-day arrival window: Multiple trips during the 30-day arrival window are not recommended.