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- International Students
When do I pay for my tuition?
Can I wire money to the college for tuition and fees before I arrive to SVC?
Does Skagit Valley College offer scholarships or financial aid?
What is the cost of my tuition and fees between 12-18 credits?
Q: How can I obtain a Nonimmigrant Student visa?
A: The International Student application form must be filled out and returned to the International Student Programs Office with the required fees and documentation before an I-20 can be issued. The I-20 is a document necessary to apply for a foreign student visa at the U.S. Consulate in the student's home country. Upon admission, the I-20, along with orientation information, is mailed to the student. The student must check with the US consulate in their country to inquire about specifics in gaining a visa to the US.
Below are two web links that may be helpful when applying for a student visa.
This site will lead students to the US Embassy located near their home city/country. This site outlines how to schedule interviews and the appropriate documentation required for the interview.
There are education centers all around the world that are designated to helping potential students prepare for study in the US. They may help with preparing applications for visa interviews, preparing for questions for visa interviews, how to make appointments at the embassies and more.
Under U.S. law, all applicants for nonimmigrant visas, such as student visas, are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not. You must therefore be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the United States. "Ties" to your home country are the things that bind you to your home town, homeland, or current place of residence: job, family, financial prospects, that you own or will inherit, investments, etc. If you are a prospective undergraduate, the interviewing officer may ask about your specific intentions or promise of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, grades, long-range plans, and career prospects in your home country. Each person's situation is different, of course, and there is no magic explanation or single document, certificate, or letter which can guarantee visa issuance. If you have applied for the U.S. Green Card Lottery, you may be asked if you are intending to immigrate. A simple answer would be that you applied for the lottery since it was authorized stay in the U.S. previously, be prepared to explain what happened clearly and concisely, with documentation if available.
Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. One suggestion is to practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview, but do NOT prepare speeches! If you are coming to the United States solely to study intensive English, be prepared to explain how English will be useful for you in your home country.
Do not bring parents or family members with you to the interview. The consular officer wants to interview you, not your family. A negative impression is created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf. If you are a minor applying for a high school program and need your parents there is case there are questions, for example about funding, they should wait in the waiting room.
If you are not articulate the reasons you will study in a particular program in the United States , you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study, rather than to immigrate. You should also be able to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your future professional career when you return home.
Because of the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute of the interview. Consequently, what you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Keep your answers to the officer's questions short and to the point.
It should be immediately clear to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated. Remember that you will have 2-3 minutes of interview time, if you're lucky.
Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the US as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Statistically, applicants from those countries are more likely to be intending immigrants. They are also more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study in the U.S.
Your main purpose in coming to the United States should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students do work off-campus during their studies, such employment is incidental to their main purpose of completing their U.S. education. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program. If your spouse is also applying for an accompanying F-2 visa, be aware that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstances, be employed in the U.S. If asked, be prepared to address what your spouse intends to do with his or her time while in the U.S. Volunteer work and attending school part-time are permitted activities.
If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be an especially tricky area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular officer gains the impression that your family will need you to remit money from the United States in order to support themselves, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied. If your family does decide to join you at a later time, it is helpful to have them apply at the same post where you applied for your visa.
Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.
*NAFSA would like to credit Gerald A. Wunsch, Esq., 1997, then a member of the Consular Issues Working Group, and a former U.S. Consular Officer in Mexico, Suriname, and the Netherlands, and Martha Wailes of Indiana University for their contributions to this document. NAFSA also appreciates the input of the U.S.Department of State.
Q: What is an I-20?
A: This is a document issued upon completion of the admissions application. It is an immigration document issued by Skagit Valley College, which you then present to the embassy in applying for your visa. The I-20 signifies that you have been accepted to an institution in the US.
Q: What kind of visa do I need to study at SVC?
A: If you are applying for an academic program, the visa is called F-1. If you are applying for a vocational program the visa is called M-1.
Q: How do I pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?
A: For information regarding this fee, please click on the following link: SEVIS I-901 Information. This information is provided by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If you have other questions about this fee, contact your local US Consulate Office.
Q: Can you send my I-20 through express mail?
A: If documents are requested to be mailed via express mail, there is a $30 charge for each package. This must be paid before the package is mailed.
Q: How soon should I arrive after receiving my visa?
A: We recommend that you arrive a few days (2-3 days) before your advising session to overcome jet lag and adjust to your new environment.
Q: When do I pay for my tuition?
A: For new students, tuition will be paid at your assigned registration session. This date is provided in your acceptance letter. For continuing students, tuition must be paid by the deadline provided each quarter.
Q: Can I wire money to the college for tuition and fees before I arrive to SVC?
A: Yes! With the exception of Homestay fees. Following are the procedures:
When sending funds electronically to Skagit Valley College, please use the information provided below, send funds in US dollars. Please also inform us of the students name for whom the funds are being sent.
Q: Does Skagit Valley College offer scholarships or financial aid?
A: Skagit Valley College does not have any scholarships or financial aid for international applicants at this time. However, you may want to investigate the following websites for possible funding resources:
Institute of International Education
Phone: 1-800-695-3317 or 1-888-296-4332
Q: What is the cost of my tuition and fees between 12-18 credits?
|Credit Amount||*Cost per Credit Amount|
* Listed as 2014/09 fees.
Q: Does SVC require Health Insurance for International Students?
A: Yes. Please click here for more information.