International ProgramsInternational and Study Abroad Services
International ProgramsInternational and Study Abroad Services
International StudentsInternational and Study Abroad Services
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Obtain A Non-Immigrant Student Visa?
Below are two web links that may be helpful when applying for a student visa:
- US Embassy
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.
- Education USA
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.
10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Non-Immigrant Student Visa
- Ties to Your Home Country
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 an 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.
- Speak For Yourself
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 in case there are questions, for example about funding, they should wait in the waiting room.
- Know the Program and How it Fits Your Career Plans
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.
- Be Brief
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.
- Additional Documentation
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.
- Not All Countries are Equal
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.
- Dependents Remaining at Home
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.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude
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.
What Is An I-20?
What Kind of Visa Do I Need to Study At SVC?
How Do I Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee?
Can You Send My I-20 Through Express Mail?
How Soon Should I Arrive After Receiving My Visa?
When Are The Application Deadlines?
Can the $50 Application Fee Be Waived?
Does Skagit Valley College Require Health Insurance?
Yes. Please note that due to the high cost of medical services in the United States, we require that students have medical insurance coverage while attending Skagit Valley College. Students will be required to purchase insurance from the school prior to registering for classes. Purchasing insurance from Skagit Valley College, the cost of insurance coverage is $1,170* per year (nine months). At Skagit Valley College, we are interested in your well-being and, therefore, would not want the cost of medical expenses to disrupt your educational goals.
As of January 2018, Skagit Valley College will no longer be accepting insurance from any outside sources. Students will be required to purchase their medical insurance through the school only. To review the insurance program offered through the school, please visit: www.lewermark.com/skagit
Students may purchase insurance per quarter or up to 3 quarters at a time. If you have questions about your insurance or want to purchase your insurance before you arrive, you may contact [email protected] or phone: 360.416.7814.
*Insurance rates are subject to change yearly, typically in the summer or fall.
When Can I Start School?
You can start school at the beginning of any of the four quarters: September, January, April or June. Students taking courses at the Language Institute may enter mid-quarter.
Does The College Provide Airport Pick-Up Service?
When Do I Pay For My Tuition?
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. Payment plans for international students must be pre-approved by IPO prior to tuition deadline.
Can I Wire Money To The College For Tuition and Fees Before I Arrive To SVC?
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 student’s name for whom the funds are being sent. Note that it can take up to 10 business days before funds are available to be used by the school. Please make checks /wires payable to Skagit Valley College
Bank Name: US Bank Bank
Address: 419 S. Second St.
Mount Vernon, WA
Bank Routing Number: 125000105
Account Name: Skagit Valley College
Account Number: 153505364635
SWIFT CODE: USBKUS44IMT
Please note that the “I” in the code is not a one, but the capital letter I (i).
Once funds have been sent, please send a notification email to:
- Lucy Rocha, Assistant Controller
E-mail: [email protected]
Does Skagit Valley College Offer Scholarships or Financial Aid?
College Board URL: www.collegeboard.org Phone: 212.713.8143
Institute of International Education URL: www.iie.org Phone: 800.445.0443
Edupass URL: www.edupass.org Phone: 800.695.3317 or 888.296.4332
What Is The Cost Of My Tuition and Fees Between 12-18 Credits?
|Credits||Amount Per Quarter|
***Students in the Intensive English Program will be enrolled in 18 credits per quarter.
Housing (Dormitory & Homestay)
What Are My Housing Options At SVC?
Can A Homestay Be Arranged Prior To A Student's Arrival In The U.S.?
How Far From The College Can A Student Expect To Live?
How Soon Before The Quarter Begins May A Student Be Placed In Homestay?
Of The Different Housing Options, Which Is The Best Choice?
Both have different purposes. Therefore, one is only better than the other based on your interest and goals. In the American home environment the student is immersed in the English/American language and culture, which assists in the student’s academic and overall growth.
Do I Have To Cook and Prepare Meals?
In a non-tradtional homestay and living at dorms, you are responsible to purchase and prepare all of your own meals.
During Holidays, If I Am Not Staying In The Homestay Do I Have To Pay?
Yes, the hosts in SVC’s Homestay Program have agreed to reduce the daily rate by 50% while on vacation 15 days or longer. The discount must be calculated through the Homestay office before given.
If a student will be out of the home for an extended time (a quarter or more) and wishes to be able to return to their homestay, there will be a larger discounted rate, calculated through the Homestay office.
If student or parent wish not to pay the pro-rated amount, then the student would be required to move out of the current home and would either need to find housing of their own upon returning to school, or they may be relocated into a different Homestay.
How Do You Match Me With My Family?
What Is The Makeup Of Each Family?
Will My Family Have Other International Students? If So, Will They Be From The Same Country?
Working On Campus
Can I Work As An International Student?
International students are eligible to work on campus while studying in the United States. A student can begin working up to 30 days before the start date on their I-20. Students may only work on campus while they maintain status.
If an F-1 student would like to work on campus, they must first be registered for a minimum of 12 credits. They need to actively search on the SVC website or within departments on campus. Once they have been offered a position, they will take the job offer letter to their DSO to get a letter for their Social Security Card. Note, the Social Security processing times can take up to one to two months.
How Can I Get A Social Security Card?
Does Skagit Valley College Require Proof of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccinations?
Does Skagit Valley College Require Health Insurance for International Students?
Yes. Please note that due to the high cost of medical services in the United States, we require that students have medical insurance coverage while attending Skagit Valley College. Students will be required to purchase insurance from the school prior to registering for classes. Purchasing insurance from Skagit Valley College, the cost of insurance coverage is $1,170* per year (nine months). At Skagit Valley College, we are interested in your well-being and, therefore, would not want the cost of medical expenses to disrupt your educational goals. As of January 2018, Skagit Valley College will no longer be accepting insurance from any outside sources. Students will be required to purchase their medical insurance through the school only. To review the insurance program offered through the school, please visit: www.lewermark.com/skagit Students may purchase insurance per quarter or up to 3 quarters at a time. If you have questions about your insurance or want to purchase your insurance before you arrive, you may contact [email protected] or phone: 360.416.7814. *Insurance rates are subject to change yearly, typically in the summer or fall.