International Students


International Admission Upcoming Deadlines

Summer 2013 - 
May 13, 2013
Fall 2013 - August 6, 2013
Spring 2014 - December 5, 2013
Summer 2014 - May 13, 2014 

Admission Checklist
Guidelines for the Certification of Finances
Certification of Finances Form
Explanation of Cost Attendance
TOEFL Exemptions
Transfer Recommendation Form
Driver’s License Information
Helpful Websites

General Information

Purpose of Visa – The nonimmigrant visa is a stamp that a U.S. embassy or consulate affixes to a page in an alien’s passport to indicate the kind of nonimmigrant status or classification that person is seeking in the U.S. For example, a person seeking to enter the U.S. for an F-1 student status applies to the embassy or consulate for an F-1 visa stamp in his/her passport. The visa gives the holder the right to “knock at the door” of the U.S. at a port of entry. The visa stamp alone does not give a person the right to enter the U.S. The visa holder generally must show additional documents at the port of entry.
Form I-94 and the authorized period of stay – Most nonimmigrants coming to the U.S. are admitted for a specific period of time, and the immigration officer at the port of entry puts an expiration date on the I-94. F-1 students and their F-2 dependents are admitted for the duration of status which is abbreviated by the immigration officer as “D/S” on both the form I-94 and the Form I-20. This notation means that their permission to remain in the U.S. continues for the duration of time that they maintain F-1 student or F-2 dependent status.

Visa and Admission Process 

  • Student applies to college or university and is accepted.
  • School issues I-20 and sends it to the student.
  • Student pays a one-time SEVIS fee.
  • The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to applying for your visa or applying for admission at a U.S. port of entry for those exempt from the visa requirement.
  • SEVIS fee can only be processed by the Department of Homeland Security via mail or the internet (note: for more information on the SEVIS fee visit
  • If the F-1 visa application is denied, the SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again. If you are paying by mail, please submit Form I-901 and payment to the following:
    • Student/Exchange Visitor Processing
    • P.O. Box 970020 St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
  • Student goes to the U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for an F-1 visa.
  • Consular officer reviews the application, confirms that the SEVIS fee has been paid, runs required security checks, and grants the F-1 visa. Consular officer enters a notice in SEVIS that the visa has been issued.
  • Student arrives at a U.S. port of entry (POE).
  • Immigration officer at the POE reviews the passport, F-1 visa, and I-20, processes the student through US-VISIT, and admits the student in F-1 status. Once date and port of entry data is processed by the POE data system, that data should be transmitted to SEVIS, to notify the DSO that the student has entered using the school’s I-20.

Basics of Maintaining F-1 Status

  •  Report to the DSO for SEVIS Registration upon arriving at the school.
  • Attend authorized school.
    • For the first entry for initial school attendance, the school listed on the visa and on the I20 must be the same and that is the school the student must attend.
    • Carry a full course of study and make normal academic progress towards completion of program. Twelve (12) credit hours are considered full time at Shelton State Community College.
  • Transfer or extend program in a timely manner.
    • To transfer, the student must not only have a new school to attend, but must be eligible to transfer based on having maintained status at the old school.
  • Keep continuity in the program of study.
    • In general, an absence from the U.S. or any other academic break of more than five months terminates F-1 status.
  • Refrain from unauthorized work.
    • F-1 students have a broad range of employment options, but they are not permitted to work at will in any job they choose. All F-1 employment must be approved either by the DSO or by USCIS, depending on the kind of employment. Any work outside those parameters is unauthorized work and is a violation of student status, thus making the student ineligible for the normal benefits attendant to F-1 status. In particular, unauthorized work makes a student ineligible for reinstatement.
  • When traveling abroad, always return in proper F-1 status.
    • F-1 students should avoid returning in some other status such as B-2 tourist. Students usually do this because they failed to obtain, or feared to attempt to obtain, an updated F1 visa stamp in the passport and they believed the B-2 would be easier/faster/safer. Under the current regulations, it is not legal for them to enroll in classes if they are in B-2 status.
  • Report any changes of address to the DSO within 10 days of the change.
    • The DSO will update SEVIS within 21 days.
  • File timely request for extension of stay, change of status, transfer, optional practical training, and other benefits.
  • Remain in the U.S. for no longer than 60 days after completing the full course of study, unless you have followed procedures and applied for other benefits which you may be entitled to under regulations.
  • Obey all state and federal laws including laws regulating domestic disputes, child endangerment, sexual assault, driving while under the influence, etc.

Transfer Procedures

F-1 regulations permit a student to transfer from one SEVIS-approved school to another. When transferring from another college or university, an F-1 visa holder is required to submit a Transfer Recommendation Form prior to Shelton State Community College issuing an I-20. Transfer students must meet International Admission standards as well as submit a Transfer Recommendation Form to the International Office. Students are urged to apply in advance of the time they wish to enroll.

Transient Students

A transfer student who attends another postsecondary institution and seeks credit for transfer to that parent institution may be admitted to the college as a transient student. The student must submit an application for admission and an official letter from the institution which certifies that the credit earned at the college will be accepted as a part of the student’s academic program. Such a student is not required to file transcripts of previously earned credits at other postsecondary institutions. Students must submit a transient letter (e.g. Letter of Good Standing, course approval letter, etc.) to the Office of Admission and Records prior to or within the semester in which he/she has registered. Any transient student who fails to provide appropriate prerequisite information may be administratively withdrawn, and no refund will be provided.

Permanent Residents

  • Permanent residents do not have to provide financial documentation demonstrating the ability to pay. 
  • Proof of medical insurance is not required.
  • Students who have permanent resident status must provide a copy of their permanent resident card. These students should refer to the Shelton State Community College Catalog for guidelines concerning establishing residency in the State of Alabama.  
  • Permanent residents are eligible to apply for financial aid.
  • For more information on Permanent resident admission policies and procedures please contact the Office of Admission and Records. 

Health Insurance

As an international student, you are required to purchase and maintain medical insurance. Students who do not have insurance will be enrolled in the school’s designated insurance plan for international students, and the student will be billed at the time of registration. Insurance fees are paid per semester and are calculated by the number of days in a semester term. 


Shelton State Community College does not provide on-campus housing. Off-campus housing is available with apartment leases typically granted for twelve (12) months. Normally, one month’s rent is required for deposit.