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International Student Advising

FAQ

FAQ

Questions

  1. What is a community college?
  2. What kind of a visa do international student receive?
  3. After I receive the visa, when can I enter the U.S.?
  4. I am already in the U.S. attending another school. Can I transfer to CRC?
  5. What are the responsibilities for international students?
  6. I came into the U.S. as a tourist. Can I change my status to a student?
  7. My visa stamp in passport has expired. Do I have to return to my home country?
  8. How can I get a job?
  9. Can I get financial assistance?
  10. Do I need a Social Security Number?
  11. Why do I need to see the International Student Advisor?

Answers

What is a community college?

California Community Colleges offer affordable and dynamic educational programs. Cosumnes River College is a part of the Los Rios Community College District, which serves over 80,000 students in the Sacrament area. The California Community College system has transfer agreements with the University of California and California State University systems. These agreements allow students to complete their general education requirements at the community college level and then transfer at a junior standing to complete their bachelor degree. More and more students, non-international and international, are choosing to complete their lower division courses in a community college. The community college system plays an important role in California ’s higher education system and is unique community college districts in the U.S. Furthermore, studies have shown that international students who transfer from a community college are better students than their counterparts who entered as freshmen.

What kind of a visa do international students receive?

International Students are able to study at Cosumnes River College on the F1 student visa in F1 status. As an international student, you will be given the I-20, certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant status. This will allow you to apply for the F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country. For more information on student visas, please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. It is important that you are prepared for your visa interview. NAFSA: Association of International Educators has some useful information regarding your interview. In order to receive the I-20 from CRC, you will need to follow the International Student Application Procedures. In September a new fee went into place for F, M & J visa applicants. This fee is in addition to the regular DS-156 non-immigrant application fee. This fee will need to be paid before you can receive the F visa. This fee can be paid on-line.

After I receive the visa, when can I enter the U.S.?

International students cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start of the semester. Therefore, if the fall semester begins on August 15, you can enter the U.S. on July 15th or later. When you enter the U.S., you will need to have: (1) valid passport; (2) valid F-1 visa; (3) I-20. It is important to report to an International Student Advisor in the Admissions Office as soon as you arrive.

I am already in the U.S. attending another school, can I transfer to CRC?

Yes, as long as you've maintained your status at your current school, then you will be able to transfer. Please follow the International Student Application Procedures. After you've completed the application, you will need to request the release of your SEVIS I-20 record to Cosumnes River College. Please, talk to your current international student advisor for more information. If you are attending school as an international student in Sacramento and want to take just one or two classes at CRC, then you should be able to get approval from your International Student Advisor for that without transferring your I-20.

What are the responsibilities for international students?

You are required to take 12 units every semester. Schools are required to report to SEVIS when a student drops below a full course of study 12 units or fails to enroll. You are not required to register for summer quarter, but you must be registered for a full course of study throughout the academic year in order to maintain your valid student visa status. There are certain circumstances under which CRC can approve the "drop below" but in all cases this approval must be done by CRC before the student actually drops below, otherwise the student will fall out of status, even if the drop-below would have been otherwise authorized. In other words, it is essential that you contact an international student advisor prior to dropping below a full course load. There are only three reasons why you would be able to drop below 12 units at Cosumnes River College: 1. Medical reasons documented by a physician. 2. A student is in his/her final semester and only needs certain courses to graduate. 3. Academic Difficulty (this can only be approved for one semester!)

I came into the U.S. as a tourist. Can I change my status to a student?

If you are currently in B1/2 status and want to become an international student in F-1 status, you need to change your status before attending school. There are two ways to change your current status. You can complete the application procedures, receive your I-20, and return home to obtain an F-1 visa. You would then re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status. The other way to change your status is to stay in the U.S. and apply with the U.S.C.I.S. This is a formal application process with the immigration bureau. There are benefits and drawbacks to each option. The preferred method is that you will leave the country and reenter in F-1 status. This may be difficult for some students because of the cost and inconvenience of travel as well as the chance of visa denial. Applying for a change of status in the U.S. can take a long time to process and there is a strong chance of denial. It is recommended that both options are considered and discussed with the International Student Advisor. For more information, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

My visa stamp in passport has expired. Do I have to return to my home country?

The visa stamp that is in your passport was issued by the U.S. Consulate in your country. It is a document that is used to tell the Port of Entry officer that your application was reviewed by the U.S. Consulate which determined you could enter the U.S. The visa allows you to travel to the U.S. where the Port of Entry officer will admit you by stamping your I-20 and I-94 card. If you are in the U.S. and your visa expires, you don't need to worry. You can stay in the U.S. with an expired visa, but you will need to renew it if you leave the U.S. and intend to travel back to the U.S. For more information on U.S. visas, visit the Department of State website.

How can I get a job?

International students have limited employment options. F-1 students are able to work on-campus without any special permission; however, you will need a social security card. Off-campus employment is more difficult to attain. You should speak to the International Student Advisor as well as read this website's employment section.

Can I get financial assistance?

Undergraduate education is very expensive for international students and funding resources are limited. International students are required to show enough financial support for the first academic year.

Do I need a Social Security number?

Social Security numbers (SSN) are issued for the purpose of employment taxation. You do not need a social security number to open a bank account, rent a car, or get your driver's license. It is more convenient for students to have an SSN but it is not absolutely necessary. You should only apply for an SSN if you are going to be employed. There have been changes to the SSN application procedures that require evidence of employment. Please talk to an international student advisor about SSN application procedures.

Why do I need to see the International Student Advisor?

You should see the International Student Advisor in the Admissions Office for the following reasons:

  1. If you need to travel out of the U.S. at anytime, you will need a signature on the third page of your I-20.
  2. If you transfer to another school you will need to have CRC release your SEVIS record.
  3. If you change your major and/or need to extend your I-20, you will need to speak to the International Student Advisor.
  4. If you fall below 12 units.
  5. If you change your immigration status, CRC will need to terminate your SEVIS record.
  6. If you lose your I-20
  7. If you want to work on campus or off campus