Steps to Obtain Your F-1 Visa

First, you must have a passport from your home country and obtain a visa from the United States Embassy/Consulate in your home country to enter the United States. To attend College of the Sequoias (COS) you will need to apply for an F-1 Student visa by completing the following steps:


 Step 1: English Language Proficiency


​One test is required unless English is your native language:

  • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language - Minimum score: 500 paper test; 173 computerized test; 61 IBT OR
  • APIEL - Advanced Placement International English Language - examination score: 3 OR
  • IELTS - International English Language Testing System - minimum score: 5

Exception to English Language Proficiency:

If you have not taken the TOEFL test or if your TOEFL score is less than the above minimum scores, are you interested in a CONDITIONAL admission to College of the Sequoias? If Yes, you can be conditionally admitted to College of the Sequoias if you meet all our admissions requirements, except English proficiency, plus the following:
  • You must enroll in 12 units for English as a Second Language (ESL) courses each Fall/Spring;
  • You may not enroll in regular COS academic classes until you have received an authorization letter from your ESL instructor stating you have achieved English proficiency.

 Step 2: Application for Admission


​All four items required:

  • Complete and submit online College Of The Sequoias Application AND
  • Submit College of the Sequoias International Student Application including Financial Sponsorship form verifying a minimum of $22,230 (U. S. Dollars) being available for the first year.  As a public supported community college, we do not offer any type of financial aid or scholarships to international students. AND
  • Submit one letter of recommendation from principal or counselor from last school AND
  • Submit copy of your passport (pages showing name, date of birth, country of birth, photo, and passport expiration date)

 Step 3: School Transcript

  • Submit complete certified English translations of transcripts from colleges / universities attended.
  • Engineering/Science Major - Submit certified English translations of High School transcripts.

 Step 4: Application Fee (non-refundable)

  • Submit check or credit card information for $100 (U.S. dollars) International Student Application Fee drawn on United States Bank. This is an application fee and cannot be refunded.

 Step 5: Insurance Coverage


​One Required:

  • Provide copy of insurance policy that includes accident, hospitalization, repatriation and medical evacuation, OR
  • Purchase accident, hospitalization, repatriation and medical evacuation insurance policy from an insurance company of your choice . College of the Sequoias does not approve or promote any of the businesses below and these websites are provided only to assist you in your search.

 Step 6: Pay SEVIS Fee


​Pay SEVIS Fee to the Department of Homeland Security

Effective September 1, 2004, individuals seeking an F-1 student visa must pay a $200.00 SEVIS I-901 fee. If you do not pay the fee, you will:
  • not be issued an F-1 visa and will not be admitted to the United States, or
  • if you are present in the United States, your application will not be processed.
A copy of form I-901 is available on-line at . Review the SEVIS I-901 instructions to determine if you might be exempt from the fee and for other information regarding the submission of the form.
After you receive your I-20, please pay your SEVIS fee. Confirmation of the SEVIS fee payment must be presented along with your I-20 before the United States Consulate / Embassy will issue an F-1 Visa.

 Step 7: Obtain an F-1 Student Visa


When your I-20 arrives from College of the Sequoias, make an appointment at the nearest United States Consulate or Embassy to apply for an F-1 Visa. You can check the anticipated wait times for an appointment in various cities of your country on the following web site:
Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more by visiting the Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply.
Click here for Visa interview information and help: International Student Visa Interview
Take the following documents with you to your appointment: financial statement, SEVIS-901 fee payment receipt, valid passport and any proof you can offer that shows you will be returning to your home country after you have completed your education in the United States.
*You may not take any classes at College of the Sequoias until you have your Student F-1 Visa in your possession.
Last Updated: 5/17/2016 9:07 AM