Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can I attend College of the Sequoias with a visitor's visa? 

Sorry, no.  You must change your visitor's visa to an F-1 student visa.  Please complete the COS Application, International Student Application and submit a document from your financial institution verifying that $10,000 U. S. dollars are available.  For the complete listing of the steps required, please click here.
Question: How many units must I take each semester?


You are required to enroll and complete 12 units each Fall and each Spring semester.  Summer classes are optional.

Question: Can I work while attending College of the Sequoias?



Answer: You may work on campus beginning your first semester.  However, opportunities on campus are limited and competitive.  Visit each office/department at the college and inquire if they have any openings for a student worker.  If you are asked if you qualify for "work study" or "CalWORKs" you will need to answer "no" because these programs are available only to United States citizens.  

Never work off-campus without written permission.

Off-campus employment consists of two types:  Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (OPT).

There is also the possibility of a Severe Economic Hardship, however, there are stringent requirements.

Please view the Summary of F-1 Employment Opportunities. (To Be Completed at a future date)   

Question: Can an F-1 student work on-campus during the grace period after their program end date shown on the I-20 issued by College of the Sequoias? 



Answer: No. The grace period (60 days) after graduation is for you to prepare to leave the United States or to transfer to another college/university.

Question: How long may I stay on my F-1 student visa?


When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full-time student at College of the Sequoias, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in America. For a student who has completed the course of studies shown on the I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student is allowed the following additional time in the U.S. before departure:

  • F-1 student - An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure from the U.S. or to transfer to another school.

As an example regarding duration of status, if you have a visa that is valid for five years that will expire on January 1, 2012, and you are admitted into the U.S. for the duration of your studies (often abbreviated in your passport or on your I-94 card as "D/S"), you may stay in the U.S. as long as you are a full time student. Even if January 1, 2012 passes and your visa expires while in America, you will still be in legal student status. However, if you depart the U.S. with an expired visa, you will need to obtain a new one, applying at an Embassy abroad, before being able to return to America and resume your studies. For more information:

Question: Could I take a Leave of Absence (LOA) for one semester for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) during that time?



No. International students are not permitted to be in the United States on a Leave of Absence unless it is a documented medical leave recommendation. A LOA is only approved with the agreement that the international student will be out of the country. This would void your eligibility to do  CPT.

Question: I have having problems taking a full load of classes due to an injury.  I had a physical injury and I am having a difficult time taking a full load of classes. Can I drop some of my classes?




If dropping any of your classes causes you to have less than 12 units for the semester, you must get a doctor’s letter stating the general circumstances and the recommendation to not take a full course load.  Please come to the Office of International and Global Education (OIGE) in Sequoia Room 103, to discuss the situation with Mona Freeman (Matriculation/International Student Coordinator).

Question: I am leaving COS and transferring to another university / school / college. What do I need to do?



Answer: Please bring a copy of your Admission’s letter and your Transfer Out form from your new school to the Office of International and Global Education (OIGE) in Sequoia Room 103, to discuss the situation with Mona Freeman (Matriculation/International Student Coordinator). Also, send an email from you to Mona Freeman requesting that your SEVIS record be transferred to the new school and inform her of the date of the SEVIS record release.

Question: I am having difficulty paying my tuition!  What do you suggest?



Answer: Please see the Cashier's Department (next to the Welcome Center) to find out how the "Automatic Payment Plan" could help you.

Question: I plan to travel outside the United States.  What documents must I have for reentry into the United States?​




  • Valid Passport (with at least 6 months validity when you enter the United States)
  • Valid I94 card (F1 students all have D/S)
  • Valid United States F-1 visa stamp with at least one remaining entry (an exception is traveling to Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean islands)
  • Valid SEVIS I20 with an unexpired signature (dated within the past 12 months)

Since the Immigration Inspector may ask to see evidence of financial support for the total duration of stay in the United States, it is strongly advised that F1 students carry such evidence with them.

  • Evidence of financial resources (document[s] you submitted with your international student application)
  • Evidence of student status (recent tuition receipts, transcripts)
  • Name and contact information for the school's Primary Designated School Official (PDSO).  Come by OIGE and pick up a business card for Mona Freeman.
Question: How do I obtain a drivers license?


Go to  for information.  Read all of the facts sheet before going to the information for California

Question: My F-1 Student Visa has expired.  Should I do anything?



Answer: As of January 7, 2011 the following information was correct. Please see the following website to confirm it is still correct:

You can stay in the United States on an expired F-1 visa as long as you maintain your student status. However, if you are returning home or traveling to a country where automatic revalidation does not apply, you must have a valid visa to return to the United States.

Ensure that you have all the documentation you need for your visa application and allow sufficient time for processing a new visa. The documentation you may need for a new visa includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • A SEVIS Form I-20, endorsed for travel and signed by your DSO and your original Form I-20 (see your DSO before you travel)
  • Original evidence showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses
  • Evidence showing your intention to return to your home country upon program completion, including evidence of compelling social and economic ties to your home country
  • If you have applied for or had optional practical training (OPT) approved, bring a copy of your Form I-20 endorsed for OPT and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if one has been issued

The Department of State recommends that you apply for a visa in your home country. For more information about visa applications visit the Department of State website at .

You can apply in a third country for a visa, but you will not be able to return to the United States until your visa has been issued. In some cases, this could take several weeks if a background check is required. If your visa is denied, you will not be able to return to the United States. Be sure to check the Department of State website for specific information pertaining to each consulate.

If you have an expired visa and a terminated record, we strongly advise that you do not travel outside the United States until your SEVIS record shows that you are in active status. If you do travel, you may not be able to renew your visa or return to the United States.

Question: What if I have an expired passport or one that will expire in less than six months?



Answer: As of January 7, 2011 the following information was correct. Please see the following website to confirm it is still correct:

You must renew your passport before reentering the United States. In most cases, to enter the United States, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date you enter or reenter. However, some countries have an agreement with the United States that allows you to enter on a current passport up to the actual date of expiration.

Try to keep your passport current at all times. You need to determine your country’s requirements for renewing passports as well as the time it will take. Many countries will allow you to renew your passport while in the United States. The other alternative is to renew your passport when you return home for a visit.

You may want to delay leaving the United States until you have renewed your passport. You will not be able to reenter the United States without a valid passport.

If your expired passport has a valid visa, you can still use it if you kept the old passport. Present the old passport, along with the new passport when you reenter the country.

The countries that have an agreement with the United States allowing entry with a passport until the date of expiration are:

  • Algeria
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cote D’Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guyana
  • Hong Kong (certificates of identity and passports)
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Senegal
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zimbabwe

In addition, travel documents issued by the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands are considered to be valid for the return of the bearer to the Trust Territory for a period of six months beyond the expiration date specified therein.


Last Updated: 4/17/2018 8:53 AM