All international students must obtain an F-1 student visa before entering the United States for the purpose of attending academic classes at Heritage Academy. The Form I-20 allows international students to be considered for the F-1 Student Visa which permits them legally to begin school in the United States. All international students on an F-1 student visa must abide by all rules of maintaining F-1 status and pursue a full course of student at Heritage Academy. Students must make normal progress toward completing the course of study by finishing studies before the expiration of the program completion date. For more information, visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website at www.uscis.gov. To obtain the F-1 visa, the student must have possession of a Form I-20, which is issued by Heritage Academy. Procedures for obtaining the Form I-20 are as follows:
Steps for Obtaining a Form I-20
- Student must apply and be accepted by Heritage Academy.
- Heritage Academy tuition and fees must be paid in full. Some additional fees may be required and will be billed separately at a later date based on the student’s academic program. A $600 per course surcharge (the developmental reading and writing program) for students with limited English proficiency will be assessed, if required, after the beginning of the semester. All international students will be tested and evaluated upon arrival each semester at school. Based on assessment results, students will be placed in the appropriate English proficiency classes.
- A letter from your bank should be sent to Heritage Academy stating that you have sufficient funds available to pay the room and board fees for your term of study.
- Heritage Academy will then issue a Form I-20 and send it to you; procedures for obtaining the F-1 student visa are as follows (visit the website http://www.ice.gov/sevis/ for more information).
Steps for Obtaining an F-1 Student Visa
- Once you receive your Form I-20, review and understand your Form I-20 and your responsibilities as an international student studying in the United States.
- Contact the U.S embassy or consulate in your country to set an appointment to apply for the student visa; ask what documents you will need to bring. Pay the $200 SEVIS I-901 fee; this can be done on line at fmjfee.com and can be paid with your credit card but must be paid three days prior to your embassy appointment. Getting an appointment with the U.S. Embassy may take some time. Do not delay in making this appointment.
Once you have your F-1 Student Visa (Traveling to the United States)
- When you travel to or from the United States you will be required to show your passport and Form I-20/F-1 visa to an immigration officer; keep it with you at all times.
- The officer may stamp your F-1 visa and passport.
- You will receive an I-94 card from an immigration officer. This card must be kept with your passport at all times. The I-94 card indicates your duration of stay in the United States.
Upon arrival at Heritage Academy
- Bring your student visa and passport to school for review. The Heritage Academy PDSO greet you at the front desk and will confirm your legal entry into the United States through the Citizenship and Immunization Services and SEVIS.
- Copies of all of your legal documents will be made by the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO): F-1 visa, Form I-20 and passport.
- It is recommended by Heritage Academy that all visa and legal documents are kept in a secure place.
When Leaving the United States for Holidays or Travel
- An international student must notify the PDSO when leaving the United States.
- The PDSO will verify that your I-20 has been continued and is signed on the third page.
- All enrolled international students must travel in and out of the United States with their I-20, F-1 visa and passport.
If you have any questions regarding these I-20 or F-1 student visa procedures, please contact Tina Sprouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.