Steps to Apply
ELI accepts minors into our program on a case by case basis. Our minimum age requirement is 16. Most ELI students are over 18. If you are under 18 and would like to attend ELI you must have a local guardian or parent in the area that you are staying with throughout the duration of the program. Students under 18 must also submit a guardian waiver form and receive acceptance from the director of the English Language Institute. ELI has the right to refuse acceptance to any minor student.
Steps After Your Application
After your admission to English Language and College Skills Institute, you will receive a SEVIS I-20 document necessary for you to receive an F-1 student visa.
Applying for your Student Visa
Apply for F-1 Visa
The student visa F-1 can be obtained at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of the United States. Here are the steps for applying to the F-1 visa:
- As of September 2004, new applicants for an F-1 visa must pay a one-time fee of $200 BEFORE you can apply for the visa. The fee is called a SEVIS I-901 Fee and is collected by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The fee can be paid by mail or online. The fee can be paid by the student or by someone else (family member or friend) inside or outside the US. For more information on how to pay the SEVIS Fee, please visit the Department of Homeland Security Website: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm
- After you have obtained your receipt of SEVIS fee payment (receipt is called I-797), contact the United States Embassy located in your country to make an appointment for receiving your F-1 visa. Please use the following website to find the closest U.S. Embassy and to find out what to bring to the visa appointment: http://travel.state.gov/links.html
- To prepare for your visa interview, find the important 10 points to remember.
- Take the SEVIS I-901 payment receipt, entire I-20 and original documents showing proof of financial support to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to your residence. It is taking more time for the U.S. Embassy to process visas, so please start this process immediately. If approved, the visa will be placed in your passport.
If your application for a student visa is approved, the consular officer will place a visa stamp in your passport and return the SEVIS I-20 in a sealed envelope. With these documents, you may enter the U.S. New regulations limit your entry to United States to no earlier than 30 days prior to the reporting date in the SEVIS I-20 (Your report date is the first date listed on Section 5 of your I-20 form).
- You should enter the United States for full-time study with the F-1 visa. You should not enter the U.S. on a B-2 tourist visa, as you will have to leave the U.S. shortly after your arrival to obtain F-1 visa and return. You must attend the school whose SEVIS I-20 form you used to obtain your visa and enter the U.S.
- When you arrive in the United States, you will be required to present your SEVIS I-20, along with your passport and financial documents, to the immigration officer at the airport or border crossing. The immigration officer will stamp your form and he or she will also issue a completed I-94 Arrival-Departure Record. The I-94 is an extremely important document, which indicates the date when you entered U.S. as well as the D/S (duration of status). Please make sure that you keep this form in your passport at all times.
- Plan to arrive in United States at least three weeks prior to the first day of school. This will allow you enough time to settle into your housing, take the placement tests, attend the orientation, and register for your classes.
- You must report to the international student office at MiraCosta College (Room 3443, Oceanside Campus, telephone 760-795-6897) immediately upon your arrival. Our office hours are generally, Monday-Thursday, 8am-5pm and Friday, 8am-4:30pm. Please bring your passport and SEVIS I-20 form when reporting to school.
- Click here for more information about your F-1 Visa.
Are you Ready to Travel?
Since you are here as an international student, we want to make sure that before you travel you check the list below to confirm you have all of the required documents that will allow you to return to United States:
- Valid passport
- Valid F-1 visa
- Signed SEVIS I-20 (within the last 6 months)
- I-94 card [if your I-94 card is removed when exiting the United States, you must receive a new card when re-entering U.S.]
- All previous I-20 issued
- Proof of medical insurance and photo identification
- Proof of registration for current semester
If you do not have all of these documents, please make sure you contact our international office at 760.795.6897 prior to leaving the United States.