The following documents are required by all International Students. For more information, just click on the name of the document.
Official ACTCM Acceptance of Admission
When you entered the U.S., the immigration inspector at your port of entry returned page 3-4 of your official acceptance document. This form (or a copy) should be kept with you at all times and NOT be given up when you leave the United States as it will be needed to re-enter the United States after a temporary absence. All records of school transfers, work permission, etc will be recorded on this form. The official acceptance document ID will also have an 11-digit admission number that you will be permanently assigned. This admission number must be used in all correspondence and transactions with DHS.
Students must have their I-20 form endorsed by DSO. DSO stands for “designated school official”. DSO’s are school and program officials who are authorized to access SEVIS for F students and issue the I-20 on behalf of the college to admitted international students. Only United States permanent residents and citizens may be given access to SEVIS.
The I-20 Form is a United States Department of Homeland Security document issued by colleges, universities, and vocational schools that provides supporting information for the issuance of a student visa or change of status (F non-immigrant statuses). Since the introduction of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the form also includes the student tracking number (SEVIS number) for the student and program..
Once you receive your I-20 (total of 3 pages) from ACTCM, please read through it carefully. Then, date and print/sign your name on the bottom of the first page. Finally, bring all three pages of the I-20 form, along with other supportive documents outlined by the US Embassy, to your visa interview.
This is your Arrival/Departure Record. It is the small white paper usually stapled to the page next to your Visa stamp in your passport. The date written on the lower right hand corner is the date by which you must leave the United States. For F-1 students, duration of status (D/S) is the notation on the I-94. This means that you can legally remain in the United States until you finish your degree program. For exceptions, please see your International Student Advisor.
The expiration date in your passport should always be valid at least 6 months into the future. To extend your passport expiration date, please contact your country’s nearest consulate or embassy or come to the Student Services Office for the address.
This is the stamp put in your passport by the United States consul in your home country. You need this Visa only to ENTER the U.S. The date on the Visa shows the latest date you can enter the United States, not how long you can stay here. If it is expired, OR if you change your Visa status while in the United States, you must reapply for a new Visa only if you plan to leave the United States and re-enter. It is not necessary to extend your Visa if you are not planning a trip outside of the U.S.
Driver’s License & ID Cards
It is important to carry some form of personal identification with you at all times. Proper identification should include your photograph, name, current address and date of birth. You will be asked for this type of identification when you write checks, open a bank account, use credit cards, etc. It is best not to carry your passport as your main identification, as it could be lost or stolen. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers two types of identification: an Identification Card and a California Driver’s license if you are planning to drive during your studies. To apply for either, you must bring your passport, I-94 card and Form I-20 to the nearest DMV.
Social Security Card
F-1 students are eligible to apply for a Social Security card if they are authorized for employment. If the student is not eligible for employment, you may still apply for a Social Security card if:
• A federal law requires you to provide your Social Security number to get a particular benefit or service; or
• A state or local law requires you to provide your Social Security number to get general assistance benefits that you already have qualified for.
SEVIS I-901 Fee Receipt
The U.S. Government has a system known as SEVIS (the Student Exchange Visitor Information System). This system keeps track of foreign students from the moment that a school issues the I-20 form. SEVIS requires a $200 fee to be paid by all foreign nationals who come to the United States for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at ACTCM. This fee is separate from, and in addition to, the CISL visa application fee. The SEVIS fee must be paid via the Internet or by postal mail. It cannot be paid at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and it cannot be paid at port of entry. CISL offers students a SEVIS Fee payment service allowing applicants to have CISL collect the fee upfront and pay the fee for them.
To complete the I-901 form and pay by credit card online, please visit theStudent and Exchange Visitor Program Processing Website. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form, and print a copy of the online receipt. Keep a copy of this receipt with your other important immigration documents.
A paper receipt is not required in order for you to be issued a visa or to be admitted to the U.S. embassies. Consular posts will be able to verify your fee payment without a receipt in most circumstances if you pay the fee far enough in advance of your visa interview. Just remember to pay on time!
Internet payments must be submitted at least 3 business days in advance of your interview if you will rely on electronic fee verification at the consulate. Mailed payments must be sent in a manner that assures arrival at the DHS address listed on the I-901 at least 3 business days before the scheduled interview.
Once paid, the SEVIS fee is non-refundable, even if your visa is denied or, subsequent to issuance of the visa, you choose not to come to the United States. If you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months, you are not required to pay this fee.