International Students

Welcome to the Los Rios Colleges!

You are considered an international student if you require any type of visa to attend college in the United States. This includes students living both inside and outside the US.

How to Apply – Overview

The Los Rios colleges are certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). SEVP certification allows our colleges to issue Form I-20: Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. International students use form I-20 to apply for a visa to enter the US.

The following information is an overview of the international student application process. For specific information, visit our college websites.

Get a Form I-20

The following are required for a Los Rios college to issue a form I-20:

  • Evidence of English proficiency
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Educational history
  • Online college application
  • International student application
  • Certification of negative tuberculosis skin test
  • Evidence of health insurance

If you are currently in the US attending another school as an F-1 student, then also submit the following forms:

  • Transfer form
  • Copy of the visa stamp in your passport
  • Copy of the I-20 your current school has issued to you

Get a Visa

Students Currently Outside of the US

After you receive a Form I-20, you should apply for a F-1 visa through your nearest US consulate. You can find US consulate website links through the US Embassy website.

You should plan to apply for your visa at least three months before the start of the semester. The following deadlines apply:

  • Fall semester: May 1
  • Spring semester: November 20

Remember that the issuance of an I-20 does not guarantee that you will receive an F-1 visa. Apply early in case there is a delay with your documentation or difficulty getting an appointment at the consulate.

According to F-1 regulations, international students who are entering the US for the first time on an I-20 cannot enter the country more than 30 days prior to the start of the semester. For example, if the semester begins on August 15, you will not be able to enter the US before July 15. For new students this may represent a problem in getting the classes that you want for the first semester as registration normally begins at least two months prior to the start of the semester. You will need to work with your counselor closely as soon as you arrive in the US.

Transfer Students Currently in the US

If you are currently in the US attending school at another institution as an international student with F-1 status, then make sure you submit all of your application paperwork by the following deadlines:

  • Fall semester: May 20
  • Spring semester: December 10

Make sure to inform your current school of the Los Rios college to which you are transferring.


Make an Academic Plan

You should start planning your classes as soon as you begin the international student application process.

If you are already in the US, then meet with an academic counselor to discuss your goals. Classes fill up quickly, so you will want to register as early as you can. As an international student you are required to take 12 units per semester. However, please note that international students may take a maximum of three (3) fully online units per semester.


Attend Orientation

Before the start of each semester, there is a mandatory international student orientation. The orientation provides information regarding F-1 responsibilities and maintenance of status. It also provides an opportunity to meet other international students.