|The Office of International Student Services (ISS)|
Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) offers the highest quality collegiate and career education through comprehensive curricula allowing for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. This variety of offerings will prepare students to enter the job market, to enhance personal and professional growth, or to change occupations through training and retraining. We have a student population of over 8,000 undergraduate and 85 international students and we are located within 60 miles of five four year colleges and universities.
Admission process for International Students
International Student Service’s role during the admission process is to assist all international students with the required documentation to study in the United States. International students are required to submit the following:
1. Application for admission
2. $52 application fee
3. Immunization records
4. High school transcripts (translated into English Application for Admission)
5. Financial records (recent official bank statement) or affidavit of support (I-134) from a U.S. sponsor showing the availability of $10,000 USD for tuition and other expenses
6. Minimum TOEFL scores: 500 (paper test) or 61 (internet test)
7. Copy of your passport
If you are transferring from another college or university, we will need the following:
1. Sealed official college transcripts translated into English
2. Copy of your old I-20
3. Copy of your F1 visa
4. SEVIS record transferred from your current school (please request a transfer-in form from BRCC)
Once we have received all of the above information, we will prepare an admissions acceptance letter and your I-20. If more information is required in order to process your documentation, we will contact you by email.
ESTIMATED COSTS for one academic year:
Typical expenses for a fall and spring semester are below (subject to change anytime):
Tuition $5,436 (24 credits)
Room/Utilities (Off Campus) 4,564
Books and supplies are in addition to the tuition and fees and are estimated to be $450 per semester. It is estimated that the living expenses for an accompanying spouse will add $6,000 to the above annual costs and $3,000 should be added for each accompanying child. These additional funds will need to be documented.
* THESE FIGURES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME.
** Health Insurance is optional but recommended and premiums are based on student’s age. Additional insurance for F-1’s family is also optional.
Please check in with ISS when you arrive at BRCC to start your program. We are located in the Bienvenue Student center. Please bring your I-20, I-94 card, Passport, and Visa with you to ISS when you arrive. Once classes begin, BRCC will register you as a continuing student in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitors Information System) and issue a new I-20 showing you are in "Continued Attendance at this school." You will be notified by email when the new I-20 is ready for pick up.
Once you are admitted to BRCC, the next step is to apply for the visa!
The US consulates will not issue a visa more than 120 days before the start of your program (see item 5 of the I-20). Consulates will allow you to apply prior to this, but may not issue your visa until the 120 day time frame occurs. You should make an appointment to obtain the visa as soon as you are eligible.
There are two fees involved with obtaining a visa. One is the application fee for the F-1 visa and the other is the I-901 SEVIS Fee. Please keep in mind these are separate fees and you will need to pay both to apply for the visa. You will need a valid passport, admission letter, proof of funds, I-20 and the receipt for the I-901 (SEVIS Fee)*.
Make sure your surname and given name match on all your documentation and that all other information is correct and up-to-date. You should be prepared to prove that you do not intend to immigrate. If you have ties to your home country, you will need to bring documentation to prove the ties, such as a letter to continue employment upon your return, documentation of economic, social and/or family ties to your homeland, and/or post graduation plans for the future in your homeland.
Use the I-20 for the school you will attend, because regardless of how many I-20s you are issued; only the I-20 used to obtain the visa will be activated. The consulate should seal this I-20(and sometimes proof of finances) in an envelope for the port of entry. If they do not, inquire if they should.
*To obtain the I-901 receipt, you will need to pay the SEVIS Fee (I-901). This is a $200 fee that can be paid using one of three methods:
· Online with a credit card http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/faq4.htm#credit_card
· By mail with a check or money order http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/faq4.htm#_Toc81222058
· At a Western Union http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu_instr.htm
(Note: Canadian students are not required to obtain a visa but need to receive a stamp on the I-20 to verify F-1 status at the port of entry. Contact your local US consulate for details)
If you are entering the US on an Initial Attendance I-20, you may not enter the US more than 30 days before the start of your program (item 5 on I-20). Be sure to check the Transportation Security Agency’s (TSA) website for current travel regulations.
Carry your admission letter, I-20 (should be sealed in an envelope by the consulate), I-901 receipt, passport (valid for at least 6 months), proof of funds (may be sealed in the envelope with the I-20) and visa with you.
Make a full declaration using the Customs Declaration Form (obtained during your flight). If you are bringing more than $10,000 in cash, you must fill out a report with the customs official. Remember that certain articles are forbidden or restricted. Visit the Transportation Security Agency’s website for a list of prohibited items.
Obtain and fill out an I-94 card during the flight (or in some cases from the immigration officer at the port of entry). It is recommended to use the address where you will reside, if known. Make sure your I-20 and I-94 card are stamped with the date; period of admission (usually D/S for Duration of Status), port of entry and correct visa status is written on the stamp. Be prepared to have your photograph and fingerprints taken. If you receive a form I-515, bring it to the BRCC ISS office right away.
It is your responsibility to locate housing, bus lines, stores, laundries, post office, libraries, banks etc…and complete required paperwork. It is recommended you arrive no later than a week prior to the start of classes. Immigration (USCIS) does not allow B-1/B-2 or F-2 visa holders to be degree-seeking students, until the change of status is applied for and approved.
If you are coming to BRCC from another school in the US, your BRCC I-20 should state the issue reason in item 3 as "Transfer Pending from…" It should contain the same SEVIS ID number (in the upper right-hand corner) as the I-20 from your previous school.
Below you will find basic Information on maintaining lawful immigration status. Please visit the International Center office or search the SEVP website for more details.
F- Visa Class (Student Visa)
Required Procedures for Maintaining Status:
· Have a valid, unexpired passport
· Attend the school you are authorized to attend
· Be a full-time student by completing a minimum of:
o 12 hours during Spring/Fall semester
· Make normal progress toward completing a course of study
· Have a valid I-20 and apply for timely extensions
· Follow transfer procedures
· New I-20 required for change of degree program level or major
· F-2 dependent spouse or child:
o Is only in status while the F-1 is in status
o Is not eligible for ANY employment authorization
· F-1 students are eligible for employment:
o On campus with prior approval from International Student Services
o A maximum of 20 hours per week during fall/spring semesters
o Full-time during vacation periods
o Through practical training (CPT - OPT)
F-2 dependents are not permitted to work under any circumstances.
NOTE: Before accepting any employment or payments from U.S. sources, contact International Student Services.
Traveling outside the US with an F visa:
If you wish to leave the U.S. temporarily and return to continue your studies, you must secure documentation to:
· Permit entry to another country (if not your home country)
· Permit re-entry to the United States
Re-Entry for F-1 Students to U.S.
To re-enter the U.S. after temporary absence of 5 months or less, for the purpose of resuming your program of study, you will need:
· Valid passport or travel documents for at least 6 months from the date of re-entry.
· Valid F-1 visa: If your visa is expired please make an appointment to renew it, before you leave the country, by contacting the U.S. Embassy in your country.
· Your I-20, endorsed for travel by a designated official from ISS. If changes were made, use your most current version of the I-20. This will be signed on the third page and it is valid for only one year.
· You may be required to show proof of funds at the consulate office.
Note: Endorsing the I-20 depends on your status. We will check your status and any problems found will delay the signing of your I-20 and may lead to reinstatement. For this reason we require you to request signatures in a timely manner.
Re-Entry for Dependents of F-1's (F-2's)
Dependents have their own SEVIS I-20, which must be signed by a designated school official for travel. Also needed:
· Valid passport or travel documents for at least 6 months from the date of re-entry.
· Valid F-2 visa: If your visa is expired please make an appointment to renew it, before you leave the country, by contacting the U.S. Embassy in your country.
· The SEVIS I-20, endorsed by a designated official from ISS (see note above).
· You may be required to show proof of funds