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Admitted Students


Welcome to Santiago Canyon College! Please review our new student checklists.

We are very pleased that you have chosen to attend SCC, and we look forward to meeting you. The staff of the International Student Office (ISO) is here to help you learn about and follow the F-1 student visa regulations. There are many benefits and restrictions associated with the F-1 status, and we’ll assist you with understanding how the immigration regulations intersect with College policies.​​

1. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee

All F-1 international students exchange visitors must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. This fee is separate from visa fees.

Please visit​ to pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee.

Important Information:

  • You must have a complete and accurate Form I-20. If you do not have a Form I-20 or if the information on the form is incorrect, contact our office for assistance.
  • Do not pay for a dependent child or spouse who is on an F-2 visa. There is no I-901 SEVIS fee due for a dependent child or spouse for these visa types.

2. Apply for Your F-1 Visa

  • Apply for your F-1 visa: As soon as you receive your I-20, complete the Online Visa Application (Form DS-160).

  • Schedule a visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Important! ​​​​​Apply for Your Visa as Early as Possible. ​F-1 visas may be issued up to 365 days before the program start date listed on your I-20.

​**Citizens from Canada & Bermuda do not need to apply for a visa. You will simply present the I-20, I-901 SEVIS fee receipt, and financial documentation to ​the immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry. A passport will be required. For more information, visit U.S. Department of State's travel pages.

Tips and Required Documents for ​Visa Interview
​​See the F1 Vi​sa​​​ page for​ information about preparing your supporting documents and getting ready for your visa interview.​​

Visas for SEVIS Transfer Students​​

If you are changing schools within the U.S. and transferring your SEVIS record to the SCC, there are visa and travel policies unique to your situation.​

    • You can travel with a valid, unexpired F-1 visa and a “transfer pending" SCC I-20, even if the visa has your previous school's name on it. As long as your visa is still ​valid and you have not been outside of the U.S. more than five months between the end of your previous program and your return to the U.S.​

    • You are allowed to stay in the U.S. with a transfer pending I-20 as long as the end of your previous program and the start of your new program is no more than 5 months. You are also allowed to travel outside the U.S. with a transfer pending I-20 and return at any time to the U.S.​

3. Academic Preparation



Once you have your English & Maths course placement recommendations, schedule an appointment with Maria Chaidez, International Student Counselor. You will be able to plan your first semester courses based on your educational goals. Appointments are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Click here to view her availability.   

Note: Counseling appointments are released every Friday for the following week. ​​​


Once you have completed the above steps, you can register for classes on your assigned registration date. When you create an educational plan with your counselor, your planned courses will show up under Student Planning. Otherwise, please read the steps below for full instructions on class registration:

  • Visit to visit your student portal—Self-Service
  • Under Academics, click on Student Planning à Plan & Schedule
  • Click the + button to “Add a Term” and select the semester you wish to register for (e.g. Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Summer 2023).
  • Using “Search for Courses…” type in the abbreviated course subject (i.e. CMPR for Computer Science, BIOL for Biology, etc.)
  • Use the “Filter Results” to specify your course search as such:
    • Location: Santiago Canyon College
    • Term: Fall 2023
  • Once you select a course, click on “View Available Sections for…” to choose specific class meeting times. Once you select a section that suits your schedule and educational plan, click the blue button “Add Section to Schedule”.
  • Confirm the Section Details and click “Add Section”.
  • Once ready to register for the classes, go back to “Plan and Schedule”.
  • On the left-hand side of the calendar, select the courses and click “Register”. Once registered, they will be highlighted in green.

How to Register Using the Online Student Education Plan (Video) 

Please check the section information for the drop and refund deadline to avoid fees. 


​Access the New Student Orientation on Canvas. Your Canvas login is the same as your WebAdvisor Username. Click here to access the orientation

This orientation is an overview of studying as an F-1 international student and includes information about our campus, student health insurance, and academic requirements to maintain your F-1 status.

4. Plan Your Travel

​​​Earliest Admission Date (30-Day Arrival Window)

Students issued an Initial (new) I-20 are allowed to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date printed on their I-20. This is the earliest date you are allowed to enter the U.S. and is called the “30 Day Arrival Window." The Earliest Admission Date is printed in the Program of Study section on the I-20 form.

Entry to the U.S. more than 30 days before the program start date is against U.S. immigration law. The only exception is for students whose SEVIS record was transferred from a previous school and they have received a Transfer Pending I-20. The Earliest Admission Date will be blank in the Program of Study section on a transfer pending I-20 form.

 SEVIS Transfer Students — Earliest Admission Date and Multiple Trip Exceptions

    • The 30-day rule is only for travel with an Initial I-20. If your I-20 Form Issue Reason is “Transfer Pending" and the Earliest Admission Date is blank, you are allowed to return to the U.S. at any time between the end of your previous program and the start of your SCC program.
    • You can use your SCC “transfer pending" I-20 for one entry to the U.S. before your academic program starts at the SCC. You will not be eligible for a travel signature for multiple entries until after your academic program begins.

Travel Endorsement Signatures on Form I-20

  • First entry during the 30-day arrival window: Your first entry into the U.S. using your Form I-20 from SCC does not require a Travel Signature
  • Multiple entries during the 30-day arrival window: Multiple trips during the 30-day arrival window are not recommended.