Frequently Asked Questions
We encourage you to apply for your visa as soon as you
are prepared to do so (after receiving the form I-20 from
Chemeketa and after paying the SEVIS fee)
When Chemeketa admits you to our school, we send you a
non-immigration form called the I-20. This form indicates your field
of study (major), the length of your program, and the date when
you must report to Chemeketa. The I-20 form allows you to apply
for a F-1 student visa.
You must contact Chemeketa to make arrangements for late
arrival. We can also admit you for the following session.
An airline flight attendant will ask you to complete the
I-94 form (Arrival/Departure Record) in the airplane before you
land at the U.S. port of entry. You will present the I-94 form and
your passport to the immigration inspector when you land. The immigration
inspector will stamp the I-94 form with "D/S (duration of status)
and attach it to your passport. "D/S" means that you may
stay in the United States until you complete your studies. Be sure
to keep this document. We will ask to see it when you arrive at
Students on an F-1 visa must follow the regulations of
the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). According
to these regulations, you must:
- Register for classes at the school which issued the I-20.
- Be enrolled as a full-time student while you are in the U.S.
- Follow the required procedures before requesting permission
to work off-campus.
- Request assistance from one of our international student advisors
if you wish to transfer to another school.
The I-20 indicates the length of time you can stay to finish
your course of studies. You are permitted to stay until your studies
are finished, as long as you maintain full-time student status
If you need a longer time to complete your studies, our
international admissions officer can help you apply for an extension.
If you completed your studies and the I-20 does not expire, you
are not allowed to continue staying in the U.S. with that I-20.
The visa is an entry document only. The visa needs to be
valid only at the time you enter the U.S. It does not need to be
renewed if you stay in the U.S. However, you may wish to visit your
home country during vacation periods. If your visa has expired,
we will provide you with complete information about how to renew
Fortunately, it is possible for an unsuccessful student
visa applicant to be granted a visa upon another attempt. Keep in
mind that U.S. officials make decisions about student visas on a
case-by-case basis. There are many reasons why you may be denied
a student visa. For instance, you may not have proven that you have
adequate financial means to study in the U.S., or you may not have
prepared the required documentation correctly. When you can supply
evidence that you meet all of the criteria for obtaining a student
visa, you may re-apply. If you are denied a student visa, please
contact Chemeketa and we will try to assist you.
Absolutely. You can receive a student visa so long as the
community college is accredited (such as Chemeketa). Still, it's
a good idea to bring background information about Chemeketa and
our academic programs to your visa interview.
Yes. Your parents can enter the U.S. on a tourist (B-2) visa. Although
it probably won't be necessary, you can write a letter of invitation to
your parents, with details on the purpose of the visit. You should address
the letter to your parents and write about activities they would engage
in during their visit, such as seeing your college campus, meeting your
friends, or attending scheduled events. When applying for a tourist visa,
it's important for your parents to show convincing reasons why they will
return to their native country (such as jobs, property and young dependents).
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
is a web-based system that maintains information on international
students, visitors, and their dependents. It is administered by
the U.S. Customs and Immigration office. SEVIS enables schools and
program sponsors to transmit electronic information and notifications
via the internet to the U.S. Department of State, throughout your
stay in the U.S. All international students (F and M visas) wishing
to study in the U.S. must pay a non-refundable $100 fee that is
used to support the program and the automated tracking system.
- Prospective students with "initial attendance" I-20s dated on
or after 9/1/2004 who are applying for an "initial" F-1
visa from outside the U.S.
- Prospective students with "initial attendance" I-20s dated
on or after 9/1/2004 who are applying for a change to F-1
status from another visa category.
- Current F-1 students in the U.S. filing for reinstatement
after being out of status more than 5 months, and who are
issued an I-20 for reinstatement that is dated on or after 9/1/2004.
No, unless the student's circumstances change so that
he or she fits one of the categories mentioned above.
F-2 dependents do not have to pay the fee, even if the I-20 that
the F-2 dependents use is issued on or after 9/1/2004.
The SEVIS fee is not required when transferring schools, changing
to another degree program or level, requesting a program extension,
renewing an F-1 visa or using F-1 program benefits such as optional
practical training (OPT). If you are in status when you travel internationally
and are not physically outside of the U.S. for more than five months,
you will not be required to pay the fee.
The fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to applying
for your visa, or applying for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry
for those exempt from the visa requirement. The fee must be paid
prior to submission of a change of status petition or reinstatement
No. At this time the SEVIS fee can only be
processed by DHS via mail or the Internet.
The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail or online and must be accompanied
by Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside
or outside the U.S.
Fee payments should be entered into your permanent immigration (SEVIS)
record but it is strongly recommended that you retain a copy of
your fee receipt (form I-797) to use as needed.
Yes. But you must submit the I-20 form with the SEVIS ID number
that you listed on the I-901 form with you to the U.S. consulate/embassy.
For change of status or reinstatement applications, please see next
The SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for
a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have
to pay the fee again.
If you would like more information about attending Chemeketa,
Office of International Programs,
by telephone 503.399.5141, or by FAX