Skip to Content

International Student Admissions

Sacramento City College (SCC) has a long history of welcoming international students, and our college is SEVP certified to issue Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. We are committed to international education and to providing quality student support services.

Application Information

When you are ready to apply, please email us to schedule a Zoom appointment, during which we will go over the application process.

Email Only

  • To:
  • Subject line: "[Your Last Name], [Your First Name] - Spring 2021 Application"
    (Change the text in brackets to your actual last name and first name.)

Application Requirements

Application Checklist

  1. Apply online to Sacramento City College. A social security number is not required to complete the application. You will need to include a copy of the confirmation page with your International Admission Packet.
  2. Complete the  PDF DownloadF-1 Student Data Form (PDF)
  3. Evidence of English proficiency by meeting one of the following requirements
    • Official TOEFL Score: 60 (iBT) 173 (cBT) or 500 (ITP). Visit TOEFL for test centers, dates, and fees. Use SCC institutional code #4670 to order.
    • PTE-Pearson Test of English (Score: 39)
    • IELTS (Score: 6.0)
    • STEP Eiken (Score: 2A) Japan
    • SCC ESL Assessment Test (ESL 310 or higher)
    • Official U.S. college transcript showing successful completion of college-level English (determined by SCC)
  4. Financial support
    Official bank letter verifying $29,000 USD for one year of study. $3,000 is required for each additional dependent. If you have a U.S. sponsor, submit PDF DownloadUSCIS Affidavit of Support Form I-134 (PDF) and supporting documents. An original bank letter issued within 6 months of the instructional start date is required, and no photocopies will be accepted.
  5. Educational History
    1. Copy of high school diploma and official high school transcripts (If you are in your final year of high school, request a signed letter from your Principal certifying your expected graduation month, date, and year.)
    2. Official college transcripts (if applicable). Overseas college transcripts must be evaluated by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE).
  6. $50.00 non-refundable application fee - After all documents are submitted, ISC will contact you for online payment.
  7. Updated photo within 30 days (passport-size).

If you are currently in the U.S. attending another school as an F-1 student, please submit these forms in addition to the above documentation:

  1. PDF DownloadVerification of F-1 Status Form (PDF) completed by your current school
  2. Copy of I-94, U.S. VISA, and Passport (bring your original passport and visa to the International Student Center to be verified)
  3. Copy of your current SEVIS Form I-20 and all previous Form I-20.

After receiving the I-20, you should go to the website of your nearest U.S. consulate to follow visa application procedures. All U.S. consulate websites are posted on the website.

Application Deadlines

New Students Outside of the US

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Spring Semester: November 1

Transfer Students (F-1 students in the U.S. with active status)

  • Fall Semester: June 1
  • Spring Semester: November 15

Once all required documents have been received and reviewed, International Student Center will contact you with a final decision. The application review process may take up to three weeks.

Academic Planning and Registration

You should begin planning for your classes as soon as you begin the international student application process. If you are in the U.S., you should meet with an academic counselor to discuss your goals. Please keep in mind that classes fill up quickly and you should register as early as you can. As an international student you are required to enroll in and complete 12 units per semester. Each of the following must be done in order to prepare for class registration.


Please contact our office at +1 (916) 558-2486 to make an appointment with a counselor to create an educational plan.

Class Schedule

After you decide on the classes you will need with your counselor, you will use the class schedule (available online) to check the days/times for each class. As classes fill up so quickly, it is important to choose some alternative sections or classes.

Health Insurance

Hospital, doctor, or dentist fees can be very expensive in the U.S., so it is required that you purchase adequate health insurance coverage. 

Tuberculosis Skin Test

All students must have a Tuberculosis skin test clearance.

International Student Orientation

Before the start of each semester, there is a mandatory international student orientation. The Orientation will provide information regarding F-1 responsibilities and maintenance of status. This is also an opportunity to meet with the other international students. You will receive an email before the beginning of the semester with information on the day/time of the orientation.

Maintaining Student Status

When you came into the U.S. or transferred to SCC, you received a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility. This SEVIS I-20 is essentially your contract with the U.S. Your paper SEVIS I-20 is connected to an electronic record in SEVIS.

Full-time Enrollment

You are required to be a registered, full-time student every semester. A full-time student takes 12 units every semester (Note: This does not include summer session). There are possible exceptions to this requirement, but they are allowed only if you receive prior approval from Admissions & Records. These exceptions include:

  • Medical Reason: If you have a serious medical condition and cannot attend school, then you may receive approval to take less than 12 units. You must present documentation from a licensed doctor or psychologist.
  • Last semester: In your last semester at SCC, you may take only the classes that you need to complete your program. Please check with your academic counselor to make sure you've completed all of your course work. Approval for this must be given by Admissions & Records.

Contact and Address Information

You must report your current residential address. Please update your SCC college records of any changes in your address. This can be done through Admissions & Records.

Program Extension

You must request an extension of program if you have not finished your program and your I-20 is about to expire. There is a program end date on your SEVIS I-20; please make sure you know this date. If you need to continue at SCC beyond that date, then please make an appointment to meet with the college’s DSO (International Student Advisor).

Early Departure

Because your SEVIS record is a part of a live reporting environment, SCC must report on your status every semester. If you decide to leave SCC to return home, it is your responsibility to inform the college by contacting Admissions & Records. SCC will need to report to SEVIS that you've stopped your program and departed the U.S. If you do not inform SCC of your departure, the school will need to terminate your SEVIS I-20 for failure to enroll and maintain status.

School Transfer

The majority of our students transfer to a UC or CSU to finish their academic program. The immigration process for this is fairly simple. You should first determine if you are accepted at the school of your choice. After you've been accepted to another school, make sure to inform Admissions & Records of your decision to transfer. There may be a transfer form that you will have to fill out for the other school.

Please remember that your academic status and international student status are different. If you’ve been accepted to another school, please contact their international student office at your transfer institution immediately to follow their transfer procedures.


Work authorization is always required prior to employment. International students have limited part-time and full-time employment opportunities.

On-campus employment (paid by SCC):

  • Part-time work for 20 hours or less per week.
  • Full-time employment is available in the summer.

Three types of off-campus employment are acceptable:

  • Optional Practical Training
  • Curricular Practical Training
  • Economic Hardship

Important Documents

There are a number of immigration documents that you need to keep safe and pay attention to. Please make sure you make a copy of all of these documents in case you lose any of them.

  • Passport: You are required to have a valid passport while you are in the U.S. If your passport has an expiration date in six months, you should contact your embassy to follow the procedures for an extension. The easiest way to find an embassy is to do a Google search on the Internet. San Francisco has a number of foreign consulates.
  • U.S. Visa: This document is a stamp in your passport. Your visa has an expiration date. The visa is used to gain admission in the U.S., so if you are in the U.S. after this date you don’t have to worry. You can stay in the U.S. on an expired visa, but the next time you leave the U.S. and reenter the U.S., you will have to get a new visa.
  • SEVIS I-20: This document was issued by SCC and allows you to:
    • Apply for a visa as an F-1 student at a U.S. consulate.
    • Attend SCC as an international student.
    • Provide evidence of your F-1 status.

The information contained in your I-20 is specific to you. It contains information on where you are going to school, your major, finances, etc. If any information changes, you need to contact the FLC International Student Advisor immediately.

International Students FAQ

What kind of visa do international students receive?

International Students are able to study at Sacramento City College on the F-1 student visa. As an international student, you will be given the I-20, certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant status. This will allow you to apply for the F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country. For more information on student visas, please visit the U.S. Department of State website. It is important that you are prepared for your visa interview. The NAFSA website has some useful information regarding your interview. In order to receive the I-20 from SCC, you will need to follow the International Student Application Procedures above. There is an additional fee in addition to the regular DS-156 non-immigrant application fee. This fee will need to be paid before you can receive the F-1 visa. This fee can be paid online.

What do I need to do to get my F-1 visa?

In order to get the visa, you will need to apply at the nearest U.S. Consulate to your home. Because every consulate has different local procedures, please visit the U.S. Department of State website for more information. Also, please don’t forget to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee after receiving the Form I-20. View additional information regarding the I-901 SEVIS fee.

After I receive the visa, when can I enter the U.S.?

International students cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start of the semester. For example, if the fall semester begins on August 15, you can enter the U.S. on July 15 or later.

When you enter the U.S., you will need to have:

  1. valid passport
  2. valid F-1 visa
  3. I-20

It is important to report to the SCC International Student Advisor as soon as you arrive.

Will I have any trouble getting my classes?

If you are applying to SCC abroad, you will not be able to enter the U.S. as a new student until 30 days prior to the start of the semester. Class registration begins in May for the fall semester (which starts in August), and in December for the spring semester (which starts in January). English as a Second Language (ESL) classes as well as other basic skills classes are usually popular and tend to fill quickly. As a new international student, you may not get all of the classes that you want in your first semester. It is helpful to remember that there are three other colleges in the district, so you may take classes at our other colleges in order to meet the 12-unit requirement. After your first semester, you should not have trouble getting classes.

I am already in the U.S. attending another school, can I transfer to SCC?

Yes, as long as you've maintained your status at your current school, then you will be able to transfer. Please follow the International Student Application Procedures above. After you've completed the application, you will need to request the release of your SEVIS I-20 record to Sacramento City College. Talk to your current International Student Advisor for more information. If you are attending school as an international student in Sacramento and want to take just one or two classes at SCC, then you should be able to get approval from your International Student Advisor without transferring your I-20.

What are the responsibilities for international students?

Unit Load

You are required to take 12 units every semester. Schools are required to report to SEVIS when a student drops below a full course of study 12 units or fails to enroll. Note: You are not required to register for the summer session, but you must be registered for a full course of study throughout the academic year in order to maintain your valid student visa status. There are certain circumstances under which SCC can approve dropping below 12 units, but in all cases this approval must be done by SCC before the student actually drops their classes. If that is not done, the student will fall out of status, even if the reason is valid. In other words, it is essential that you contact the International Student Advisor prior to dropping below a full course load.

There are only three reasons why you would be able to drop below 12 units at Sacramento City College:                                                      

  1. Medical reasons documented by a physician.
  2. A student is in his/her final semester and only needs certain courses to graduate.
  3. Academic Difficulty (this can only be approved for one semester).


SCC does not have on-campus housing. It is the responsibility of the student to prepare their own living arrangements. You must be 18 years of age in order to sign a rental agreement in the U.S.

International Students Under Age 18

It is the responsibility of the student and their parents to obtain a power of attorney from an attorney in their country that states who has legal guardianship for the student in the United States. We require a power of attorney before we can issue an I-20.

I came into the U.S. as a tourist. Can I change my status to a student?

If you are currently in B-1 or B-2 status and want to become an international student in F-1 status, you need to change your status before attending school. There are two ways to change your current status.

  1. You can complete the application procedures, receive your I-20, and return home to obtain an F-1 visa. You would then re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status.
  2. Stay in the U.S. and apply with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This is a formal application process with the immigration bureau.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each option. The preferred method is that you will leave the country and reenter in F-1 status. This may be difficult for some students because of the cost and inconvenience of travel as well as the chance of visa denial. Applying for a change of status in the U.S. can take a long time to process and there is a strong chance of denial. It is recommended that both options are considered and discussed with the International Student Advisor.

My visa stamp in my passport has expired. Do I have to return to my home country?

The visa stamp that is in your passport was issued by the U.S. Consulate in your country. It is a document that is used to tell the Port of Entry officer that your application was reviewed by the U.S. Consulate, which determined you could enter the U.S. The visa allows you to travel to the U.S. where the Port of Entry officer will admit you by stamping your I-20 and I-94 card. If you are in the U.S. and your visa expires, you don't need to worry. You can stay in the U.S. with an expired visa, but you will need to renew it if you leave the U.S. and intend to travel back to the U.S. For more information on U.S. visas, visit the U.S. Department of State website.

How can I get a job?

International students have limited employment options. F-1 students are able to work on-campus without any special permission; however, you will need a social security card. Off-campus employment is more difficult to attain. You should speak to the International Student Advisor.

Can I get financial assistance?

Undergraduate education is very expensive for international students and funding resources are limited. International students are required to show enough financial support for the first academic year.

Do I need a Social Security number?

Social Security numbers (SSN) are issued for the purpose of employment taxation. You do not need a social security number to open a bank account, rent a car, or get your driver's license. It is more convenient for students to have an SSN, but it is not absolutely necessary. You should only apply for an SSN if you are going to be employed. There have been changes to the SSN application procedures that require evidence of employment. Please talk to Admissions & Records about SSN application procedures.

Why do I need to see the International Student Advisor?

You should see the International Student Advisor in Admissions & Records for the following reasons:

  • If you need to travel out of the U.S. at any time, you will need a signature on the third page of your I-20.
  • If you transfer to another school, you will need to have SCC release your SEVIS record.
  • If you change your major and/or need to extend your I-20.
  • If you fall below 12 units.
  • If you change your immigration status, SC will need to terminate your SEVIS record.
  • If you lose your I-20.
  • If you want to work on campus or off campus.


If you are currently overseas, please email our office to better serve you.
Phone: (916) 558-2486


Office Hours
Monday to Thursday:
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Pre-Admission Information Hours:
Monday to Thursday:
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
10:00 am to 3:30 pm
(Call to schedule an appointment)