Once you have been accepted and are applying for the F-1 student visa, follow the instructions below to complete the I-20 process.
Once you finish these steps, you must complete the remaining enrollment steps.
DO NOT make travel arrangements before you receive the visa.
The International Student Office will send you the Form 1-20 for your F-1 appointment. This form certifies your eligibility to study at ACC but does not guarantee visa approval. DO NOT make travel arrangements until your visa is approved.
Agents or recruiters may not receive the Form I-20 directly from Austin Community College and control the distribution of the Form I-20 for the prospective student.
Once accepted, when scheduling shipment of the acceptance packet, which includes for Form I-20, the shipment address should be the student's address and not an agent, agency, or recruiters address.
Review and download the new Form I-20 Issuance and School Use of Recruiters Policy Guidance on ICE.gov here.
Go to University Express Mail Services (eShipGlobal) to register for an account and pay for shipment of the Form I-20. You need your I-20 before you can apply for the F-1 visa. Your documents are shipped 3-5 days following payment.
Provide the following information to eShipGlobal:
Along with your Form I-20, the International Student Office has mailed you a Welcome Guide. Please read the contents of the Welcome Guide in its entirety, as it contains information on how to apply for the F-1 student visa, make preparations to enter the U.S. and other details you will need to know for the registration process. Below you will find some of the main steps to complete before arriving to the U.S.
1. Pay SEVIS I-901 fee
The SEVIS I-901 fee is required for all F-1 visa students. Once you receive your Form I-20, go to the SEVIS I-901 fee processing website for instructions on paying your SEVIS fee.
2. Apply for visa/schedule interview
Refer to the U.S. Department of State non-immigrant visa website to complete the required application forms:
Confirm you have the required documents and schedule your visa interview following the instructions on the website of your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
If all goes according to plan, you will receive an F-1 visa stamp in your passport. Congratulations!
Some U.S. Embassies actually put your I-20 in a sealed envelope and staple it to your passport. It is recommended that you do not open this envelope. The immigration officer at the U.S. port-of-entry will open it and check your documents when you arrive. Check your visa for errors before you leave the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
3. Make travel arrangements
Review your Welcome Guide to determine your permitted travel dates. Plan to arrive in the United States two to four weeks before the program start date.See the Required Arrival Dates. You may NOT enter the U.S. more than 30 days before this date. You must enter the U.S. by the program start date on your I-20 to avoid being turned away at the U.S. port-of-entry.
4. Additional tasks before arrival to ACC
We strongly encourage you to read the instructions to complete these steps before traveling to the U.S.
5. Check in at the ISO with your travel documents
Austin Community College expects you to arrive by the Program Start Date on your I-20 for testing, advising, class registration, and orientation. You will not be able to register for classes until you check in.
Upon arrival in the U.S., you must report to the International Student Office within 48 hours.
On your first visit to the office, you must bring the following items:
Failure to report to the ISO with these documents will jeopardize your F-1 Student Visa status.