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International Students

Folsom Lake College will only be accepting initial students from outside the U.S. if they can enroll in an in-person class that is part of their program plan for Spring 2022.

For new/initial students outside of the U.S.:

In accordance with the March 2020 guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), prospective F1/F2 students in new or initial status will not be able to enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student to pursue a full course of study that is 100% online.

International students are considered a very important part of the growing college community. The Greater Sacramento region in California is home to people from all over the world and, as one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S., many international and multi-national companies have a presence in the area.

Application Information

Application Requirements

Folsom Lake College is a SEVP certified college. SEVP certification allows the college to issue the Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. Prospective International students can use the form I-20 to apply for a Visa to enter the United States.

The following documents are required in order to issue the I-20 document. (To view in a PDF, click here: Requirements for the I-20).

  1. Los Rios/Folsom Lake College Application for Admission:
    1. Complete an FLC application by applying to Folsom Lake College.
    2. Print the confirmation page and submit with the application packet.
  2. FLC international Student Application Packet:
    1. Complete the FLC International Student Application and attach required documentation.
  3. Evidence of English Proficiency:
    1. Official TOEFL test result of 500 minimum ( written) or 173 minimum ( computer based), or 61 minimum ( Internet based), or:
    2. IELTS test result of 6.0 minimum, or;
    3. STEP Eiken – Completion of Level 2, Grade Pre-1 or higher or GTEC CBT Japan English Proficiency Exam – score between 901-950 (available for Japanese students), or;
    4. Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) test result of 38 minimum, or;
    5. FLC ESL Assessment – placement into ESLWR 310 or 315 or higher
  4. Financial Support:
    1. Folsom Lake College Financial Requirements & Sponsor form (page 4 of the application packet)
    2. Official bank letter in the exchange rate of $32,344 U.S. Dollars (Additional $6,000 USD for each additional dependent); no older than three months from the date you submit your application materials.
  5. Educational History:
    1. Copy of high school diploma or a high school transcript showing graduation
    2. Copy of college transcript (s)
  6. $50.00 (USD) Non-refundable application fee payable to Folsom Lake College
  7. Certification of Negative Tuberculosis Skin Test (translated to English)
  8. Copy of passport photo page
  9. Under age 18; must provide an official power of attorney from home country stating guardianship
  10. Evidence of health insurance (can be submitted after your arrival to the U.S.)
  11. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a vaccine that is on the World Health Organization’s approved list.

All Non English documents must be translated into English.

Once you have your I-20 packet:

  • Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee ($350 for the I-20) at
  • Schedule an Interview Appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate near your area at
  • Be sure to bring your I-20, FLC Letter of Acceptance, & I-901 Receipt to the interview. Also, be sure to have any other documents requested by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to your F-1 Interview Appointment.
  • You can enter the United States with your I-20 and F-1 Visa 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20. The exact date is listed on your I-20. The Port of Entry Officials will stamp your I-20, Passport, F-1 Visa, & I-94.

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

  1. FLC Transfer Form: this will be completed by your current school’s international student adviser
  2. Copy of your most recent I-94, Visa and Passport. Original Visa and Passport will be verified in office upon arrival.
  3. Copy of your current school’s I-20 and all other SEVIS I-20s.

Application Deadlines

New Students Outside of the US

If you are a new student who is outside of the U.S. and needs a F-1 visa, you must submit all application paperwork by the following deadlines:

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

The issuance of an I-20 does not always guarantee that you will receive your F-1 visa. Please apply early, in case there is a delay with your documentation or difficulty in getting an appointment at the consulate.

Transfer Students Currently in the US

If you are currently in the U.S. attending school at another institution as an international student with F-1 status, the following application deadlines apply:

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

Make sure to inform your current school that you are transferring to Folsom Lake College. Submit all of the required documents for the I-20 issuance – including transfer form – to the International Student office by the above dates.

Academic Planning & 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:

  1. Counseling 
    Please contact the Counseling office by calling 1 (916) 608-6510 to make an appointment with the international student counselor. 
  2. Class Schedule
    After you decide on the classes you will need with your counselor, you will use the online class schedule to plan your classes.
  3. 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 other international students. You will receive an email before the start of the semester with information on the day/time of the orientation.

Maintaining Student Status

Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility

When you came into the U.S. or transferred to FLC, you received a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility. This SEVIS Form 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 the International Student Admissions office. 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 of enrollment: In your last semester at FLC, 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 the International Students Advisor.

Contact and Address Information
You must report your current residential address. Please update your FLC college records of any changes in your address. This can be done through Admissions & Records or online in eServices.

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 FLC 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, FLC must report on your status every semester. If you decide to leave FLC to return home, it is your responsibility to inform the college by contacting the International Student Advisor. FLC will need to report to SEVIS that you've stopped your program and departed the U.S. If you do not inform FLC 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. 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 the International Student Advisor 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.

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 within 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 FLC and allows you to:
    • Apply for a visa as an F-1 student at a U.S. consulate.
    • Attend FLC 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 is a community college and why should I attend?

A community college is a nonresidential junior college established to serve a specific community and typically supported in part by local government funds. California Community Colleges offer affordable and dynamic educational programs. Folsom Lake College is a part of the Los Rios Community College District, which serves over 80,000 students in the Greater Sacramento area.

The California Community Colleges system has transfer agreements with the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems. These agreements allow students to complete their general education requirements at the community college level and then transfer at a junior standing to complete their bachelor degree. More and more students, non-international and international, are choosing to complete their lower division courses in a community college. Furthermore, studies have shown that international students who transfer from a community college are more prepared than their counterparts who entered as freshmen.

What kind of a visa do international students receive?

International Students are able to study at Folsom Lake College on the F-1 student visa. As an international student, you will be given the I-20, certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant 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 FLC, 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.

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 FLC can approve dropping below 12 units, but in all cases this approval must be done by FLC 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 Folsom Lake 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).


FLC 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.

If I am currently in B-1 or B-2 status and want to become an international student at FLC, can I change my status to a student?

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

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.

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 anytime, you will need a signature on the third page of your I-20.
  • If you transfer to another school, you will need to have FLC 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, FLC will need to terminate your SEVIS record.
  • If you lose your I-20.
  • If you want to work on campus or off campus.


Renee Hyder
FLC International Student Advisor and Designated School Official (DSO)
(916) 608-6573