Student visa and immigration
Below are the steps necessary for obtaining a student visa to study at Northwestern College. Contact our intercultural affairs office if you have any questions or difficulties. Information is also available at www.travel.state.gov/visa.
Preparing to study abroad
- Once you’ve been admitted to Northwestern College, we will issue you a SEVIS I-20.
- After you receive your SEVIS I-20, make an appointment with the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to you so you can obtain a visa to study in the U.S. at Northwestern College.
- You’ll need to bring the following to your embassy/consulate appointment: SEVIS I-20, passport, financial support information, Northwestern College admissions confirmation, TOEFL score or confirmation of English proficiency from your school/college administrator, and any other documents requested by the embassy/consulate.
- Be prepared to answer questions at your appointment. The embassy/consulate officer will want to know your educational and post-graduation plans. You will need to demonstrate that you plan to return to your home country after graduation.
- If your embassy/consulate appointment is successful, ask for an F-1 student visa. (If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need a visa.)
Arriving and studying in the U.S.
- Once you arrive in the U.S., you will need to present the following to an immigration officer: SEVIS I-20 and passport or other identification document
- The officer will stamp your SEVIS I-20 and return it to you. *Your SEVIS I-20 is very important. Keep it and any other immigration documents with you throughout your time in the U.S.
- You’ll be given an I-94 (white card) that indicates your student status. You need to keep this card with your passport and show it to an immigration officer any time you leave the country.
- Once you arrive on campus, bring your stamped SEVIS I-20 to our office so we can make a copy of it for our records.
Leaving the U.S.
- During your years at Northwestern College, if you are planning to leave the U.S. for any reason, you must come to the Northwestern intercultural affairs office at least 1 week before you leave to get your SEVIS I-20 signed.
- You’ll also need to show your I-94 card to an immigration officer when you leave. A new I-94 will be given to you when you reenter the U.S.