Frequently Asked Questions - International Students
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Please note: The answers below should not be considered "legal advice." Potential and continuing students are encouraged to contact our office and speak to an international student advisor about any specific immigration and/or academic questions.
- I have a tourist/business visa.
You may study in the IIS intensive English program on a part-time basis. To apply, please visit our website.
For those who would like to take a class through the college, the nature of the tourist/business visa (i.e., B1/B2) will not allow you to take class(es) at Mission College.
- Can I change my current visa status to F-1 in the U.S.?
Because there are many rules associated with changing your status and these rules continue to change, we recommend that you consult an immigration attorney. Current wait times to change one’s status is 12 to 14 months, so we strongly recommend that you speak to an immigration attorney first.
- How do I apply for an F-1 visa?
Your first step is to apply to a school and get the form I-20. You will need the form I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. consulate in your home country. Visit Travel.State.Gov for visa wait times.
- What kind of housing options do you have? We recommend starting with homestay if you do not have relatives and friends who you can stay with in the area. The two homestay agencies that we recommend are Sara's Homestay and ISP International Student Placement. Those two companies are trusted agencies that Mission College has worked with for many years.
- Do you have scholarship for international students? Yes, we offer various types of scholarships to international students. Visit our website for more information.
- I want a Social Security Number. Can you help me get one? There are specific rules about who can have a number. Even though you may be one of our students, you do not qualify for a Social Security Card unless you have a written offer of on-campus work. You should call our advisors for more information.
- I want to get a California Driver License. The DMV said I need a Social Security Number. What should I do? You do not need a Social Security Number to get a California license. Our office can tell you how to apply for a license without a number.
- I want to get a bank account. Do I need a Social Security Number? No. Our office can give you the names of local, well-known banks that will give you an account without a number.
- I want to get a cell phone. The company said I must have a Social Security Number! Again, you do not. However, if you are our student, we can give you a letter that explains this to the cell phone company or any other company.
- I want to be admitted to your college as an international student. Then, I want to get a job. May I do this? International students may work part-time on the campus where they go to school; however, students on student visas are generally not allowed to work off-campus. It is an immigration rule. Talk to one of our advisors for the specific rules regarding this.
- Your college gave me the papers so my brother can apply for a student visa in his country. Does this mean he will definitely get a visa? The U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your brother applies for a visa decides on who will or will not get a visa. There is no guarntee that the student will get a visa.