Becoming an F-1 Student

  • Apply for admission to Northwestern Michigan College.
  • Receive your admission acceptance letter and I-20 in the post. Review the letter and read page 2 of your I-20 before signing and dating it.
  • Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee by check or bank draft. The SEVIS website has detailed information as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to schedule your visa interview.
  • Prepare for and attend your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy.
  • When approved, contact NMC Admissions via email. Discuss best travel dates.
  • Make your travel plans to arrive approximately 7 days (but no more than 30 days) before the start of your program. Please note move-in dates if you are living in the Residence Halls.
  • Travel with your I-20 and passport in your hand luggage and present your documents at the port of entry to the United States. Your I-20 and passport will be stamped by an immigration official. Your "I-94" arrival record can be accessed online at
  • Congratulations! You are now a student in the U.S. Remember to keep your passport, I-20, and visa in a secure location at all times.
  • Once you have arrived in Traverse City, you will attend International Student Orientation and meet with your International Student Advisor to learn more about your immigration status and to schedule your classes.

EducationUSA, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is a wonderful source of information for international students and scholars.

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