We know that international students have additional processes to go through during the application process. How can we help?
- How do I apply?
- What resources does Saint Mary’s have for International Students?
- What travel documents and passports do I need?
- When should I apply for a visa?
- What if my visa is denied or delayed?
- What are the SEVIS requirements?
- What if I am currently in the United States?
- I have an F-1 visa, what tax information do I need to know?
- How can I waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement?
- Do I need health insurance?
How do I apply? [back to top]
International students can apply on-line here. To get started on your application, create an account and you will receive a PIN and Password so that you can return to work on your application over several sessions. Only after you submit your application will it be available for review by our admissions staff.
What resources does Saint Mary’s have for international students? [back to top]
The Center for International Programs (CIP) is ready to assist international students with questions about study abroad, international student visas, insurance coverage, International Club membership, Global Living and Learning Community placement and much more. Stop by and visit them soon. The CIP staff is ready to help international students in a variety of ways.
The Center is the home for international students at Saint Mary's and is the first stop that international student make on campus. CIP staff assists students with a variety of needs including immigration and visa advisement, academic advisement, and adjustment to campus life. The CIP provides an interactive orientation program, academic counseling, tutorial services, and social and intercultural communication programs. As home for the SMC International Club, the Center is the place to gather and meet students from a number of countries.
What travel documents and passports do I need? [back to top]
The Certificate of Eligibility, either Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, is required when applying for the appropriate visa for entry to the United States. Your Certificate of Eligibility indicates the latest date by which you should report to Saint Mary’s College, usually the first day of Orientation. If you want off-campus housing, we recommend arriving earlier, to allow enough time for you to locate suitable accommodations before Orientation and registration activities begin. Unless you are a Canadian citizen, you must obtain a passport and a visa before you will be permitted to enter the United States. (Canadian citizens should see the special section that pertains to them).
You must have a passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States.
When should I apply for a visa? [back to top]
You should apply for your student visa well in advance of the date you would like to depart for Saint Mary’s College. Remember that you are required to show proof of having paid the new Federal SEVIS Fee when you appear for your visa interview. Holiday periods are very busy times at the US embassies and consulates world wide, and it is important for you to have your visa in time to arrive and begin orientation and registration activities. Appointments are now mandatory for all student visas, and some U.S. embassies and consulates require that appointments be made at least four to eight weeks in advance. All U.S. embassies and consulates have a website where you can read the latest information on visa procedures. For information on waiting times for student visa appointments, visit here.
What if my visa is denied or delayed? [back to top]
The visa officer must verbally inform you of the reason for the visa denial. If your visa is denied, please send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and provide the date and location of your visa interview, and details regarding the reason given by the visa officer for the denial.
Much more common than a visa denial is a visa delay. The new U.S. Department of State requires that all applicants for non-immigrant visas be interviewed. This new policy has created delays at visa issuing posts around the world. This is why it is so important to apply for your visa EARLY!
What are the SEVIS requirements? [back to top]
Visa officials are required to verify your record in the SEVIS system before a visa can be approved. This is also true for any dependents. If the visa official is unable to access your record in SEVIS and you have a SEVIS I-20 or DS 2019, please contact the CIP by email, phone or fax to alert us to the problem.
The SEVIS I-901 fee is U.S. $200 and must be paid before your visa appointment. Make sure to keep your fee receipt. You will need to show this receipt during your visa interview.
What if I am currently in the United States? [back to top]
F-1 and J-1 Students:
If you already have valid F-1 student or J-1 student status by being enrolled at another school, college or university in the United States, by now you have already completed the required Transfer Verification Form and requested that the international student advisor at your current school release your SEVIS record to Saint Mary’s College. Your new Saint Mary’s College I-20 or DS-2019, endorsed for pending transfer, is mailed to you as soon as the release date for your SEVIS record (as determine by your previous school) is reached. Once you are enrolled at Saint Mary’s College and we have confirmed your registration, the transfer process will be completed. If you are in F-1 status, a new I-20 will be issued to you. Be sure to report to the Center for International Programs as soon as possible after your arrival.
All Other Non-Immigrant Visa Classifications:
If you are currently in the U.S. in a visa classification other than F-1 or J-1, you should contact the Center for International Programs for information.
I have an F-1 visa, what tax information do I need to know? [back to top]
- While in the U.S., the United States Federal Government requires ALL students to file an income tax return form with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). All students must file Form 8843, even if you didn't receive any money. The deadline to file is June 15.
- If you earned money by working, tutoring, scholarships, or as a resident assistant and if you received Form W2 or Form 1042S, you must file your taxes by April 15 on Form 1040NR-EZ.
- If you have been in the U.S. for more than five years, you may be able to file as a "resident" on a Form 1040 if you meet the "substantial presence" test.
- Tax Treaties - The U.S. has tax treaties with some countries which permit taxation at a reduced rate of exempt certain income altogether. IRS Publication 901 (page 17) gives a brief summary of the provisions of each treaty. Note on the log site the countries with Treaty Benefits for Scholarship Income and Student Wages.
- Incidental Income - You may have incurred other income from sources outside the college such as U.S. bank interest, which is reportable.
Log onto www.irs.ustreas.gov for information and forms.
On Form 8843, Part III you must enter:
Question 9. Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94556
Question 10. Brother Ronald Gallagher, President, 925.631.4203
How can I waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement? [back to top]
Either exam may be waived if the student has met one of these conditions: 1) completed 4 consecutive years of study at a US high school; 2) completed a minimum 60 transferable credit hours at a US university or college; 3) completed an educational program in a country where the medium of instruction is English; 4) completed an approved ESL program; or 5) scored 500 or above on the SAT 1 Critical Reading exam, or 22 or above on the ACT English exam. The TOEFL school code for Saint Mary’s College is 4675.
Do I need health insurance? [back to top]
Due to the extremely high cost of health care in the United States, health insurance is mandatory for all international students and unless a waiver of enrollment is completed, students will automatically be enrolled in the College's insurance plan. The program is designed to provide minor as well as major medical services in the event of illness or accident. Completion of an insurance enrollment/waiver form is required every year. For more information, go to www.chickering.com. Policy No. 812850. If you have your own comparable insurance and fail to waive the insurance online, you will be charged.
The cost of the medical insurance is $646 for 12 months and $323 will be charged to the Fall and Spring statements. If students have their own insurance and have to go to the doctor or the hospital, frequently, you will be required to pay at the time of service and then you will contact your insurance company for reimbursement.