United States colleges provide a rich variety of academic, cultural and athletic activities that add new dimensions to your educational experience and also help you make new friends. Experience in an international setting is a marketable commodity. Your long-term career prospects can be enhanced by an experience that develops self-confidence, independence, and cross-cultural skills – attributes that are in high demand with employers worldwide.
PUC is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Also, PUC has been ranked in the top tier western regional liberal arts colleges and universities for 14 years in a row. The college is located about an hour's drive north of San Francisco, California, overlooking the renowned Napa Valley. The college is a destination campus in a lovely setting at 1,500 feet elevation.
Applications are evaluated for admission on a rolling basis. Each application is reviewed for admission purposes as soon as all needed documents are on file.
|The Quick List for Applying|
After you have been accepted:
To find more information and guidance for international students, check out the International Students site.
Becoming one of our many international students with a legal non-immigrant status involves several basic steps. Just follow along.
|1. Getting academically accepted|
To begin, you must request an application package from Enrollment Services (you may get a hard copy by writing or e-mailing or you may download one using this link). These documents will tell you exactly what you need to present in order for you to be accepted for your specific program and degree. Make sure that you provide everything exactly the way they ask for it, especially regarding originals, copies and certified translations.
|2. Getting financially accepted|
After you are academically accepted, you must be financially accepted. Unfortunately, financing your education in the U.S. can be a challenge, as limited financial aid is available to international students. Thus, the PUC Student Finance Office will want to make sure that you are prepared to meet the financial requirements for international students. Financial difficulties can be one of the most frustrating experiences in an international student's life and can even jeopardize your legal status in the United States. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), formerly referred to as INS, does not make exceptions if you cannot meet minimum financial requirements. Therefore, the College will require that you provide financial documentation. This documentation will include submission of an original bank statement document issued by an international bank showing a minimum balance of at least $45,522 USD to cover the first year of college expenses.
|3. Receiving the I-20 form from us|
After you have been academically and financially approved, but before you are accepted, you must submit a deposit of $1,000 USD before an I-20 will be issued. This deposit will remain on your student account until you cease to attend Pacific Union College. The $1,000 deposit can be applied to your final quarter at PUC. After your deposit is on file the office of International Student Services, will receive the appropriate information from Enrollment Services and Student Finance and they will issue an I-20 form to you. If you are outside the United States, this form will be mailed to you by express mail. Please use this link to submit your deposit after you have been notified that you qualify for admission: https://peertransfer.com/puc
|4. SEVIS Fee|
The Department of Homeland Security requires prospective F-1 students to pay a one-time fee of $200. This fee is to be paid by all prospective students with "initial attendance" on the I-20 form, who are applying for an F-1 visa from outside the United States.
The fee must be paid at least three (3) business days prior to applying for the visa, or applying for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa requirement.
The SEVIS fee will not be refunded if your visa application is denied. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.
For information of how to pay the fee online, by mail or through Western Union, go to www.FMJfee.com.
|5. Applying for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate
(not applicable to Canadians)
Receiving the I-20 form from PUC does not automatically mean that you will receive the student visa (F-1). You must use this I-20 form to request a visa through a U.S. embassy or consulate. It depends on you and the decision of the consular officer to make your wish come true to study at PUC. Depending on your country of residence, the difficulty in obtaining a visa varies greatly. In some countries, the U.S. consulates issue the visa by mail. In other countries, interviews with consular officers are required. In a few countries, it is nearly impossible to obtain a visa. You may also wish to contact the local U.S. Embassy to inquire what documents they require, as this may vary from country to country.
Several items are generally required:
Additional application materials may be requested by the visa officer to prove your eligibility. These may include:
The consulates are especially concerned about two things: First, are you able to finance your education in the U.S.? Second, are you coming to the U.S. to study or do you plan to immigrate? If the consular officer doubts your ability to pay for your studies or suspects you intend to immigrate, they may not grant you a student visa.
The most common reason for denying a visa is that the consular officer is not convinced that the applicant has a residence in a foreign country or is not planning to return to the home country. In such a case, the applicant may attempt to convince the consul that there is both need and reason to return to the foreign residence. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as showing evidence of a job offer or a job to which to return, proving ownership of property, or explaining family ties and responsibilities.
The consular officer will place a visa in your passport. If you receive a multiple-entry visa, you may use it to re-enter the United States up to the date of its expiration as long as you have a valid I-20 form.
After obtaining the visa you are ready to come to PUC. Generally, the earliest date a visa will be issued is 90 days prior to the beginning date indicated on your I-20 form. You may enter the United States not more than 30 days before the school year begins. Also, make sure you do not come later than the reporting date stated on your I-20.
|6. Arriving at a U.S. Port of Entry – What a Student Can Expect|
Plan Your Arrival
You may be refused entry into the United States if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 form.
Always Hand-carry Your Documents
Do not check the following documents in your baggage. If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry. As a result, you may not be able to enter the United States.
In addition, it is strongly recommended that you also hand carry the following documentation:
Complete Your Entry Paperwork
If Arriving By Air: Flight attendants will distribute Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival Departure Record Forms (I-94). These must be completed prior to landing.
If Arriving By Land or Sea: The CBP Officer at the port of entry will provide the necessary Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival-Departure Record Forms (I-94) to be filled out upon your arrival.
As You Arrive At The Port Of Entry
Proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation:
The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will reside, not the address of the school or program.
Arriving At PUC
Upon arrival in the United States for the first time, international students are picked up free of charge by the College at the San Francisco International Airport. It is the responsibility of the student to notify Enrollment Services of arrival date, time, airline and flight number at least one week in advance. Subsequent arrivals and departures should be scheduled with Evans Airport Service in Napa.
As soon as possible after your arrival at PUC, please come by the Student Services Office to meet with the International Student Advisor. We must make copies of your immigration documents before you register for classes. We will also provide you with the information you need to get started here at PUC.
Special Considerations For Canadian Students
All the steps mentioned above for obtaining F-1 status applies to you also, except you do not need a visa to enter the U.S. Therefore, you are not required to go to a U.S. consulate or embassy. Simply skip step number four. Beginning January 2007, Canadians will need a passport to enter the United States traveling by air. By January 2008, Canadians traveling to the U.S. by land or sea will need to have a passport. However, make sure that your I-20 form and I-94 card gets stamped at the border by the immigration officer who admits you to the U.S.
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