FAQ

The International Education Office offers a variety of support services for students and scholars. If you need assistance at anytime, please contact the International Education Office at 480-461-7756 or email us at: ie@mesacc.edu. 

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is the system used by the US government to track all F and J visa holders.  At MCC, we have F and J visa holders.

What is the SEVIS Fee? Do I need to pay it?

On September 1, 2004, a new United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule went into effect. This rule requires F-1 applicants to pay a one-time fee of $200 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). You can pay your SEVIS Fee online. You only need to pay this fee once, as an initial student entering the USA, unless you are going through a reinstatement with MCC.

What is a Visa?

Your visa is your physical visa paperwork in your passport. It is your "key" to get inside of the United States.

What is "Status"?

Your status is your reason you are in the United States, and that reason is to study. You have F-1 Status to study full-time during the fall and spring semesters.

What is an I-94?

Form I-94 is a record of admission to and departure from the United States. It indicates how long a person can remain in the U.S. All non-immigrants are given a Form I-94 upon entry to the U.S. Until recently, the I-94 was a small white card placed inside your passport. Now, the I-94 can be obtained online once you have entered the USA. The I-94 states the visa classification under which the person entered and how long the person may remain in the U.S. For F-1 students, the I-94 should indicate 'D/S’, which means duration of status. If you still have a paper card, DO NOT lose this card, it is expensive to try to get a new one!  If you lose this card, see an International Student Advisor immediately!!

What is 'D/S' on my I-94 card?

'D/S' stands for Duration of Status. This means that you may remain in the U.S. for as long as you are in status. If you are an F visa holder and your I-94 card says something other than "D/S" (for example, if a date is printed), please bring it to an International Student Advisor so that we can help to fix the problem.

What if my F-1 student visa has expired?

You are permitted to stay in the United States on an expired F-1 visa as long as you maintain your student status. However, if you are returning home or traveling to another country, you must have a valid visa to return to the United States. Your visa is like your key to get into the USA. You do not need your key again, until you must re-enter the USA.

My I-20 will expire before I complete my studies

You are required to have a valid, non-expired SEVIS I-20 at all times. If the end date on your I-20 is approaching, make an appointment with an International Student Advisor. We will provide you with a new I-20 if you do in fact need more time to complete your studies, by doing an extension on your I-20. In order to obtain an extension, please bring in an up-to-date bank statement proving the amount of money on your I-20.  If you have a sponsor, you will also need to bring in a signed and notarized affidavit of financial support.

Can I work as an F-1 International Student?

Yes, with authorization. Please visit the Working as an F-1 Student page for more information.