International Students Resources

International Students Resources

We understand how travelling to study in the US can be a big change for you. That's why Sattler College wants to make it as easy as possible for you so that you can set up for success.

Table of Contents

First things first!

Acquiring a passport is the first step for any  international travel. If you do not have a passport by the time you start your admission application, we advise you to visit your local passport control office and apply for a passport as soon as you can. If you already have a passport, ensure that your passport remains valid for the entire duration of your stay in the United States.
 
There are many reasons why we encourage you to prioritize making sure that you have a valid passport even before beginning your application.
  1. Every embassy of the United States will require a valid passport before issuing a visa. Acquiring a visa is a legal prerequisite for any international travel and entry into the United States.
  2. Your passport serves as the primary identification document for your time in the United States because it contains your legal names, nationality, date of birth, etc.
  3. Customs and Immigration procedures will require a valid passport for your entry into the country as well as a hassle-free departure in case you are to move out at any time.

Know the Costs

In the United States, the cost of college can be overwhelming. However, as the last distinctive of Sattler (Cost), we are committed to making education affordable and accessible to students who are committed to pursue education for the sake of serving the Kingdom of God. We are happy to announce that Sattler replaced the traditional tuition with Entrustment tuition which awards all accepted students fully funded tuition in exchange for a student’s dedication to Kingdom service and financial gratitude. Vist the Entrustment tuition page for more information about this opportunity. 

However, as the new Entrustment tuition model indicates, you will have the responsibility to cover all other expenses for your travel and stay in the United States which include but not limited to; room and board, student charges, books, among others. If you have limmited financial aid for these costs, be sure to ask the admissions team about any available sponsorships or grants that you can apply for.

After Offer of Admission

Visit the Admissions and International Students’ requirements pages to make sure that you are aware of all the requirements to receive admission. Once you have received admission, here are the steps to go forward with joining Sattler.

#ACCEPT ADMISSION AND CONFIRM INTENT OF ENROLLMENT

Once you’ve made a decision, it’s time to accept the admission offer. 

The next step is to contact the finance office to settle your financial information. 

Please contact the finance office to provide you with the next steps for settling your financial information. Typically, you’ll submit your decision along with an enrollment deposit. 

#PREPARE YOUR IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS

After receiving your admission to Sattler College, the office of the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) will be in touch with you to guide you through the necessary steps for your travel to the United States. Below, we’ve outlined important information and steps to help you prepare for your journey and understand what is required for entry into the United States.

To travel to the US, you will need a visa upon arrival. For all admitted Sattler College students, the required visa is an F1-visa. Before applying for an F1-visa at the US consulate in your home country, you must obtain an I-20 which will be issued by the PDSO. Feel free to reach out to the office of the PDSO if you have any questions or concerns.

Complete your I-20 requirements.

To obtain your I-20, you must fulfill certain requirements, in addition to submitting your enrollment deposit:

1. Provide a copy of your passport.
2. Submit your financial information.

If you are a transfer student and have already provided these documents or have an I-20 already, an updated I-20 will be generated upon receipt of your initial deposit. However, it is essential to inform your current school of your intent to transfer and request a SEVIS transfer as soon as possible. Upon notification, your current school will update your record in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) as a “transfer out” with a release date. After this release date, Sattler College will complete your transfer and issue a new I-20, which serves as your new Certificate of Eligibility for an F1-visa.

Pay the SEVIS fee.

Additionally, you must pay your SEVIS fee to activate your SEVIS record. Be sure to keep a copy of your payment receipt for your visa appointment and personal records.

#APPLY FOR YOUR F1 VISA

Once you’ve paid the SEVIS fee, you can begin your visa application process. It’s important to note that visas cannot be issued inside the US unless you are eligible for a change of status. Below, we’ve provided information to guide you through your visa application. Be sure to consult the US Department of State website for further details regarding US visas.

Complete your DS-160 Visa Application:

Your DS-160 serves as your visa application. The requirements for your DS-160 may vary depending on the country from which you are applying. It’s crucial to be mindful of the waiting times at embassies in different countries as you start your visa application process. You should plan accordingly, keeping in mind that your visa issuance should be before the New Students Orientation, because “Every international student must arrive in the United States before the orientation.” If your arrival date is after the student orientation, you may need to adjust accordingly.

For Canadian Citizens: 

Canadian citizens do not need to apply for a visa to enter the US as F-1 student but must still pay the SEVIS fee and present their I-20 at the US port of entry. However, if you are a visitor and hold a “Landed Immigrant” status in Canada, a US Visa is required for entry.

After submitting your DS-160, you will receive a printed confirmation receipt with a barcode, which you will need for your visa interview. 

Schedule Your Visa Interview

You can find information about your local embassy or consulate online. Be sure to review the requirements on the website of the consulate where you plan to attend your visa interview, as different embassies may have varying requirements. Keep your payment receipt for your records if you make a payment for your visa application.

Before your visa interview, ensure you have the following documents ready for evaluation by the consular officer:

      • A valid passport
      • Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) with all required information
      • Printed copy of your I-901 SEVIS payment confirmation
      • Proof of admission
      • Evidence of financial support

During your visa interview, the consular officer may request additional documents. To prepare, consider bringing any documents that would be helpful, such as National ID, Birth Certificate, Academic Transcripts, etc.

Check the consulate website to ensure you have all the required documents for your visa issuance.

Pre-departure 

Before your departure to the United States, it’s strongly recommended that you obtain all necessary vaccinations in your home country. Vaccines are typically more affordable there compared to the United States. Details and guidance on immunizations will be available in the SAT 101 course on Populi. 

Please note that students must fulfill the immunization requirements of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before attending classes.


Entering the Us

A visa does not guarantee entry into the US. It only allows you to travel to a US port of entry (generally an airport). DHS officials at the port of entry have the authority to permit or deny your entry into the country. Please contact the DSO for specific instructions regarding your entry. We encourage you to have all the documents you have used for your visa application at the port of entry.

The United States Customs and Border protection tracks your status and recent travel history. This information is saved through your I-94 record. 

Please be advised that you may not enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the program start date in  your I-20.

Upon arriving a United States port of entry, a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will determine your admissibility to the United States. 

Please review the US Customs and Border Protection Guidelines

At a primary inspection, a CBP officer will: 

  • Review your immigration documents
  • Scan your passport or take a photo
  • Take your fingerprints.
  • Ask questions regarding your purpose and intent

If the Customs Border Protection Officer has any concerns, you might be taken for a secondary inspection.

A secondary inspection is a more detailed inspection to determine your admissibility into the United States.

At  secondary inspection, the CBP might;

  • Ask more questions about your purpose and intent of travel to the US.
  • Request additional documentation or contact your DSO for additional information.

Remember if you are being denied entry – contact the office of the PDSO at dso@sattler.edu and and emergence phone number will be given to  you in such an event.

  • Do not keep important immigration documents in your checked baggage.
  • Have your passport with the visa in it, signed I-20, financial information. and all the documents that might be needed in case of an emergence.

While Studying in the US

It is important that as an international student you know how to maintain your nonimmigrant student status. This means that you should continue to take all the neccessary actions to remain with a valid visa status. Make sure that you communicate with the school DSO about any questions regarding maintaining your status. Further information about you stay in the United States can be found here.

Maintaining F1 Status

As an international student on an F1 visa, you have certain responsibilities and guidelines that you will need to follow. It is extremely important for you to maintain non-immigrant F1 status while in the United States. Failure to maintain the terms and conditions of non-immigrant status is grounds for deportation from the United States. Maintaining status involves but not limitted to:

  • Reporting to Sattler’s DSO as soon as you arrive in the country.
  • Maintaining a full course of study at Sattler during every academic session except during school breaks or unless approved by under a specific exception by the DSO.
  • Making normal progress toward completing your program of study.

Remember that you are in the United States to attend school and this must be the main focus of your stay in the country.

F1 students must not work off-campus, unless specifically authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) after one year of study or Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon graduation. Sattler’s DSO should be your primary contact for anything regarding work in the United States. 

If you you do not transfer, change status, receive OPT approval but continue working or leave in the United States when you visa status is terminated, you will be considered to be on “unlawful presence.”

Recall that if you over stay in the country for more than 180 days of unlawful presence (with a terminated visa status), you might be subject to a 3 year or 10 years bar to admission in the US.

See Employment and Work section below for some information regarding work.

Employment

As a student on an F1 visa, you must understand the rules of your visa status before engaging in any form of employment.

Employment is defined as “any form of work tha you can do in exchange for compensation.” Compensation may include working for money, or any other benefits such as compesation for any item in return or payment for your room and board. As an international student in the United states,  your primary purpose of being in the United States is to study so as to maintain your F1 status. Working without authorization has serious consequences and can impact your ability to study, travel, or work in the US as long as your F1 status is terminated. Please review the information provided carefully and do not hesitate to contact the DSO in case you have any questions.

On-Campus Employment (Work-study Program)

Any student at Sattler College (including International Students) are eligible for Sattler’s work-study program during the Academic year – and most students do. Available on campus-jobs would include working in marketing, admissions, student services, IT, tutoring, library, working with the historic faith, among others. As an international student, you are able to utilise this work-study program to work in any field that fits your interest, past work experience or future aspirations.

As per the current USCIS F1 instructions, an International Student in the US can work not more than 20 hours per week during the school year. Under a few exeptions, you may contact your assigned supervisor and get approved by the DSO to work up to 40 hours a week during vacations.

GETTING A JOB & PRE-HIRE PAPER WORK
  • Search for available work-study positions.  Students are always notified of available work-study positions via populi.
  • Make your application for the job opening. We would suggest applying earlier for the positions due to the increasing number of applicants.
  • Recieve your job offer.
  • Start working on your pre-hire paper work. Typically, a student can not start their pre-hire paper work util they have received a job offer. Pre-hire paper work may include but not limited to the Form I-9, and other supporting documents such as your passport with a valid visa. If you have any questions regarding the Form I-9, reachout to the office of the DSO.
GETTING PAID

# Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

You can not get paid for you work-study position until you receive a US Social Security Number (SSN). In the United States, a Social Security Number is a 9-digit number issued to citizens and eligible non-citizens. Its primary purpose is to track individuals for taxation purposes. A SSN is important because you need it to get a job on-campus and off-campus. Many other businesses, such as Telecomunication companies, banks and credit companies might also ask for your SSN. You can not apply for a SSN until you have received your job offer from the hiring official or your assigned supervisor on campus. In the same way, you cannot be paid until you provide you SSN to the finance office.

To apply for a SSN, you are required to make an application online through the official portal of the Social Security Administration in Boston and then schedule an appointment for an in-person interview. We are previleged to be very close to the Social Security Administration office in Boston so on you interview day, you are advised to go with the following documents to the Social Security Office located at 10 Causeway St, Boston, MA 02222

  • Employment offer letter from the school. Please contact the the office of the PDSO at dso@sattler.edu to receive you offer letter with all the required information required by the Social Security Administration Office.
  • Passport with a valid visa.
  • 1-20 or CPT work authorization incase your SSN is to be used for an off-campus employment.
  • Proof of residency which should also be got from the office of the PDSO.
  • Other documents to go with include; Birth Certificate, National ID or Driver’s License and your parents’ details.

Note that all documents must be either original documents or certified by the isuing agency. Photocopies, soft copies or notarized documents may not be accepted.

# Opening a Bank Account

We suggest that you contact the office of students’ services for options around you or fellow students for choices of banks around.

 # Enroll for Direct Deposit and Start Submitting your Timesheets.

Contact the finance office at bwult@sattler.edu for futher instruction about how to get signed up on the school PayRoll system.

Off-Campus Employment

A benefit of the F1 student visa is the ability to work off-campus in your chosen field as practical training. This means that you can work in any field related to you program of Study at Sattler with authorization by USCIS prior to employment. These benefits are called Curricular Practical Training(CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Both are designed to give you the opportunity to gain meaningful, practical experience that will enrich your academic program. Remember that your employment authorization is automatically terminated when you fail to maintain status.

CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING (CPT).

Curricular Practical Training allows you to work up to 20 hours per week in the school year and 40 hours per week during vaccations in a field that is related to the major that you are pursuing at Sattler. 

You are required to contact the DSO in order to proceed with application for CPT.

OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT).

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows international students to apply for work authorization for 12 months or after completing their program of study. There is an OPT extension for students doing STEM programs. 

In both cases, you are required to contact you DSO in case you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

I received my I-20 from Sattler. How soon can I apply for a visa?

Make an appointment at a U.S. consulate to obtain an entry visa stamp.

We encourage you to plan accordingly because you should receive your and travel before the New Students Orientation otherwise you will be defered to the next term.

Canadian citizens do not need a visa stamp. At the port of entry, show your Canadian passport and I-20/DS-2019 to request F- 1 visa. If you are a Canadian “landed immigrant,” please check with a U.S. consulate to find out if you need a visa stamp.

Can Sattler assist in making a visa appointment or filling out my DS-160?

While we can’t assist in scheduling a visa appointment, you can find the most up-to-date wait times on the U.S. Department of State website. The DS-160 is a personal application, so we cannot assist in filling out the form.

The earliest available visa appointment is after the start of Orientation. What should I do?

It is best to take the earliest available appointment time—even if the appointment is after your program start date—so that you can apply for an expedited visa request. You need to have a scheduled appointment before you ask to have the appointment expedited!

My visa is not approved in time for the new student's orientation. What should I do?

Contact the DSO at dso@sattler.edu about your visa denial and asks about your options. Never use a visitor or tourist visa to enter the US!