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F-1 Visas for Students Overseas

The faculty and staff at College of The Albemarle (COA) welcomes international students, and is happy to help you obtain an F-1 student visa while you’re in your country. A student visa allows you to study at our college for up to three years.

The cost for an F-1 visa application and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS), the I-901 fee, registration from outside the U.S. is $200. COA doesn’t charge any fees for assisting with your change of status request. You’ll need to pay the I-901 fee before your consular appointment. To pay the I-901 fee online, visit fmjfee.com.

How to Apply

1 Apply for Admission Online

Apply Online

If you experience login issues or need assistance with your College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) account, please call 866-866-2362.

If you haven’t attended COA for one year prior to the semester you plan to enroll, please re-apply for admission.

2 Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Before we can issue the appropriate documentation to present at the U.S. Consular Office in your country, we’ll need to determine that you meet our minimum requirements in reading, writing and math. International students who are overseas will need to take a TOEFL exam in order to verify that they have the necessary skills in English and reading to succeed in academic courses.

The minimum TOEFL scores are: Internet Based 40, Paper Based 425 and Computer Based 120. International students who take a TOEFL overseas will need to take the college placement tests once they enter the United States.

3 Complete the Form 1-20 Application (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status)

The form I-20 is required for your F-1 student application. Please gather the necessary documents listed in the application. Download our I-20 application form or contact one of our designated school officials (DSO). Documentation needed for the I-20 includes:

  • A copy of your passport.
  • Copies of your official high school and university transcripts (in both your native language and official English translations).
  • A letter from a sponsor indicating their willingness to help you financially while you study at COA. You’re not permitted to work as an F-1 student, so the purpose of the sponsor letter is to show that you’ll have financial support. You may have one or more sponsors, but all should be private individuals. We discourage using U.S. businesses as sponsors, as this gives the appearance that you may be employed by your sponsor. You may use non-U.S. sponsors or self-sponsor if you have the financial resources. If self-sponsoring, you’ll need to provide a letter stating such. If sponsored by someone in your home country, the sponsor letter must be written in English (or officially translated to English). COA needs a copy of this letter as you’ll be required to present the originals at your appointment with the U.S. Consular Office in your country. View our sample letter for more details.
  • Financial documentation (original bank statements) from the last three consecutive months proving that you or your sponsor has a balance of at least $17,000 (for each month) in the equivalent of U.S. dollars. If you have more than one sponsor, we’ll need three bank statements from each person. If your sponsor is providing bank documentation from another country, please provide bank statements from the last three consecutive months, along with a letter showing a three-month accounting of your sponsor’s balances. The statements and letter will need to be officially translated into English and the financial information will need to be converted to U.S. dollars. COA needs only a scanned copy of the financial documentation, as you’ll be required to present the originals at your appointment with the U.S. Consular Office in your country.
  • Proof of your TOEFL score. If you’ve taken the NC Dap placement test showing placement into Developmental Reading/English (DRE) 097, you can provide that documentation instead.

4 Send Your I-20 Application and Supporting Documentation to a DSO

Your DSO will then create and mail your I-20 within two weeks of receipt. The I-20 acknowledges that COA has accepted you as a student and supports your efforts to obtain an F-1 visa. With the I-20 and the originals of the documentation described above, you’ll be able to apply for an F-1 visa through the U.S. Consular Office in your country. Please note that we mail via First Class postage and are unable to verify how long it will take your I-20 to arrive to your home country. Once approved, please contact the DSO that created your I-20 to begin the class registration process. Please note that you won’t be able to enter the U.S. until 30 days prior to the beginning of registered classes.

Contact a DSO

  • Johnson, Martha

  • Assistant Dean, Student Success and Enrollment Management

  • Dare County Campus: 104 (A)

  • 252-473-2264 ext. 7012

  • Boyce, Cherrie

  • Advisor/Success Coach

  • Elizabeth City Campus: AE 133

  • 252-335-0821 ext. 2281