If you want to study at Mississippi College, the first step is to research the program that most interests you.
Apply to Mississippi College
Receive Your Form I-20
Once accepted, you will receive a Form I-20 from our designated school official (DSO). DSOs are here to help you understand and follow the rules for studying in the United States.
Bring Your Dependents
As an F-1 international student, you may bring your spouse (for example, husband or wife) and children with you while you study in the United States. However, they will also need to receive a Form I-20 from your DSO and follow specific rules while they are here.
Traveling to the United States requires that you take certain steps before your arrival. It is also necessary to be prepared and organized when you arrive at the U.S. port of entry.
Pay Your I-901 SEVIS Fee
After you receive your Form I-20, the next step is to pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee. Regulation requires that all international students pay this fee before the Department of State issues them a visa. Remember to keep your I-901 SEVIS Fee payment receipt and be sure to check that the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) identification (ID) number on the receipt matches the SEVIS ID number that appears on your Form I-20. Please contact SEVP if the SEVIS ID number on these two documents does not match, or if you encounter other issues in the process.
Apply for a U.S. Visa
After being accepted and getting a receipt for payment for the I-901 SEVIS Fee, you can apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Visit the U.S. Department of State's website for more information about applying for an F-1 visa. You can also find your nearest embassy or consulate by visiting the U.S. Embassy website.
Once you receive your visa, check to make sure that you received the right type of visa (F-1) and that your name and date of birth are correct and match the information in your passport. Remember that a student visa does not guarantee entrance into the country, but it does give you permission to arrive at a U.S. port of entry.
Arrive at U.S. Port of Entry
You may enter the United States up to 30 days before your official program start date listed on your Form I-20. When you arrive at the U.S. port of entry, you will meet a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer who has the authority to admit or deny your entrance into the country. You must present the CBP officer with your Form I-20, as well as your valid visa and passport. It is also a good idea to have your acceptance letter, your evidence of financial support, and the name and telephone number of your DSO. Be sure to keep these documents and information in your carry-on luggage, as you will not be able to access any of your checked baggage until after you pass through the U.S. port of entry.
A CBP officer may direct you to secondary inspection and interview you further to determine if you may enter the United States. If you do not have all your documents or if the officer cannot verify your information, they may deny you entry into the country or issue you a Form I-515A, “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor.” If you receive a Form I-515A, you must work with your DSO to respond to it within 30 days.
Receive a form I-94
If CBP admits you into the country, they will give you an admission stamp in your passport and issue an electronic Form I-94, "Arrival and Departure Record.” The Form I-94 includes information about when you were admitted, what status you must maintain (F-1) and how long you can stay in the United States. The CBP officer will inform you where to find your electronic Form I-94.
While studying in the United States, it is important to maintain your status which relates to the purpose or reason for why you want to come to the United States. As an F-1 student, your primary purpose for coming to the United States is to complete a full course of study at a SEVP-certified school. This means you must not take any action that detracts from fulfilling this purpose and follow the regulations associated with studying in the United States.
Enroll in a Full Course of Study
Attend and Pass Your Classes
If you have maintained your status and finished a program of study or your authorized period of post-completion OPT, and you do not transfer to another SEVP-certified school, you have a 60-day grace period to depart from the United States. Failure to depart within this grace period could adversely impact your ability to re-enter the United States under a different non-immigrant or immigrant classification.