Student Pre-Arrival Checklist

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Complete the AHC Information Paperwork

All new international students are required to complete the AHC paperwork before registering for classes. You will not be able to select classes until you have completed and submitted the paperwork.

The paperwork includes important information you will need to know throughout your stay in the U.S.

Obtain Your Visa and Plan Your Travel to the U.S.

If you are living outside the U.S. you must obtain a passport from your government. Next, you must apply for an F-1  visa. As soon as you receive your I-20 , schedule your visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for an F-1 visa.

Canadian citizens do not need a visa, but simply present the I-20 , SEVIS fee receipt, financial documentation, and proof of admission to the AHC to the immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry. A passport may be required depending on your method of travel. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State’s travel pages.

Apply for the Visa as Early as Possible

Students applying for initial entry F-1 and F-2 visas may be issued the visas up to 120 days before the academic program start date.

You may not enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days before the start date.  You should make your travel arrangements with this date in mind. The start date is chosen to allow adequte time for you to arrive for Orientation.

Your I-20  does not require a travel signature for your initial entry into the U.S. However, you need a travel signature for subsequent trips. AHC advisers cannot sign your document for travel and reentry to the U.S. until you have registered full-time for your first quarter. Do not plan to travel outside the U.S. after your first entry unless you will be able to register first and obtain a travel signature. The AHC requires fourteen  business day for issuing travel signatures.

SEVIS Transfer Students

If you are changing schools within the U.S. and transferring your SEVIS record to the AHC, there are visa and travel policies unique to your situation.

  • You can travel with your current F-1 visa and AHC I-20, even if the visa has your previous school’s name on it, as long as the visa is not expired and you are not outside the U.S. more than five months between academic programs.
  • You can use your AHC “transfer pending” I-20 to enter the U.S. once without a travel signature before the start date, even earlier than 30 days before the I-20 start date. The 30-day rule is only for travel with “initial” I-20s, not “transfer pending” I-20s. However, if you wish to travel outside the U.S. after your initial entry on your AHC “transfer pending” I-20, you will need a travel signature from an AHC adviser. It is recommended that transfer students wait to receive a AHC “transfer complete” I-20 before traveling outside the U.S. as the “transfer complete” I-20 is issued with a travel signature.

Sign Up for Health Insurance

AHC Highly recommend  international students to have health insurance  while attending the American Harbor College.