International Student Enrollment
The Catholic Church has always welcomed all nationalities into her community of faith. In order to further this effort for foreign students, the Archdiocese of Hartford has become certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Student Exchange and Visitor Program/Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVP/SEVIS) to admit F-1 (Non-Immigrant) students. The F-1 (Non-Immigrant) student status applies to those aliens who are in the United States for the purpose of attending school. The material on this page is offered to assist students and schools in that process, providing general information and the requirements to attend a school within the Archdiocese of Hartford, and the necessary steps each student or school must follow to do so.
No child will be admitted to a school within the Archdiocese of Hartford unless the child and his or her family have met all applicable legal requirements, as well as the school’s requirements for admission. The Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis (OEEC), and the individual schools within the Archdiocese of Hartford’s network of Catholic schools will assist, where appropriate, potential students in the application process.
As a resource for school administrators, the OEEC has developed Guidelines for Enrolling International Students. This document provides guidance to schools as they host international students and assist those students in obtaining and maintaining the F-1 Visa, which enables them to study in the United States. The document can be found in the International Student Enrollment folder of the OEEC Portal.
Click below to navigate to the Key Steps for International Student Enrollment:
- Click here to visit the Study in the States web page.
Selecting/Applying to a School
International students who apply for admission to a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Hartford will be considered for admission only if the student holds, or is in the process of obtaining, an F-1 (Non-Immigrant) student Visa.
The student must apply and be admitted to a Catholic school within the Archdiocese of Hartford. The school issues a letter of acceptance. Enrollment is dependent on the completion of the F-1 Visa Process and the subsequent payment of tuition and fees. The student must demonstrate to the school his/her ability to pay for school costs plus living expenses.
Completing the I-20 Application Form:
The parent or guardian must complete Section One of the Archdiocese of Hartford I-20 Application Form and bring the form to the school the student will be attending. The school principal or Director of Admissions will complete Section Two of the application form and will forward the completed form to the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis (OEEC). If applying to multiple schools, the I-20 can only be issued from the school the student will be attending.
If the student is transferring from another school within the U.S., an Archdiocese of Hartford International Student Transfer-In Report must be completed and returned to the OEEC, along with the I-20 Application Form.
Documents the School Must Submit to OEEC
The school the student will be attending must submit the following items to the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis:
- A copy of the school’s acceptance letter
- The completed I-20 Application Form
- A copy of the student’s current passport/visa
- I-20 Processing Fee of $250.00 payable by certified check or bank check to the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis
The OEEC will produce for the student a Form I-20 “Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status,” the document necessary to apply for a visa and enter the United States. The original of the Form I-20 will be mailed to the school to be given to the student.
The I-901 Fee:
The student must use the Form I-20 to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before the Department of State will issue the student a visa. (Instructions are available at FMJfee.com.) A printed receipt of I-901 Fee payment is required at the student’s visa interview.
Applying for the F-1 Visa:
Once a student has been accepted at a SEVP-approved school, received a Form I-20, and paid their I-901 Fee, they must next apply for an F-1 Non-Immigrant Student Visa, which allows them to travel to the U.S. for the purpose of study.
The student goes to the website of their country’s U.S. Embassy or consulate and pays the visa fee, completes the visa application, and schedules an appointment for a visa interview. The interview should be scheduled as soon as possible after the receipt of the Form I-20 and the payment of the I-901 Fee. (Documentation necessary for the interview includes the Form I-20 from the school the student will be attending, the visa application, passport, photo, visa application fee receipt, and I-901 payment receipt.)
The Visa Interview:
The student will convey his/her plans of study to the consular officer, including sharing evidence of financial ability to pay for school costs, plus living expenses; evidence of preparation for the academic program; a statement that the stay in the U.S. is temporary; and information regarding how the education will be used when the student returns home. Consular officer issues F-1 Non-Immigrant Student Visa.
Arriving in the United States:
When arriving in the U.S., students should have their passport, visa, and Form I-20. They are then issued a Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record” as evidence of their term of admission and documentation of their legal status in the U.S., including authorized length of stay and departure.
The student may enter the country up to 30 days before the Program Start Date, and must report to the school no later than 30 days after the Program Start Date.
Student reports to the school, having paid the year’s tuition in full prior to enrollment.
Reporting the Student’s Arrival to OEEC:
The school then submits an Archdiocese of Hartford F-1 Status Report to the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis, to certify that the student has arrived and is attending classes, and to provide the most updated homestay address information. The OEEC then “Registers” the student in the SEVIS database, creating an “Active” status for the student. (Students must be Registered within 30 days of their Program Start Date, or their status in the country will automatically lapse and they will not be able to remain in the U.S.)
Necessary Archdiocesan Forms:
Information Sheets from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program