International and Immigrant Students Requirements Before Arrival in the U.S.


Begin the following process early before leaving your country:

  • Review the IISS web pages for information.
  • If you are returning U.S. as a new initial I-20, you will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
  • Plan your arrival early if you need to meet the tuberculosis (TB) test requirements in the U.S.

Best Time to Enter or Return to the United States

You will be allowed to enter the United States as early as 30 days but no less than 21 days before the “program start date” that will be noted under “Item #5” on your I-20. We recommend you enter the United States no less than two weeks before classes begin, as at the minimum, you will need to:

  • Adjust to life in the U.S.
  • Undergo a tuberculosis examination immediately upon arrival to the U.S. It will take 48 to 72 hours from the day you test, for you to receive your results by the deadline.
  • Sit for the placement examination.
  • Make an appointment to consult with an academic counselor.
  • Enroll in classes.
  • Pay for your classes before the payment deadline, which is usually one week before the semester begins.
  • Come to the JCCC IISS office to check-in the first business day after arriving to Kansas City. All status documents are required to be current. All of these documents are required prior to enrollment.
    1. Passport
    2. Visa
    3. I-94 Arrival/Departure card
    4. I-20
  • Submit additional documentation if applying for a change of status. Check the requirements on MyJCCC student account either under "holds" or as illustrated below as "admission requirements."

Enrolling In Classes Before Returning to the U.S.

If you meet all the following requirements, you may be eligible to enroll online or by phone before returning to the United States when enrollment begins. Refer to Pre-Enrollment and Open Enrollment Dates in the academic calendar for your semester. If you have not met all of the criteria below, you will need to wait to enroll in courses until you either satisfy the criteria or arrive in the U.S.

  • received an I-20 from JCCC and
  • have an F-1 visa and
  • are not required to sit for the JCCC Compass placement examination and
  • do not have any other holds prohibiting enrollment

Additional Steps for Concurrent and Transfer Students ONLY

Before Entering the U.S.

  • If your visa expires before you go back to your home country, review your U.S. embassy website for which you will interview to renew your visa.
  • If your visa expires after you are in your home country, review your U.S. embassy website for which you will interview to renew your visa
  • Prepare for Your Visa interview.