Students outside the U.S.

If you are a new student currently in your home country, please follow the instructions on this page This information, and your I-20 form, will also be sent to you after you are accepted by Shoreline.

1. Check the I-20 document in the welcome packet we sent you to make sure there are no errors. You will use this document is used to obtain your student visa. If there is any error, please contact us immediately.


Please check the following:

  • The spelling of your name. Your name on the I-20 document must exactly match the way your name is written on your passport!
  • The country of birth and country of citizenship
  • The I-20 start date (see No. 5 on your I-20)

2. Check the expiration date on your passport. The final date on your passport should be at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.


3. Pay the SEVIS Fee. This is a fee required by the U.S. government and must be paid by student visa applicants before the visa interview. For information and to pay the fee electronically, please go to the official SEVIS fee website at  When you pay the fee electronically, remember to print out the receipt. You will need to take the receipt to your visa interview.


4. Get your F-1 Student Visa.


Documents You Need to Apply for a Student Visa

  • Your I-20 document
  • Visa application forms. You can find visa forms at the U.S. Department of State website, or go to the website of your local U.S. consulate.
  • A passport which is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay in the U.S.
  • One 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format.
  • A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
  • The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.

We recommend that you go to your local U.S. consulate or embassy's website for specific requirements and procedures for visa applications at that consulate. You can find a list of US consulates and embassies worldwide at:


You should also be prepared to provide:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended;
  • Optional TOEFL, IELTS or other English proficiency test scores (if you have taken any).
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor own a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.

5. Call your airline. Once you have your student visa, you are allowed to enter the United States 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20 (Item 5 on I-20) which is the first day of International Student Orientation. Please contact the airline to make sure you will be able to arrive before this date!


6. Send your homestay application to ABODEor USA International. If you are planning to stay in a homestay, we recommend that you send in your application, placement fee and deposit as soon as possible. Please see application materials included in your admission packet. More information is also on the the housing page.


7. Fly to Seattle. Worried about jet lag? Jet lag is the effect you feel after flying for a long time and going through many time zones. Drink plenty of water and try to sleep on the airplane. Once you arrive, try to stay awake until your new bedtime in the United States. Hopefully this will help you adjust more easily.


8. You can find some very useful information about how you can prepare yourself for entering the U.S. on the official Study in the States website.


9. Attend the International Student Orientation Program. While you are already an experienced student in the United States, it is important to get the most up-to-date information for planning your academic path and learn Shoreline specific information to succeed in your classes and on campus. All new students including you are required to attend from the first day of ISOP. More detail, please click here.


10. Begin classes! Please see your acceptance letter for the date of the first day of classes.



We wanted to give you some information about some upcoming immigration changes announced by the U.S. government:

  • Instead of paper I-94 cards (arrival/departure records), you will be issued an electronic I-94 record. This change has already started in some airports but will become effective throughout the U.S. on May 21, 2013 (Except if students are entering from Canada or Mexico). Please note that at this time, we do not expect this change to have any impact on you other than not receiving a paper I-94 card.
  • It may take longer at Customs when you enter the U.S. The Customs and Border Protection is being asked to check SEVIS records more extensively. As a result, it may be a good idea for you to prepare to be at Customs longer than usual . This is particularly important if you have a connecting flight to Seattle.

Additional information on arriving in the United States can be found on the Study in the States website: