Immigration Advising

Immigration Advising


North Seattle College is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. 

As an international student on non-immigrant visa status, it is your responsibility to follow the appropriate regulations during your stay in the U.S. If you fail to comply with these regulations, you will be "out of status."  

Being out of status means you are no longer eligible for on-campus employment, re-entry to the U.S., or any other benefits of F-1 status. Please attend orientation. If you have questions or concerns about any immigration matters, the International Programs staff will be happy to help.

The following are considered violations of your F-1 status:

  • Failure to report to North's initial registration in SEVIS upon arrival
  • Failure to maintain full-time registration with a minimum of 12 credits/quarter
  • Failure to apply for a Program Extension if you need more time to complete your current program
  • Failure to obtain a new I-20 if you change your major
  • Failure to report address change to the IP office within 10 days of moving
  • Illegal employment

If you require additional time to complete your degree, please see the sections about I-20 Extension and I-20 Change of Education Level.

If you are out of status, please see the sections about Re-entry and Reinstatement.

If you need more time to complete your studies, you must submit an I-20 Extension Request.  

An expired I-20 cannot be extended. Once your I-20 expires you will be out of status. Make sure to turn in I-20 Extension Request at least 2 weeks before your I-20 expires. 

Please complete each step to request an I-20 Extension:

  1. Login to the International Programs Student Portal. ​​​​​
    • Log-in as ‘current student’ using (firstName.lastName) for your username and school’s email password 
    • To reset your password please visit here or contact IT support directly. 
  2. Once logged-in, navigate to Immigration Requests --> I-20 Extension.
  3. Fill the extension request form completely as it pertains to you.
  4. Select your program of study.
  5. Once you select your program of study, your advisor email will be displayed.
  6. Be sure to accurately enter their email (copy and paste to avoid errors).
  7. Once submitted, the selected Academic Advisor will receive an email to complete their portion of the form. Once they complete their form, IP office will be notified to process your I-20 Extension request.
  8. Once approved you will be notified via the email that your new I-20 is ready. It is important that you update IP office immediately if you recently changed your email or you might not receive the notification.

Who is eligible? 

You are eligible for an I-20 change of education level if you meet one of the following:

  • I am completing IEP and starting an Associates Degree at North. 

  • I am graduating with an Associates degree and starting a Bachelors degree at North. 

  • I am graduating with an Associates degree and starting a new Associates degree at North. 

  • I am graduating with a college level degree and want to take additional courses at North for one or two quarters for the purpose of transferring to a four year school 

When do I request? 

You may request the change of level when you are in the final quarter of your current program and no later than the first day of classes of your next program. 

How do I request? 

  1. Login to the International Programs Student Portal. ​​​​​
    • Log-in as ‘current student’ using (firstName.lastName) for your username and school’s email password 
    • To reset your password please visit here or contact IT support directly. 
  2. Once logged-in, navigate to Immigration Request --> I-20 Change of Education Level 
  3. Complete the form as it pertains to you.
  4. Upload any necessary documents. Incomplete / improperly filled form will delay the request and risk getting denied.
  5. Once submitted you will receive a confirmation email and the International Program Office will be notified and can begin processing your request.
  6. Once approved you will be once again notified via the email that your new I-20 is ready for pick up. It is important that you update the International Program office immediately if you recently changed your email or you might not receive the notification. 

The re-entry process is for students who have been "terminated"or are otherwise "out of status" and have met with an International Programs advisor to discuss their options.

Note: You must have a valid United States F-1 visa to complete this process.

1. Bring an original bank statement to the International Programs office. It must be less than six months old and in the amount of at least the following.

  • IEP: $23,485 USD
  • College-level: $24,056 USD
  • BAS: $33,156 USD

2. Meet with an International Programs advisor to be issued a new I-20. (This may take 1-3 days.) The advisor will also write you a letter to verify that you are eligible to continue your studies at North.

3. Pay the I-901 fee ($350 USD) for your new SEVIS number to the Department of Homeland Security through their website. Click the green "Pay I-901 Fee" at the top of the page.

4. Documents to bring with you when reentering the U.S.: 

  • Passport with valid U.S. F-1 visa
  • New I-20 with your signature and the IP advisor signature
  • Letter of enrollment
  • Current bank statement
  • Copies of transcripts
  • Current schedule or schedule for the upcoming quarter if available
  • All old I-20s
  • I-901 SEVIS fee receipt

5. Take your trip abroad to process your new entry to the United States. (If you are traveling by airplane to your home country, make sure that the airline representative or immigration officer takes your I-94 card and stamps your passport.)

6. When you return to the United States, be sure to talk to an immigration officer and have your new entry processed. If entering from Canada, you may need to park your car, go inside and speak with an immigration officer. The officer should scan and stamp your I-20.

7. You must come back to the IP office with your stamped I-20 and other documents. Meet with your IP advisor to have copies made of your immigration documents so your re-entry will be completed.

Reentry is the preferred method for fixing a student’s status.

North Seattle College will only conduct reinstatement in special circumstances.

Students who choose to do reinstatement will do so on their own or need to obtain legal assistance.  

USCIS website for reinstatement paperwork

Vacation Quarter

IEP and College level students who attended school in the U.S. for three consecutive quarters may be eligible to take a vacation during the following quarter, provided they will continue to study in the U.S. for the academic term after the vacation. A vacation quarter means the student will remain in the U.S. but not study full-time. Students with questions regarding eligibility for vacations should contact the International Programs (IP) Office.

College level students are allowed to take a vacation during their first Summer Quarter, provided that Summer is not their first quarter of study after their initial entry into the country.

To request a vacation quarter, you must submit a Vacation Quarter Request online in SCDGlobal before the intended vacation quarter begins.

Leave of Absence

If you are not eligible for a vacation quarter, but you must return to your home country due to unusual circumstances, you may be eligible to take a leave of absence. A leave of absence can only be for 5 months or less. To request a leave of absence, you must submit the Leave of Absence Request online in SCDGlobal before the quarter begins. Please note: you cannot remain in the US during your leave of absence period.