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Do You Need a Form I-20 for F1 Student Visa or Status?

If you do not live in the United States and do not have a visa, you must obtain an I-20 form to get a student visa (F-1 or M-1) before enrolling at Montgomery College. 

If a student is currently enrolled at Montgomery College and is ending their non-immigrant status (dependents turning 21 years old, or persons ending the employment which gave them a non-immigrant status, etc.), he or she may need to apply for a form I-20 to get F-1 or M-1 status through the Montgomery College International Coordinator's Office. Recent changes in immigration procedures may require you to start this process SIX TO NINE MONTHS BEFORE your current status ends. Make an appointment with an international student coordinator to get started. 

If you are residing OUTSIDE the USA and wish to take Distance Learning (online) classes from your home country, you may do so by contacting the Distance Learning Department. No I-20 for F1 visa is required!

Apply for an I-20

This is the MC I-20 application process for degree-seeking AND noncredit ESL program students. Complete the following steps and submit all materials to the MC campus you wish to attend prior to the following deadlines:

FALL SEMESTER (classes begin late August): June 1 (August 1 for students Transferring an I-20*)
SPRING SEMESTER (classes begin late January): October 1 (December 1 for students Transferring an I-20*)
*Students may only Transfer an I-20 if they are in current, valid F-1 status in the US.
**I-20 forms are not issued for summer sessions.

For the pdf version of Application Process for a Form I-20 (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)  instructions.

Please Note: 

  • At this time, we are UNABLE TO ACCEPT or RECEIVE documents sent through postal mail. After we have received and assessed your application, an international coordinator will contact you, providing comprehensive instructions on how to SUBMIT ALL DOCUMENTS using the MC Dropbox link.

  • All documents should be ORIGINALS (unless otherwise approved by the International Coordinator's Office) and must be in English or accompanied by a Certified English Translation. Please keep the ORIGINAL of all the documents that were sent to us.

Student visa application wait times vary for each country. The US Department of States prioritizes student visas, so wait times for a student visa appointment may be less than that of a visitor or others. Visit Visa Appointment Wait Timesnew window and enter the name of the city you plan to go where the US Consulate is located to see the current wait times. If the current Student Visa wait time means your Visa appointment would be less than 60 days before the start of the semester you are applying for, please contact our office and ask to expedite the process. For general student visa information, please visit U.S. Department of State Student Visanew window.

Please note, The Department of State officers at Education USA around the world work as counselors to help you understand the US Educational system and US visa process in your country. For more information, please visit EducationUSAnew window.


Apply to Montgomery College (MUST DO THIS STEP FIRST)

Submit your application on-line through the Office of Records and Registration first. Other documents can be sent after you apply.

Click on the button below to go to the On-Line application and select F-1 or I-20 as your Applicant type.  The $25 application fee is currently waived.

APPLY Online


 I-20 Request

Submit a Supplemental Information for I-20 Request form.

Submit a Supplemental Information for I-20 Request Form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) . This includes specific information needed for the I-20. If you wish the College to speak with a 'third party' (someone other than the student, such as a family member, friend, sponsor, or educational agent) about your application, you must complete and sign the section on this form to give us that person's name and contact information.
Provide Proof of College Level or High School Graduation

Submit an original or certified copy of ONE of the following (student MAY be asked to submit a Credential Evaluation in addition):

  • High School Diploma or Secondary School Completion Credentials (final completion document or final grades showing completion). Or,
  • US GED Certificate provided by the state and/or county where the test was administered. Or,
  • University Degree or Diploma. Or,
  • University-level transcript of the equivalent of 12 academic credits of university-level coursework completed. For courses taken outside of the United States an Evaluation for Transfer of Credit may be necessary. 
All documents must be in English (Translation Services (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)  ). If translated, submit the original or a certified copy of the native language version together with a certified English translation. (Originals received by the International Coordinators will be available in the student's file to be returned to the student.)
Provide Evidence of English Language Proficiency

Evidence of English Language Proficiency with ONE of the following is required for all applicants:

Required Testing for Students Applying from within the U.S.

  • Transferable credit from a US college or university for a first-year English composition course equivalent to EN101 at Montgomery College. Have an official transcript sent directly to Montgomery College by the US College or University.
  • Placement result from by taking ESL Remote Placement.   

Required Testing for Students Applying from Outside the US
Applicants from abroad who have not studied at a US college or university must take ONE of the standardized tests below. An Official Score Report should be sent by the testing organization to Montgomery College.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT .
    Please see ETS TOEFLnew window to arrange testing.
    * Send test scores to campus codes: Germantown 5393, Rockville 5440, Takoma Park/Silver Spring 5414.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) .
    Please see IELTSnew window to arrange testing.
    * Send test scores to your campus; see the IELTS website for test score reporting instructions.
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
    Please see College Boardnew window to arrange testing.
    * Send test scores to campus codes: Germantown 5393, Rockville 5440, Takoma Park/Silver Spring 5414.
  • Cambridge (CEFR)
    Please see Cambridge Englishnew window to arrange testing.
    * Send test scores to your campus; see the Cambridge website for test score reporting instructions.

Standardized Testing Minimum Admission Scores

Standardized Testing Minimum Admission Scores
Level TOEFL IELTS SAT Cambridge
Paper Based Internet Based
ESL Non-Credit*  385  28  3.5 305  B1
ELAP Program**  420  36  5.0 380  B2
College Degree  575  90  6.5 480  C1


* ESL Non-Credit: English as a Second Language. Part of the Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs.

**English Language for Academic Purposes (ELAP): Credit level program for non native english speakers. “Bridges” with College Degree
level classes.

Provide Evidence of Financial Support

Persons  financially sponsoring a student must complete four steps.

Persons financially sponsoring a student must complete four (4) steps; complete two forms and provide two pieces of supporting documentation. Please visit BOTH of these sites:

  • Evidence of Financial Support: Includes Affidavit or promise of support from any financial sponsor, signed Financial Sponsor Obligations document, and financial documents proving savings for first year of study and ability to continue support during full length of study.
  • Estimated Annual College Costs for International Students: The costs that appear on the I-20 showing the most reasonable estimate the College has for both academic expenses and living expenses for each calendar year of study. Please Note: MC does NOT have dormitories or provide housing.

To translate any document in English into US, read about Translation Services (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) .

Transfer Credits from Outside the United States

Submit with Application ONLY if needed to prove College level.

Complete the Transfer of Credit process. You should anticipate that it will take up to seven weeks.

For more information, read about Transfer of Foreign Credits (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) .

Documents You'll Need to Provide. 

ONLY for students currently inside the U.S.

  • Legible photocopy of your passport : personal information page, expiration, picture, United States visa you used to enter the US
  • I‐94 record (both sides of card or print out from I94 Official websitenew window)
  • All previously issued I‐20 forms (and EAD card if applicable) IF currently or previously in F‐1 status.
Complete a Transfer Clearance Form

ONLY for students currently inside the U.S. with an F1 Visa, and attending another school.

Submit a completed Transfer Clearance Form. Many schools will require that the student presents a letter showing they have completed all other parts of the application before completing this Transfer Clearance Form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) .
Submit All Documentation to Montgomery College

Please contact the International Student Office to upload above documentation.

An international coordinator will reach out to you with a Dropbox link for you to put your documents in.

Specify the international coordinator (by name) or "Office of the International Coordinator" and the campus you applied to. Please include your name (and student ID number if you know it).

Students who need Language Assistance

Voiance, a phone interpretation service, is now offering interpretation through Zoom. Students can ask for an interpreter to join any of our meetings.

Information for Permanent Residents, Immigrant Visa Holders, and Non-immigrants

Permanent residents, immigrant visa Holders, and non-immigrants are welcome to study at the College based on their visa and status requirements: 

  • Students in categories A, E, G, H I, J, K, L, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, and V are welcome to study part time or full time while they are in the United States and should apply directly to the Admission and Records/Registrar's Office on their campus of choice. Follow the College's regular admissions steps at Getting Started: How to Apply and Register. 
  • Those in categories, C, D, and WT= visa waiver, are NOT permitted to study but may apply to get the I-20 and apply for a F-1 Student Visa at a US Consulate outside of the United States.
  • Those with F-2 status may study part time as long as their F-1 parent is still in status.
  • Visitors in B status may only take a course for their own interest while they visit the US and should see an International Coordinator BEFORE applying to the College if they are interested in more study.

Persons who need to change non-immigrant status

In certain exceptional circumstances, such as when a dependent is no longer eligible for dependent status, an individual with legal non-immigrant status already within the United States MAY HAVE THE OPTION TO REQUEST a "Change of Non-Immigrant Status" to transition to a student visa status and continue residing in the United States. To determine whether a Change of Non-Immigrant Status is feasible in your particular situation, you MUST SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. The application deadlines for such a change may differ from the standard deadlines, and all cases are evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note: Change of status is a process that takes several months. For the current processing times check USCIS websitenew window.