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Frequently Asked Questions


UCEDA International is a school which is authorized under federal law to enroll international students. No school can provide visas; that is the responsibility of the U.S. government. We can certify your eligibility for nonimmigrant (F1) student status, and then you may apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Yes, this school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant (F1) students. The Form I-20 is a Certificate of Eligibility for the F1 student visa, which we can provide after you are accepted at UCEDA International. You will need the I-20 document in order to apply for the F1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

No. UCEDA International will only issue the Form I-20 to prospective F-1 students who enroll in a full-time program of study. J-1 and B-1 students can enroll in part-time programs of study. J-1 students may receive a Form DS-2019 from a U.S. sponsor designated by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

After you receive a Form I–20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” and pay your I–901 SEVIS fee, you can visit the closest U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for your F-1 student visa with the U.S. Department of State. In most cases, you will need to complete a Form DS-160 online, print it, and bring it to your interview. Also bring your passport, Form I–20, and I–901 SEVIS fee payment receipt to your visa appointment. To learn more about how to apply for your visa, visit the student visas page on
The Form I-20 is a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status. A nonimmigrant applying for F-1 status needs a Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. school?
First, get a Form I-20. Once you receive acceptance to the school and provide evidence of financial support, as well as any other supporting documents, a designated school official will send you a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status.” Next, Pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee: All international students must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. You can pay your fee at For more information, watch the I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Video. Finally, you can apply for a visa to travel to the United States at any U.S. embassy or consulate. Make sure you bring all required documents with you.
We recommend students to apply 2 months before the desired program starts.
New students start classes on the first Monday of every month.
The duration of your Intensive English Program at UCEDA may be tailored according to the number of months you need to study to achieve your goals. Some students study only 3 months for a single course, while others study up to 12 months or longer in a multi-course program. At UCEDA, we understand that the rate of language development may vary according to the learner’s educational background, first language, learning style, cognitive style, and other factors. If you have a compelling academic reason and are unable to complete your course of study by the Program Completion Date on your Form I-20, you may apply for a program extension. Your total program duration including all extensions may not exceed 48 months.
Only schools certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) can accept international students. UCEDA International is certified by SEVP. After completing your program of study at UCEDA International, you may transfer to a college or university in the United States without needing to apply for the F-1 visa again.
SEVP is the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). SEVP has the important role of protecting national security while supporting the international student exchange for the more than one million international students, exchange visitors and their dependents in the United States. SEVP crafts policies and regulations for schools and students, answers questions from international students and school officials, and works with law enforcement to support criminal investigations.
SEVIS is a national security tool managed by SEVP. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, known as SEVIS, is used to monitor international students and the schools that enroll them. SEVIS information is shared throughout ICE and with government and law enforcement partners including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A Designated School Official, or DSO, is an employee of the school who serves as the point of contact between students and SEVP. DSOs are responsible for entering information about F-1 international students into SEVIS. A DSO can issue prospective international students a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status
I-20 Eligibility
The Form I-20 is a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status. All nonimmigrants applying for F-1 visa status need a Form I-20 to apply for the F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Once you receive acceptance to the school and provide evidence of financial support, as well as any other supporting documents, a designated school official will send you a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status” with instructions on how to apply for a visa to travel to the United States.
In order to issue the Form I-20, a school official is required by law to review and evaluate proof of financial responsibility. You will need to show evidence that you have enough money to live and study for the duration of your program of study. For each month you plan to study, you may budget for tuition and living expenses to be at least $1500-$2000 per month. If you will be living with a friend or family for free, then you will only need money for tuition and personal expenses.
Yes. Many students who do not have enough money in their own bank accounts will have a friend or family be a sponsor. The sponsor will need to sign an affidavit to agree to sponsor you, and will also be asked to provide a copy of bank statements to show sufficient funding. You may have up to two sponsors in combination with your own funding.
No, we can accept financial documents can be in any currency. There are very few exceptions, for example, accounts in Venezuela need to be in U.S. dollars.

At UCEDA International, we currently accept financial documents in English, Spanish, or Portuguese as we have staff who can interpret and certify translations in those languages. Financial documents submitted in other languages must be accompanied by a certified translation to English.

In order to certify eligibility, a school official must receive and review a copy of your valid passport, your application form, and bank statements from your account and/or a sponsor’s account showing sufficient funding to live and study in the United States for the duration of your program.

After receiving a Form I-20, regulations require all prospective F-1 students to pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee before the Department of State issues you a visa. To pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, visit to access the SEVIS Form I-901. Watch the I-901 SEVIS Fee payment tutorial to learn about each step of the payment process. For additional FAQs about the I-901 SEVIS Fee, visit
If you need to apply for an F-1 visa, the answer is yes. This includes all prospective F-1 students from countries where a visa to travel to the United States is mandatory. This also includes anyone applying for a change of status to F-1 student status or a reinstatement of F-1 student status. You also need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee if you are a prospective F-1 student from a visa waiver country, before seeking admission at a U.S. port of entry. Please note that an F-2 dependent does not have to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
Prospective F-1 students can use a credit card to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at If your country of citizenship or country of birth is Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or Gambia, you must pay by money order, Western Union Quick Pay or certified check drawn from a U.S. bank.
Yes. In order to get your student visa, you must present proof of your I-901 SEVIS Fee payment at your visa interview. Print a receipt of payment after you have completed your I-901 payment on
SEVP will accept third party payments, meaning someone else can pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee using an approved method of payment.
If you would like to request corrections to your I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt because you have noticed misspellings, would like to go to a different school, or would like to transfer your payment to a new SEVIS record, you should e-mail a detailed request to
For F-1 students, the fee is currently $350. This is a government fee that can be paid at
SEVP will accept third party payments, meaning someone else can pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee using an approved method of payment. You can also pay by Western Union Quick Pay. Visit SEVP’s website for instructions on how to complete the Western Union Quick Pay/Quick Collect form.
Visa Interviews
You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early.
Advance planning and early visa application are important. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category. F-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States in F-1 status earlier than 30 days before your start date.
You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must comply with the format specified by the U.S. Department of State Photo Requirements.
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee you will get the visa, since this is decided by the consular officer at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. While the vast majority of visa applications are approved, federal law sets out many standards under which a visa application may be denied. An application may be denied because the consular officer does not have all of the information required to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive a visa, because the applicant does not qualify for the visa category for which he or she applied, or because the information reviewed indicates the applicant falls within the scope of one of the inadmissibility or ineligibility grounds of the law. An applicant’s current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities, as examples, may make the applicant ineligible for a visa. If denied a visa, in most cases the applicant is notified of the section of law which applies. Please share this information with a UCEDA representative, and we can help you reapply in the future.
After being found ineligible for a visa, you may reapply in the future. Please send us a copy of the reason your visa was denied, and a UCEDA representative can help you prepare to reapply. UCEDA will not charge another admissions application fee, but you should expect to pay a visa application fee again as required by U.S. visa regulations.
After you receive your visa, check to see that you received the right type of visa and that your name and date of birth are correct and match the information in your passport. Next, please send a message to a school representative to confirm your program start date and schedule an orientation session. When you travel, be sure to carry your passport, visa, and Form I-20 with you at all times.
Traveling to the U.S.

If traveling by sea or air, you do not need to request or carry a Form I-94. There is a new automated Form I-94 process. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer will create an electronic automated arrival Form I-94 during the admissions process for nonimmigrants entering the United States at an air or sea port, with information already available in various law enforcement databases. The Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” is evidence of a nonimmigrant’s term of admission and used to document legal status in the United States, including length of stay and departure. For more information regarding the Form I-94 automation, please review the resources below:

Important travel documents include your passport, visa, and Form I-20. After you receive your F-1 visa approval, make at least two sets of copies of your important travel documents: one copy to leave with your family before you depart and one copy to give to your school officials. When you travel, carry your original documents with you at all times. Do not put them in your checked baggage.
Yes! Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, which is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate, is permitted on a visitor (B) visa. Learn more about Visitor Visas. UCEDA offers short, semi-intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) courses that are not categorized as degree-granting or academic certificate programs.
Once you receive your F-1 student visa, you are allowed to enter the United States in F-1 status up to 30 days before your program start date. Learn more about getting to the United States!
Other Questions
No, we do not offer housing. UCEDA International students usually rent apartments or extended stay hotels, or stay with family or friends. For a complete cultural experience, students have the option to live with an American family in what is called a Homestay Program. Please review all available housing opportunities found here.
UCEDA INTERNATIONAL strongly recommends that students obtain health insurance while living in the United States. While UCEDA does not require any specific brand of insurance, please be advised that failure to maintain health insurance can carry significant consequences/risks as medical care in the United States can be extremely expensive. Students who are interested in obtaining health insurance may apply by contacting any of a variety of private insurers. Different plans may vary in the services they cover, the cost of premiums, deductibles and co-payments required, and the length of coverage. Some suggested health insurance providers can be found here.
In order to make tuition rates low for ALL students, UCEDA International does not usually offer school-sponsored scholarships. Please talk to a UCEDA representative about special tuition discounts for groups or for referrals.
Study in the States is a website from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, designed for international students with the latest information they need to stay in compliance with immigration rules. Visit: