Admission steps for those who are not currently in the US seeking an F-1 Student Visa

Students coming to Durham Tech on new F-1 student visas must take as many classes as possible that are hybrid or in the classroom. Since not all departments are offering classes in a hybrid or in-person format for the fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters, please contact to learn if the program you wish to study will allow you to come to Durham Tech on a new F-1 visa for an upcoming term.

Please feel free to email the International Student Advisors with any questions regarding your F-1 status and beyond, and we will do our best to support you via email or virtual meetings. You can also schedule a virtual appointment with Amelia Tokarsky, advisor (times in US eastern time zone) at

Students or applicants who need to submit documentation to International Student Services should do this via the secure Electronic Document Submission Process (to Center for the Global Learner ONLY), via mail to International Student Services/Center for the Global Learner at Durham Tech (1637 E. Lawson St, Durham, NC 27703) or they can be submitted in person during office hours (Durham Tech main campus, Building #1, Room 148). Email with questions.

Durham Tech can only issue I-20s for students who apply to a qualifying program for F-1 students. Students must demonstrate adequate evidence of English competency by meeting the minimum scores required on our free, online English placement test.

Note: Durham Tech is not currently authorized to issue I-20s for English language study only.

Once all required documents are received, an I-20 (student visa document needed to apply for an F-1 student visa) will be issued within 2 to 4 weeks.

Deadlines for receipt of all materials:

Start Term Deadline Date
Fall (August) April 1
Spring (January) October 1


F-1 Student Checklist Applying from Out of the US

admissions step 1Choose an F-1 eligible program. Note: Certificate programs are NOT eligible for F-1 visa sponsorship at Durham Tech. You must choose a diploma or degree program from the F-1  eligible programs list.

admissions step 2Complete an online Durham Tech Enrollment Application. Please enter your name exactly as the name on your passport to avoid admissions process delays.

Please follow these step-by-step instructions to fill out the application and RDS screens (PDF)

If you attended high school out of the US, follow these instructions (pdf) to complete the educational section of the application.

When you complete the Residency Determination Service (required as part of the enrollment application), respond "NO" to the first question of “Do you claim to be a North Carolina resident?”.  F-1 international students cannot qualify as NC residents.

admissions step 3After your application is processed you will receive an email with your Durham Tech ID number. When you receive it, you can continue with the next steps. While you are waiting, please prepare the documents listed below.  If you do not receive this email 14 business days after submitting your application, feel free to contact for your ID number.

admissions step 4Proof of completion of high school (or the equivalent)

  • Official high school degree/diploma/national test scores or official college/university degree or diploma. For many countries, a high school or college transcript does not have the information required. Contact us if you are unsure what document to provide. Any documents that are not in English, must be accompanied by an official English Translation.

  • If you have completed college or university courses outside of the US, you must obtain an official evaluation to receive any transfer credit for past courses.

admissions step 5Complete the F-1 Student Application-Supplemental form. The form can be filled out on the computer and then printed it out/saved and submitted electronically to the Center for the Global Learner.

admissions step 6Evidence of financial support

  • Financial documents (bank statement or letter from bank dated within 3 months of submission). For the first year, $23,000 USD or the equivalent is required, plus a funding plan for the length of your program. All funds should be shown in US dollars or a currency equivalency must be submitted. For each F-2 dependent $5,000 is required. The bank account must be a personal account and not a business account.

  • If the funding is not in your bank account, you must submit sponsorship documents — a formal letter (if the sponsor is out of the US) or Affidavit of Support (if the sponsor is in the US) from the sponsor(s) along with the financial documents.

admissions step 7Copy of current passport information page (biographical page) 
Note: Submit a copy of the passport information page for each dependent that is applying for F-2 status.

admissions step 8Signed Responsibilities of F-1 Students Under SEVIS form

  • Print out form, read carefully, and sign (or sign with an official electronic signature)

admissions step 9 Set up your Durham Tech accounts. After you have received an email indicating you have been admitted to Durham Tech, follow the instructions to “Activate Your Account” and “Accessing ConnectMail (pdf)

admissions step-10 (If you submitted an application on or after July 1, 2022) Pay the International Student Application Fee. Log in to Self-Service and pay the $50 non-refundable international application fee. Submit a receipt of payment. (If you do not see the fee, contact

admissions step 11 Meet the minimum required score on our free online English placement test. All students applying from outside the US are required to take this test, unless they meet one of the exceptions listed below. To sign up for this test, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Placement Testing web page.

  • Read the information and proceed to the Signup Form by selecting the green button.

  • Fill out the information and check “Accuplacer ESL” for the placement test.

    • Choose a date and start time for Accuplacer ESL. Note the dates and times are in US Eastern Time (the same time zone as New York). Use the Time Zone Converter to make sure you know the correct date and time for your location.
    • Students will be emailed a confirmation for their chosen appointment.
    • Note: Test dates are only listed one or two weeks in advance. Visit the web page at another time for future dates.
  • After completing the English placement test, students will be referred to an English Instructor to discuss their placement scores.

admissions step 12 After meeting with the English instructor or if you are waived from taking the English test (see below), email to let us know you completed all the above steps.

Test exceptions: US Bachelor’s Degree, sufficient SAT or ACT scores, or a transcript of US College-level English classes.

    Admission to the college does not constitute admission to certain programs. Some programs have additional requirements and may have competitive admissions requirements.

    Send all documents listed above to the Center for the Global Learner via the secure Electronic Document Submission Process, submit in person, by mail/post in one package or dropped off to the office in person. Do not send by email.

    International Student Services
    Durham Tech, White 1-148 
    1637 East Lawson Street, Durham, NC, USA

    Questions? Contact ISS Staff: Heidi White, Director

    Next steps after receiving the I-20 and admission packet

    Pay the SEVIS fee

    • Visit to pay the SEVIS I-901 by credit or debit card. Western Union is also an option and may be required for students from certain countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, and Cameroon). Read instructions on the website carefully.

    • To pay the fee you will need the following information from your I-20

      • SEVIS number (number on front of I-20 that starts with an N)

      • Durham Tech’s school code on I-20 page 1, under School information, school code and approval date. (The school code begins with ATL etc.)

    • Print a copy of the receipt after making the payment. This receipt will be shown as proof of payment to the visa-issuing officer at the US Embassy or Consulate.

    Research information on the Consulate/Embassy where you will apply for your visa

    • You may need to make an appointment. Pay attention to the visa fee and the form of payment accepted. Visa processing times can vary. Make sure you allow enough time to get the visa in order to enter the US prior and attend the mandatory orientation.

    • These links may be helpful in preparing for your interview:

    Suggested items to bring to interview for visa application 

    • Current valid passport

    • I-20 documents signed by school official and printed and signed by student

    • SEVIS I-901 receipt of payment

    • Acceptance letter from Durham Tech

    • Any other documentation listed on the Consulate/Embassy’s website such: visa application, photos, visa fee payment or proof of payment, proof of ties to home country, etc.

    Complete a ConnectSession and register for classes. (optional)

    • In order to be able to register for the individual classes for your first semester at Durham Tech, we recommend first completing the online general orientation (PDF). Let us know if you have trouble accessing it (especially from abroad). Once you complete it, also complete the orientation assessment so that you will be able to register for your classes when the time comes. Registration for the spring semester starts in November (Classes begin in January). Registration for the fall semester begins in April (Classes begin in August).

      If you are unable to obtain your visa in time to come to the US, email about dropping your classes for a full refund before they begin and to inquire about deferring your enrollment to a future semester.

    Next steps after receiving your F-1 Visa stamp

    Research and book your flight to the US (if you haven’t already)

    • You must arrive in time to take mandatory placement test, and attend the mandatory international student orientation. You can arrive in the US 30 days prior to the I-20 start date. See the date listed under “Earliest Admission Date” on your I-20.

    Mandatory international student orientation date:

    Term Date of Orientation
    Fall 2023 Wednesday, August 9, 2023
    Spring 2024 Wednesday, January 3, 2024

    Please let the International Student Services staff at Durham Tech know if you received your visa stamp or if you have any issues with your visa process. If you will be unable to arrive at Durham Tech for the mandatory orientation, you may need a new I-20 for a later start date.

    • Review Health Insurance Options.

    • Durham Tech does not provide airport pick up, transportation or housing for students. Please utilize your local contacts to assist you in housing and transportation issues. Feel free to consult the resources web page for information that may be helpful to you about the Durham area.

    • You must check-in with the International Student Services at Durham Tech for a document check within 1 week after your arrival to Durham Tech or at the scheduled mandatory international student orientation session (whichever is first). Bring all immigration documents with you to the meeting or orientation.

    • Attend the mandatory F-1 orientation session where you will learn all about Durham Tech and know the next steps before you begin classes. The next steps may include:

      • Additional Placement Testing

      • Meeting with an Advisor about which courses you should take in your first semester. Your visa requires that you enroll in 12 credits. If you choose to take any online courses, you can only take one course per semester.

      • Creating a class schedule and actually registering/enrolling in your courses

      • Paying for your courses the same day you register or submitting non-profit sponsorship information the same day you register

      • Getting your student identification (ID) card, parking pass, or bus pass

      • Purchasing your books for courses

    • Attend your classes. Pay attention to the attendance policy on the syllabus for each of your classes. The policies may be different for each class. Durham Tech policy is that teachers can withdraw students for lack of attendance. If you are dropped from a class (or drop a class yourself) which makes you enrolled for less than 12 credits, then you will immediately become out of F-1 visa status and you may have to depart the US. This has happened to students in the past. View more information about student withdrawals, faculty withdrawals, and class absences.


    Questions? Contact ISS Staff: Heidi White, Director