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Welcome to Florida Gateway College! If you have completed all of the steps for admission, you are ready to prepare for your arrival to the U.S. and FGC. See below for helpful information and next steps for enrollment. Federal rules and regulations are subject to change. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure compliance.

Steps After Admittance

Obtain a Visa

You will need a visa to enter and study in the U.S.  Once Florida Gateway College has received all admission requirements, we will issue you a SEVIS Form I-20.

The Form I-20 and Acceptance Letter will be mailed to you at the address listed on your application. This form is your confirmation that you have been accepted to our institution for a specific program and period of time.

The embassy or consulate will require the Form I-20 when you apply for an F-1 student visa. However, receipt of the Form I-20 from Florida Gateway College does not guarantee you will receive an F-1 visa.

All international students applying for an F-1 visa will be required to pay a SEVIS fee. For more information regarding this fee and the payment process, please see the Steps to Apply for a Visa section below.

If you are already in the United States, you can send the Form I-20 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with a request for change of nonimmigrant status.  For more information, please see the Change of Status Information section below.

Steps to Apply for a Visa
  1. Find out how to obtain an F-1 student visa by visiting the U.S. Department of State.
  2. Review the Form I-20 (this form is also known as the “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant, F-1, Student”.
    • Check your name, date of birth, and all other personal information for accuracy. If there are any errors, let us know immediately.
    • Sign and date the form.
  3. Make an appointment at your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please note the embassy experiences high traffic around the holidays.  (Note: Citizens of Canada and Bermuda can enter the U.S. with an I-20 form and do not need to apply for an F-1 visa.)
  4. Pay the SEVIS fee. Foreign citizens applying to become students must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. This fee may be paid by a parent or sponsor.  Print a copy of the receipt for your records and a second copy to bring to the visa interview.
  5. Complete the DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
  6. Attend your appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Make sure that you have the following items ready to take with you:
    • I-20 signed and dated
    • Florida Gateway College acceptance letter
    • A valid passport (valid for at least six months beyond your arrival date)
    • Financial Support documentation
    • Any proof that you are planning to return to your country after you complete your studies
Change of Status Information

Individuals currently in the United States with a non-immigrant visa status other than “F-1 Student” may be eligible to apply for a “Change of Status” from within the U.S. and start courses at Florida Gateway College.  Required documents will vary depending on your current status.  General instructions can be found on the USCIS I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status website.

Note: change of status requests can take several months to process by USCIS.  Applicants must maintain status while waiting for the change of status to be processed.  


It is the student’s responsibility to make housing arrangements upon acceptance to the college.

Florida Gateway College offers a limited amount of Residence Life rooms. Please click here to obtain more information regarding Residence Life at FGC. Students are responsible for housing during times when the Residence Life Hall is not open for occupancy.

Florida Gateway College is a beautiful campus located approximately five (5) miles outside of the city limits of Lake City in north-central Florida. Students may choose to obtain off-campus housing. Students residing off-campus will also need to secure transportation.

For more information about Lake City, please visit the websites below:

Travel and Arrival Information

There are many important things you will need to prepare for your trip to the U.S. As with any international travel, you will need a passport. Make sure your passport is up-to-date before leaving home. (It is required to be valid six months after the first day of classes for the term you are attending; suggested one year.)

You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date indicated on your I-20 form. You are encouraged to come as early as possible to complete all of your enrollment steps and to become familiar with the area.

Students are responsible for transportation to/from the airport/port of entry. Additionally, students staying in the Residence Life Hall are responsible for obtaining housing and transportation prior to the established move-in date.

Immigration Inspection upon Arrival

If you are arriving by flight, you will be provided the CF-6059 Customs Declaration form. If you do not understand the form, ask a flight attendant for assistance.

It is important to notify the Customs and Border Protection Officer that you are attending school as an F-1 student. Once your inspection is complete, the officer will stamp your I-20 form for the duration of status (D/S). Your entry record, called the I-94, will be electronically recorded and is available to be accessed online. Keep the I-94 with your passport, Form I-20, and F1 visa at all times. It is imperative you have these documents with you at all times and be prepared to present them to officials if and when asked. Copies of all these documents must be made by the Designated School Official at Florida Gateway College upon arrival.

If your admission to the U.S. must be verified at the port of entry, be sure to have the name and telephone number of the FGC Designated School Official on hand.

All nonimmigrant visa holders must go through the US-VISIT registration. A scan will be made of two index fingerprints and a digital photograph. Some individuals may be asked to provide additional information under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System. Follow all instructions given by the Customs and Border Protection Officer.

Going through customs can add up to an hour or more to your arrival time, so be prepared. After you go through customs, you will be required to pass through another security and baggage checkpoint.

Steps to Enroll

Below is a list of enrollment steps you will need to complete before attending classes.

Meet with Designated School Official (Check-In)

International students should arrive in the U.S. by the suggested date on your acceptance letter. Once you have arrived, make an appointment to visit the Designated School Official (DSO) in Enrollment Services. Bring copies of all of your immigration documents and proof of health insurance to this meeting. You will complete the remainder of your enrollment process with the assistance of the DSO. This includes placement testing, academic advising, course registration, and fee payment. Each semester, the DSO and academic advisor will work together to assist you with your enrollment.

Schedule Placement Testing

All students are required to take the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) for placement prior to registration for classes at Florida Gateway College. Learn more about the Test Center.

NOTE:  Students who do not place into college-level classes on the PERT test will be required to take developmental courses which will not apply towards the degree and may lengthen the time required to complete your program.

Meet with an Advisor/Attend Orientation

New students are required to participate in an orientation session which includes information about college services and academic advising. During your advising meeting, your advisor will help you choose the classes needed for your program of study.

Important notes:

  • International students must complete a paper registration form. This form must be provided to the Designated School Official in Enrollment Services; the DSO will register you for classes.
  • International students must be registered for 12 or more credit hours each term.
  • International students are not permitted to take more than one (1) online or hybrid course per semester.
  • Change of degree requests must be approved by the DSO prior to processing.
Information about Health Insurance

International students on an F-1 visa are required to provide proof of health insurance for the duration of their studies at Florida Gateway College. Insurance must meet the following requirements:

  • Must include (but is not limited to) illness, accidental injury, repatriation, and medical evacuation.
  • Coverage must remain in effect for the duration of the student’s stay in the U.S.

Insurance coverage must be purchased and proof of insurance must be provided to the Designated School Official in Enrollment Services before the student will be allowed to register for classes. The cost of insurance is not included in the amount listed on the Certificate of Financial Responsibility.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees must be paid in full by the posted fee deadline. Florida Gateway College accepts cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and PayPal accounts. All funds must be in U.S. currency. Tuition and fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Students on an F-1 visa are NOT eligible for Florida in-state tuition rates.

We’re Here to Help

For all questions you may have about the application and enrollment process, get in touch with us.