How to apply
We welcome your application as an international F-1 visa student and will make every effort to assist you.
We are a SEVP-certified school and our admission requirements conform to the United States Government regulations for issuing F-1 student visa documents.
Please review each section, below. If you have questions regarding the application materials, please contact International Student Services via e-mail (preferred) at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 602-787-7020.
The deadlines to apply for admission are:
July 1st for the Fall semester (August through December)
November 1st for the Spring semester (January through May)
The deadline to apply means we need the complete application packet no later than the date listed.
F-1 students are not required to attend school during the summer months, but are welcome to take classes toward their degree during the Summer term if they choose.
Important: When you submit your International Student Application, BY MAIL, please include ALL required supporting documentation with the application in the same envelope. We do NOT accept faxed or emailed documents.
Failure to submit your application with ALL documents may cause your application to be delayed or denied.
1. Complete the International Student Application.
2. Submit an official certified diploma or transcripts demonstrating that you have completed the equivalent of high school in the United States. In most countries this is “secondary education” or the last years of schooling before entering university.
All non-English transcripts and records must be translated into English.
3. If English is not your native language, take the TOEFL Exam and request that your score report be sent directly to Paradise Valley Community College (DICode Number 8238). Admission requires a TOEFL score of 500 on the paper-based test, a 61 on the internet-based test, or a 173 on the computer-based test.
This requirement may be waived if your native language is English.
We also accept an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall Band Score of 5.5 or better and a minimum IELTS individual Band Score of 5.0 in each module.
For information on dates and locations of TOEFL exam centers, contact the Educational Testing Center at: http://www.toefl.org
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although PVCC offers ESL (English as a Second Language) courses, we do not have a full ESL program suited for F-1 visa students. To maintain your F-1 status, you must be enrolled in a full-time course of study (12 or more credits) each semester. At this time, we cannot guarantee a full-time ESL schedule and therefore do not offer the program to F-1 students.
PVCC is one of 10 community colleges within the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). Please research the ESL programs at any of our sister colleges shown on this district MAP.
4. Your sponsor must complete the Statement of Financial Support form, as part of the International Student Application. Include financial documentation, such as a bank statement, showing that the sponsor has sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses estimated at $20,350 per year (see estimated expenses on the application for more details). Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.
Please note: the American Embassy or Consulate will require another set of original financial documents.
Students Under 18 Years Old (Minors)
Maricopa Community Colleges recommends that students who are under the age of 18 (minors) have a guardian in the United States. In the event of personal emergency, accident, illness, incarceration, etc., the State of Arizona will require the signature of a guardian before assistance such as hospitalization, legal counsel, etc., can be offered. Maricopa Community Colleges is not permitted to act in the place of a parent or guardian.
The Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) will authorize the completed Form I-20 application. If your application is approved, an I-20 will be mailed to you by the PVCC International Student Admissions office.
In addition to meeting the regular admissions requirements, international students needing a student visa (F-1) must show ability to meet financial obligations of tuition, fees, and living expenses before a Form I-20 and acceptance letter will be issued. Current (less than one year old) letters of financial support must accompany the Financial Affidavit.
The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service requires financial verification for international students requiring, or currently holding, a student visa in order for a U.S. college or university to issue the immigration document, Form I-20. A Form I-20 is used for the purpose of visa issuance outside the United States or for the immigration process "notification transfer" for students already in the United States.
Having sufficient funds for the cost of living and educational expenses is required by U.S. Immigration regulations and is also necessary because there are no scholarships or financial aid available for international students at Paradise Valley Community College. International students on non-immigrant visas are not eligible for state or federally funded loans or scholarships in the United States.
A student attending Paradise Valley Community College on an F-1 visa must enroll in, and complete, a minimum of 12 credit hours every Fall and Spring semester. You are not required to attend during the Summer term, but you may if you wish. You will be classified as a non-resident and must be prepared to pay non-resident tuition, registration and associated course fees each semester. You must also pay for mandatory health insurance provided by Paradise Valley Community College.
Please note: the Maricopa Community Colleges’ Governing Board reserves the right to change tuition and fee charges and may occur without notice.
The following represents a break-down of the cost of attendance for an international student on an annual basis. These numbers are important as they are reflective of the financial documentation needed for verification of financial support.
2019-2020 Estimated Program Costs for Undergraduate Admissions
Tuition and fees
Other (Textbooks & Health insurance)
NOTE: Students on an F-1 student visa are NOT eligible for in-state tuition.
You must be prepared to pay a semester's tuition and fees in-full at registration. The figures under Cost of Attendance represent the minimal costs of living in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
There are a variety of ways to pay for the tuition, fees, and medical insurance each semester. Other expenses, including textbooks, will normally be paid for at the time of purchase.
Please note: All of the figures are subject to change without notice.
Paradise Valley Community College does not evaluate any foreign transcripts. It is not required to have your foreign transcript evaluated when you submit your application to PVCC, however, you may want to have it evaluated if you wish to do either of the following:
- To prove that you have already taken prerequisite courses.
- To use your credits from a foreign institution towards your degree from PVCC.
*There is no guarantee the foreign classes will transfer in to our school.
If you choose to have your transcript officially evaluated, please review the List of International Transcript Evaluators used by many colleges and universities across Arizona. If you plan to transfer to a university, be sure to ask which evaluators they accept from our list.
After transcripts have been evaluated, please have the evaluation sent directly to:
Paradise Valley Community College
Attn: International Student Admissions
18401 N. 32nd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85032
F-1 non-immigrant students who have been allowed to enter the United States agree to maintain their non-immigrant status by following strict guidelines.
Students are encouraged to read Maintaining Your Status on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) webpage, as you are responsible for knowing and understanding this information.
Also, when you arrive and check-in at PVCC, you will be asked to read and sign the Understanding How to Maintain Your F-1 Student Visa Statusdocument. You will be required to read the document, initial each line beside each statement, and sign your name indicating that you understand what is written and agree to comply with each statement. This form will be completed and collected by your Advisor/Designated School Official (DSO) and kept in your official school file.
Failure to follow the F-1 guidelines may lead to forfeiture of your F-1 visa status and your required immediate departure from the United States.
Canadian Citizens do NOT need an F-1 visa to study in the United States.
You DO need to obtain a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility from the college that you plan to attend. At the time you receive the I-20 you will be registered with SEVIS, the U.S. student tracking system. You will be assigned a SEVIS number, and be required to pay a registration fee.
When you cross the border to study you will need to provide the Officer at the port of entry:
- Proof of identity and citizenship (a Canadian passport for example)
- The original I-20 certificate
- Your letter of acceptance from the school you have applied to
- Proof that you have paid your SEVIS fee
- Proof that you have the funds to pay for the school that you plan to attend
- Proof of your ties to Canada
Students applying for initial-entry F-1 visas may now be issued those visas up to 120 days before their academic program start date (as compared to 90 days under previous regulations). Students or exchange visitors, however, will NOT be admitted to the U.S. more than 30 days before the start of their study or program by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The information provided above was retrieved from the U.S. Embassy website. The web link is listed below for further review and the most up-to-date information.
For information about the application process and paying your SEVIS fee, please review the Admission Process & Requirements information on this page.
Although Canadian students do not need a visa to enter the United States, you must be sure to complete the I-94 record process (your Arrival/Departure Form) with the U.S. immigration official at your point of entry to the United States. If you enter the U.S. by land, you should be issued an I-94 paper card. If you enter by air your I-94 record will be entered into the on-line system. You will need to print out your I-94 record upon your arrival to the U.S. as evidence of your legal status. In both cases you may be charged a small fee (it is currently under $10) to process the I-94 record.
U.S. immigration inspectors are accustomed to admitting Canadian citizens as visitors, but may not be as familiar with admitting full-time students. Please keep in mind, it is your responsibility to make sure you are granted the correct immigration status when you are entering the U.S.
For more information regarding I-94's, please go the following U.S. Customs & Border Protection website: