Newly Admitted International Students

Seven International Student

Congratulations on being admitted to Truckee Meadows Community College! We look forward to working with you throughout your academic program.

The information below addresses many of your questions about preparing to come to Reno, Nevada, including how to obtain your F-1 student visa. After receiving your acceptance letter and I-20 from TMCC, follow these steps for an easier arrival in the U.S.

Transfer Students: If you are currently in the U.S. on an F-1 visa, transferring to TMCC from a U.S. school, please follow the instructions in the International Application for Admission.


Visas are issued by U.S. embassies and consulates located outside the United States. Typically, the application process includes a short interview with a consular official to determine the applicant's purpose of travel to the U.S.

You can expect the interview to be in English, so it’s important to be fully prepared. Think about your answers in advance, and focus on the questions asked. Only provide relevant information and be honest.


After you receive your TMCC I-20 and offical acceptance letter, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule a Visa Interview
    To schedule an interview for your F-1 visa:
    • Find your local U.S. embassy/consulate by clicking on the region and selecting the country and city. Note: Canadian citizens are exempt from the U.S. visa requirement but still have to pay the SEVIS fee and obtain an I-20.
    • Follow the "visas" link to find the "Non-Immigrant Visa" application instructions.
    • Complete and submit the free DS-160 Visa Application Form online, with a digital photo. You will then be able to print your confirmation page.
    • Pay the $160 visa application fee (fee subject to change) to the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will go for your F-1 visa interview.
  2. Pay the SEVIS Fee (I-901 Fee)
    Three business days before going to the U.S. embassy or consulate for your F-1 visa interview, you must pay a $350 SEVIS fee (fee subject to change). This is in addition to the visa application fee.
    • Go to the SEVIS I-901 Fee Processing page to pay the SEVIS fee.
    • You will need a copy of your I-20, a credit card, and a printer to make your payment online.
    • Print the SEVIS fee receipt immediately.
    • Keep the SEVIS fee receipt in a safe place. It will be required as part of the F-1 visa application process.
  3. Gather the Necessary Documents in Preparation for Your F-1 Visa Interview
    Document requirements are different in each country, so be sure to check the U.S. embassy/consulate’s requirements where you are applying for your F-1 visa.
    Typical documentation includes:
    • I-20 immigration document issued by TMCC
    • SEVIS fee receipt
    • Visa and processing fee – paid to the U.S. embassy or consulate
    • Passport photos
    • Valid passport – should be valid for 6 months into the future
    • Completed visa application form (DS-160)
    • High school transcripts, in English
    • TOEFL scores (if available)
    • Documents that can prove your reasons to return to your home country or other country outside the U.S., if available.
    • Financial statement(s): originals to show and photocopies to submit. Examples of acceptable financial documents:
      • Bank statements
      • Certificates of deposit
      • Earnings statements
      • Tax records
      • Proof of sponsorship from a corporation or other organization
  4. Be Well-Prepared for Your F-1 Visa Interview
    • Have a clear plan. Describe why, where, and what you plan to study in the U.S.
    • Focus on your intent to study, not on other interests you may have during your time here. You probably look forward to making friends, spending time with family if you have family here, and working while going to school, but those are not your reasons for applying for an F-1 student visa. Stay focused on your studies at TMCC during the interview.
    • Be prepared to show adequate funding for tuition and living expenses. Follow your U.S. embassy/consulate’s guidelines for acceptable financial documentation. For detailed fee information at TMCC, refer to the International Student Expenses.
    • Explain your intent to return to your home country after you complete your studies in the U.S. Make it personal to your situation and avoid generalizations.
    • Only respond to the questions asked by the Consular Officer. Do not provide unnecessary information.
    • Know what a community college education can give you and why you chose a community college over a four-year college. With a community college degree, you are either completing a transfer degree to continue at the university after two years to save costs, completing a two-year specific degree or a one-year certificate program.
    • Be positive. Maintain a good attitude throughout the interview and do not argue with the Consular Officer. In the case of visa denial, ask for the decision in writing and inquire about supporting documentation that can help your F-1 visa reapplication.

After Your F-1 Visa Interview

  • If you are issued an F-1 visa in your passport:
    Congratulations! Contact us immediately to confirm your arrival plans in the U.S.
  • If you are denied the F-1 visa:
    Contact us so we can discuss further steps (e.g., reapplying for the F-1 visa, postponing your start date if necessary, etc.). In most cases of visa denials, TMCC can provide you with a visa support letter. To schedule a new interview appointment, U.S. embassies/consulates generally require the F-1 visa applicant to show new proof of eligibility for the F-1 visa. Students must gather new supporting documentation to bring to the new interview.

Arriving in Reno, Nevada

As soon as you receive your F-1 visa, please let us know so that we can plan for your arrival at TMCC.

  • F-1 students can arrive 30 days prior to the start date indicated on page 1 of their I-20 immigration document.
  • When you enter the U.S., you will need to show the immigration officer the following:
    • Your I-20 immigration document issued by TMCC
    • Your valid passport with a valid F-1 student visa
TMCC’s Admission Policy

New international students who use TMCC’s I-20 to enter the U.S. must:

  • Complete mandatory check-in with TMCC
  • Meet with the International Academic Advisor
  • Complete TMCC placement testing
  • Report in person to TMCC’s orientation session for new international students
  • Register for a full course load (12 credits per term) and attend the first term at TMCC
  • Pay for classes, health insurance while enrolled at TMCC

Reporting to TMCC

After you arrive in Reno, Nevada follow these steps.

  1. Mandatory Check-in
    You must check in with International Admissions (in the Admissions & Records Office, Red Mountain Building, room 319), so we can make copies of your documents. Expect to complete forms with your home country address, as well as your Reno, Nevada mailing address/physical address, your telephone number and your email address.
    Bring the following documents:
    • Passport
    • F-1 visa
    • I-20
    • I-797C Notice of Action/SEVIS fee receipt
    • I-94 printout
  2. Health Insurance Requirement
    F-1 international students are required to pay for their own health insurance every semester. Contact us for more information.
  3. Placement Testing
    Please contact us as soon as you know your Reno, Nevada arrival date so that we can schedule your placement testing.
    • For more information regarding placement testing (ACCUPLACER), visit TMCC's Testing Services.
  4. Academic Advising
    As an international student on an F-1 visa, you will be required to meet with an International Academic Advisor each semester prior to registering for classes.
    Your International Academic Advisor can help you to be successful at TMCC by introducing you to various College resources and programs, and exploring options for transferring to a university after graduation or pursuing employment opportunities through optional practical training (OPT).
    You will receive your MyTMCC username and password during this appointment.
  5. Class Registration and Payment
    Class registration and payment are completed through MyTMCC using your TMCC username and password.
  6. Pay Your Fees
    You can pay your fees using a major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express) or debit card. You will have the option to sign up for a payment plan which divides your tuition fees into three or four equal payments, due on specific dates listed throughout the semester.
    • Questions about payments? Contact the Accounting Services Cashier’s Office.
    • If you need assistance with your username or password and you know your NSHE Student ID number:  Visit the online self-service tools.
    • If you do not know your NSHE Student ID number or would like additional registration assistance: Call the Registration Call Center at 775-673-7111 or visit the Welcome Center (located on the first floor of the Red Mountain Building).
  7. Attend Orientation
    International Student Orientation is a mandatory one-day event where students learn about:
    • College resources
    • F-1 visa regulations
    • Cultural adjustments
    • Health insurance coverage
    • Student organizations

If you have any concerns or questions about these steps or need additional assistance, please contact us.