International Student Services
Indian River State College (IRSC) is home to international students from all around the world with students from Europe, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean. IRSC is an equal access, equal opportunity educational institution welcoming students of any race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or genetic information.
A public post‑secondary institution, Indian River State College offers comprehensive programs leading to Bachelor’s degrees, Associate in Science degrees, and Associate in Arts degrees for our international student population. The College provides services and opportunities that promote positive educational experiences to meet the unique educational, cultural and social goals of the international student.
Designated IRSC advisors work exclusively with international students to ensure that students smoothly and successfully navigate from enrollment to graduation.
F-1 Visa Student Enrollment
International students should use these recommended deadline dates as a guideline for filing their admissions paperwork with IRSC:
- May 15: to begin classes in Fall semester (August)
- October 15: to begin classes in Spring semester (January)
- March 1: to begin classes in Summer A semester (May)
- April 1: to begin classes in Summer B semester (June)
International students seeking admission to IRSC must complete the online application for admission, and pay the $30.00 USD application fee as the first step in the admissions process.
Secondary/High School: Successful completion of a secondary high school program is required for admission. Students who have graduated from a foreign high school must have their foreign credentials evaluated by a current NACES member and provide IRSC Student Records Office with an evaluation. The evaluation must state that the student has completed a secondary education that is the equivalent of a standard US High School Diploma. * If the student has completed two years of a foreign (non-native) language in High School, they should request a course by course evaluation.
Post-secondary: Submission of a foreign post-secondary transcripts is optional. Students who have attended a postsecondary educational institution outside the United States and wish to transfer their coursework must have their foreign academic credentials evaluated by a current NACES member organization and provide IRSC Student Records Office with a course by course evaluation from each institution attended. The student is responsible for evaluation fees, and there is no guarantee that any coursework will transfer to IRSC.
All original documents must be mailed to Indian River State College International Student Services, 3209 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34981, USA.
International students who are transferring from a school within the United States must complete the top portion of the International Student Transfer Release Form, located in the International Student Admission Packet. The international student advisor at your present school must complete the bottom portion and forward it to Indian River State College.
Indian River State College is required by United States federal regulations to verify the financial resources of each applicant prior to issuing the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20). Applicants must provide financial documents verifying the ability to pay their living and educational expenses while attending IRSC. The applicant must complete the Affidavit of Financial Support form and submit valid supporting financial documents certifying sufficient funds are available to cover expenses for the first year at Indian River State College. The affidavit forms must be signed by the applicant and sponsor. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-134 may be used in lieu of this document.
Documents must be original, dated less than six months from the date of intended enrollment and issued by a financial institution verifying the minimum amount of $17,000 for Associate Degree programs or $20,000 for Bachelor Degree programs. All funds must be in U. S. dollars.
All original documents must be mailed to:
Indian River State College
International Student Services
3209 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, FL 34981, USA.
F-1 Visa Student Tuition
F-1 Visa students are not eligible for Florida resident tuition fees regardless of time living in the United States. The non-Florida resident tuition fees apply throughout the entire time as an F-1 Visa student.
Florida Linkage Institutes Out-of-State Tuition Exemption
The Linkage Institutes were created by the Florida Legislature to assist in the development of stronger economic and social ties between Florida and strategic foreign countries. International students who are citizens of one of the countries or regions eligible for exemption—Brazil, Canada, The Caribbean, People's Republic of China, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico and West Africa—may be eligible for an out-of-state tuition exemption.
To apply for the out-of-state tuition exemption, a student must contact the Linkage Institute Director for his/her country of origin. Each institute set criteria for the selection of students. A very important condition that students need to meet is that they are required to return home after graduation.
For more information, search “Florida linkage institutes” online and contact the Linkage Institute Director for your country of origin.
Federal financial aid is not available to international students. An international student must finance his or her tuition, books, lab fees and living expenses. Payment of tuition and lab fees is required at registration for each semester. Students should be familiar with the regulations of their government about sending money to them in the United States and should make arrangements to have the necessary funds available at the appropriate times.
International student scholarships to study in the United States are quite limited and highly competitive. Students are encouraged to search online for “International Education Financial Aid” for possible scholarships and or financial aid. In several countries, cooperative and thrift societies are viable sources of loans for international students. You should contact the nearest educational advising center/consulate in your country for information about local sources of support. There may also be private organizations, businesses, foundations, and religious groups that may provide support for study in the United States.
Read, complete and sign the Health Insurance Compliance Form located in the International Student Admissions Packet.
Once steps one through five are complete, fill out the International Student Admission Checklist. Mail all required documents, along with the checklist to Indian River State College, International Student Office, 3209 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34981, USA. Contact the office at 1-772-462-7784 with any questions.
IRSC Acceptance Process
Once you have been accepted by the College, you must secure important documentation to gain student status and entry into the United States. Acceptance to Indian River State College does not guarantee you will be granted a student visa by the U.S. Embassy in your country; nor does it guarantee you will be granted a change of status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
I-20 Certificate of Eligibility
Once your documents have been reviewed and approved, you will be issued the I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility), a three-page document issued by the school through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). It includes specific information such as program beginning and end dates and tracking numbers.
F-1, F-3, J-1, M-1 or M-3 visa applicants are required to pay a one-time fee of $200 to the Department of Homeland Security before you can be issued student visa status to study in the United States. The fee is valid from the time you are issued the status until the time you change status, fall out of status or leave the United States for more than five (5) months. The fee can be paid online or by mail using Form I-901. Make sure you keep copies of all transactions and print a copy of the online receipt.
The I-20 is issued for two years. (NOTE: The third page of the I-20 includes the travel signature, which is valid for only one year. The signatory is an IRSC counselor/advisor or other designated school official. It is your responsibility to check to make sure the signature is still valid. If the signature has expired, you will not be able to travel or be allowed re-entry into the United States.
Do not let your I-20 expire. If you need an extension of the I-20, contact the IRSC International Student Services Office in a timely manner before the expiration date. If your I-20 expires, you will be out of the F-1 student status. It is your responsibility to check the I-20 form. You may be given an extension on the I-20 dates if needed as long as you are continuously enrolled.
F-1 Student Visa
After receipt of the I-20 form, make an appointment with the embassy in your country to obtain the F-1 Student Visa. This visa reflects the status given to you to enter the U.S. temporarily for the sole purpose of study.
If your F-1 Student Visa expires while you are in the United States, you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are in valid F-1 student status; you should update the visa the next time you travel to your home country.
I-94 Card (Arrival/Departure Record)
The I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, in either paper or electronic format, is issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. This documents your legal status, your initial entry date and port of entry. It should note F-1 and D/S (Duration of Status). This document is your permit to stay in the United States and should be kept in your passport.
A document issued by a national government which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. You must possess a passport that is valid at all times. Plan to renew your passport at least six months prior to the expiration date at your country's Consulate in the United States or in your country.
Upon approval of F-1 Student Visa and arrival to the U.S., report to the International Student Services Office located in the W-Building, Main Campus, with your updated I-20, I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) and passport. You will not be cleared to register until we receive these documents.
Students may present SAT® or ACT® scores or register for the P.E.R.T. college placement test. P.E.R.T. is an untimed computer adaptive test which provides information about reading comprehension, English, and mathematics skills. These tests help to determine the most appropriate courses for each student.
The onboarding process at IRSC begins with student orientation. International students should plan to attend International Student Orientation in addition to the mandatory New Student Orientation.
International Student Orientation
International Student Orientation is an excellent way to get acquainted with fellow students and the IRSC Campus. Orientation will familiarize you with College policies and procedures as well as Immigration policies and procedures with regard to your F-1 Student Visa, admissions process, scholarships, registration, testing, various degree programs and other useful information. You should attend an orientation session scheduled at the beginning of each semester. You will be registered for an orientation session the first time you meet with your counselor/advisor.
New Student Orientation
International Students must also attend New Student Orientation. This onboarding program is designed to familiarize students with all of the available College resources.
Degree-seeking students are assigned an advisor once all their transcripts and supporting documents are received. During your first term at IRSC, your assigned advisor will help you develop a Guided Pathway/Academic Plan—a customized road map of all courses required for your degree or certificate program—that will be utilized for course selection throughout your enrollment with IRSC.
International students must register with a full-time course of study (minimum of 12 credits) for each Fall and Spring semester, as defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). International students must continue to pursue and maintain a full course of study throughout the entire time under an F-1 student status. Students who are not enrolled full-time will be immediately reported to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This will impact your continuing eligibility for a student visa and continued enrollment.
International students who withdraw from class, fail to maintain full-time status or otherwise terminate or interrupt their course of study without first obtaining approval, will be considered out of status. Immigration allows withdrawals only under specific reasons. If you need to withdraw below the required hours, contact International Student Services.
For international students, only three credit hours of distance learning (online) courses may count towards the fulfillment of your full-time enrollment requirement for each semester.
F-1 Student Employment
Students with active F-1 status may be eligible for employment.
As long as you are in active F-1 status, you are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters. You may work additional hours if you wish during vacation periods and academic breaks.
Working off-campus requires special authorization and is available only in certain situations. You must be in F-1 status for at least one academic year. You will be out of status if you work without authorization.
A Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued to United States Citizens, permanent residents and temporary (working) residents. Only those who have authorized employment are eligible for a Social Security Number. You do not need a Social Security Number to open a bank account, rent an apartment, open a utility account, set up a cell phone account or receive a driver license.
F-1 Students and Taxes
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) divides aliens into residents and non-residents for tax purposes. These rules are different than USCIS rules governing immigration status. Generally speaking, aliens who are in the United States for more than 183 days in any three-year period are considered resident aliens for tax purposes and are taxed in the same way as U.S. residents. To find information about U.S. income taxes for nonimmigrant students, visit the IRS website.
Living in the United States will be very exciting for you. Finding the right place to live will enhance your experience.
The River Hammock student residence complex is located on the IRSC Main Campus. The River Hammock is open only to students enrolled at IRSC. Limited space is available, and students need to apply in advance of their enrollment period.
Apartments feature a central living area, dining room and kitchen. Four individual bedrooms with two full baths assure your privacy and an environment conducive to studying. A complete kitchen appliance package, central heat and air conditioning, telephone and cable TV outlets are a few of the many amenities.
If you are interested in living on campus, contact Student Housing at 1-772-462-7246 to fill out an application. Due to space, on-campus housing is limited to only athletic and fine arts recruits only.
Many students prefer the independence of living off campus. You should exercise care in selecting the right apartment or house. When choosing an apartment, consider its cost, proximity to campus and safety.
Websites to cities in the four-county area:
Driver License and Transportation
You must have a valid Florida Driver license to drive. Go online to make an appointment and get information on the documents required to obtain a Driver License or Identification Card.
IRSC partners with South Florida Commuter Services, a program of the Florida Department of Transportation, to provide transportation options for students through the Commuter Connector.
F-1 International Student Club
The International F-1 Student Club brings together a diverse group of students who are enrolled at IRSC under an F-1 student visa, as well as native students. Students meet, interact and learn from each other and share multicultural experiences. The club enhances and encourages a comprehensive and global perspective on campus.
Additionally, IRSC is home to an international student club, Spanish club, German club, Haitian club, Asian cultural club and more.
Throughout the year, Indian River State College offers many enriching programs about history and cultural diversity. These include International Week, held each November, and an evening of music, food and dancing held annually during Hispanic Heritage month. Events on topics such as black history, women's history, Asian/Pacific American heritage, and more round out the calendar.
The Office of International Student Services is located in Building W, on Main Campus in Fort Pierce.