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International Student Admissions Process


International Students wanting to attend Iowa Western Community College must apply to the college, send required documentation, receive a (Certificate of Eligibility) Form I-20 and obtain a Student Visa. Details on completing the admissions process are listed below.

Please note: you must complete the admissions process prior to the acceptance deadline for the term you wish to begin.

Term Acceptance Deadline
Fall (August) June 15th
Spring (January) November 1st
Summer (June) April 1st

1. Complete an Application for Admission

Getting started at Iowa Western is easy. Simply complete the Application for Admission, for free, and start working on the next steps.

Apply Online (Enter your name exactly as it appears on your passport)

2. Send Transcripts

Iowa Western requires official transcripts (list of classes with grades), examination results, and completion certificates to be sent directly to Iowa Western from your high school and/or university. Any transcript or documentation issued in a language other than English must be sent with an English translation. When a translation is necessary Iowa Western requests a literal translation, not an interpretation.

  • Mailed documents must arrive from the school in a sealed envelope. Schools may also fax documents to 712.388.6803 or email international@iwcc.edu.
  • Any school documents sent by students must be certified true copies that are authenticated by your school or Ministry of Education and sent by mail.

If you have completed post-secondary course work and would like to receive transfer credit, you must have all transcripts reviewed by either World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).

Send Transcripts
World Education Services
Educational Credential Evaluators

3. Submit Proof of Financial Support

It is important to make payment arrangements early. International students are not eligible to receive federal student aid. As part of the admission process you need to provide proof of financial support. To do so you must complete and mail the Financial Affidavit along with an official, original bank statement that is no more than 6 months old.

Financial Affidavit

4. Pay Express Mail and Document Fee

In order to send you the Form I-20 and other admission documents needed to apply for a Visa, you need to complete the Express Mail and Document Fee Form to pay for shipping and handling. This document may be sent via email, fax or postal mail.

All documents will be sent to students via United Parcel Service (UPS). Please check with Iowa Western regarding restrictions on shipping to P.O. Box and B.P. designations.

Express Mail and Document Fee Form

5. Send Passport

Email, fax or mail a copy of your valid, unexpired Passport.

6. Submit Placement Test Scores
(Proof of English Proficiency)

The language of instruction at Iowa Western is English. Iowa Western offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes that are designed to be taken with other academic classes, as we do not offer an intensive English program.

For admission purposes, students are required to be pursuing a Certificate, Diploma or Associate's Degree, and meet our minimum English requirement. You can meet this English requirement by submitting placement test scores. We accept ACT, SAT, ASSET, and COMPASS scores. Test scores cannot be more than two years old at the start of the term for which you will be accepted. If you have completed math or English courses at another U.S. institution your scores may be waived unless your program requires minimum scores for acceptance.

Remote testing for the COMPASS exam is available in select cities in the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Sweden and Vietnam.

8. Obtain a Visa

International students must complete all above admissions steps before a Form I-20 will be issued. Once you receive your Form I-20 you will need to make an appointment to apply for a Student Visa with an U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The Form I-20 is required before you can apply for an F-1 Visa. A Visa is required to enter the United States.

F-1 and M-1 Student Visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your program of study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States in F-1 or M-1 status earlier than 30 days before your start date.

Applying for a Visa takes a lot of time and preparation. Refer to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you intend to apply, start early, and follow the steps below:

Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

After you have been accepted to a U.S. institution and been issued a Form I-20 you are expected to pay the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 Fee. The U.S. government requires that all prospective students applying for “F”, “M”, or “J” Visas pay this SEVIS Fee. The current fee is $200 and is non-refundable. Visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more.

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160)

You must complete the online Visa application and print the confirmation page to bring to the interview. You will be expected to pay the non-refundable Visa application fee. Some U.S. Embassy and Consulate locations require this fee prior to the Visa interview, others will ask for it after issuance of your Student Visa. The fee depends on different factors such as the Visa type being issued and your nationality.

Gather Required Documentation

All applicants for a Student Visa must provide:

  • A Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility
  • Completed nonimmigrant Visa application (DS-160)
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months after your proposed date of entry
  • Receipt of payment for SEVIS Fee

All applicants should be prepared to provide:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from all institutions attended
  • Scores from any standardized tests taken
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your financial sponsor have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses for no less than one academic year. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements
  • Proof of intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study

Please refer to your U.S. Embassy or Consulate website and the Student Visa guide found at www.travel.state.gov for updated and detail instructions.

Canadian Students

Canadian Students do not need a Student Visa. Once students have completed all admission requirements and obtained a Form I-20 they will present this form to the Port of Authority (Customs & Border Patrol) agent upon first entrance to the U.S. At that time, the Customs Agent will issue an Admission stamp and create an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. Canadian students must have a Form I-20 and Admission stamp whenever they intend to cross the border.

Transfer Students

If you are currently studying in the U.S. on an F-1 Visa you will need to have your SEVIS record transferred to Iowa Western. To do so, you will need to submit a School Transfer Form along with your other admission documents. This form needs to be completed by you and your current International Student Services office.

Along with a copy of a valid passport, you will also be required to submit a copy of a valid Visa, Form I-20 from all previously attended institutions, and I-94.

School Transfer Form

9. Make Travel Arrangements

Once you've obtained your Visa you can make travel arrangements. Before you book your flight contact international@iwcc.edu to get a list of important dates such as Residence Life move-in, orientation and the first date of class.

You should seek Omaha, Nebraska as your final destination. Omaha’s Eppley Airfield is only 15 minutes from Iowa Western. Note that you will need to make arrangements for transportation from the airport. You can contact one of Omaha’s taxi services by calling 402-333-TAXI (8294).

Please be sure to bring any necessities with you on your travels. You will need to bring enough money to last your first week as you may not be able to open a bank account immediately. Also, your first payment towards tuition and housing costs will be due. It is best to bring traveler’s checks or a credit card rather than large amounts of cash.

Please note: Visa regulations prohibit students from arriving more than 30 days in advance of the Program Start Date listed on your Form I-20.