International Students

International Student Admissions

International students wanting to attend Iowa Western 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.

TermAcceptance Deadline
Fall (August)June 15th
Spring (January)November 15th

Per college policy, all transcripts, test scores, correspondence, or other materials submitted in conjunction with an Application for Admission become the permanent property of Iowa Western Community College and will not be returned, copies, or forwarded. Should a student need copies of their transcripts or documents for other purposes they will need to be obtained from the originating institution and/or organization. Please remember to keep copies for your records and Visa appointment.

1. Complete an Application for Admission

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

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

*International students must be 17 years of age or older to qualify for acceptance and receive a Form I-20.

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
  • 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 six months old.

Financial Affidavit

4. Express Mail Through eShipGlobal

International students admitted to Iowa Western must use eShipGlobal to receive their admissions welcome package and Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility). This express mail service will allow you to receive your documents through UPS, FedEx, or DHL in 3-7 days at your expense. You will be charged upon requesting the service. Payment may be made by credit card, PayPal, or wire transfer. Start now by creating an account at

Please note that IWCC will no longer release documents to unauthorized third parties. The Form I-20 may only be released directly to the F-1 student, parent, or legal guardian. Exceptions may apply if U.S. courier services do not operate in your country or if you live in an area that makes deliveries difficult or unsecured. All exceptions will need to be submitted and approved by the Student & Exchange Visitor Program prior to the release of a Form I-20 and admission package.

5. Send Passport

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

6. Proof of English Proficiency

The language of instruction at Iowa Western is English. All students are required to submit proof of English proficiency before beginning classes.

You may choose to meet this English requirement by submitting results from an approved standardized aptitude test. Iowa Western accepts TOEFL, IELTS, SEPT, EIKEN, Duolingo, and Pearson results. 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 your education within the United States, exam requirements may be waived unless your program requires minimum scores for acceptance. Alternatively, students may provide documentation proving that they originate from or have completed education in one of the recognized Waiver Countries. A complete list can be provided by the college.

*For admission to full-time academic studies – see a list of required scores for acceptance in the Academic Proficiency Standards

Waiver Countries

7. Obtain a Visa

International students must complete all the 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 a 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 United States 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 $350 and is non-refundable. Visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more.

Complete the Non-immigrant 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 United States 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 non-immigrant 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 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 and Border Patrol) agent upon first entrance to the United States. 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 United States 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.

8. Make Travel Arrangements

Once you’ve obtained your Visa you can make travel arrangements. Before you book your flight contact 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.