Attend Colorado Mountain College as an International Student
CMC offers international students a unique learning opportunity in the heart of the Rocky Mountains
Our mountain communities have become home to many people from around the world and Colorado Mountain College is a wonderful institution for international students to earn their education. The CMC admissions team is here to help international students explore their potential at our college.
F-1 international student admission is offered to CMC campus locations in:
Before you apply, carefully note the following:
The deadlines to submit an international application including all documents are: May 1 for the Fall semester (beginning late August), October 1 for Spring semester (beginning mid January). There is no summer semester start term offered for international students.
Ability to Receive an F-1 Student Visa
Your ability to study at CMC is dependent upon the opportunity to receive an F-1 Student Visa in time for the start of the semester varies by location. Please check your country’s consulate to learn more about your chances of being granted a visa by the start of the semester. Additionally, you will need to study a program that is offered fully or mostly in-person and full-time. Check this list of Eligible Programs by Campus .
Proof of English Language Proficiency
If English is not your native language, you must show English competency through one of the following. TOEFL: 500 or higher on the written exam, 61 or higher on the Internet based exam. IELTS: 6.5 or higher with no band below a 6. Duolingo: 90 or higher. English proficiency exam exemptions: Passing the coursework of an English Language School in the USA, pass the English as a Second Language course at CMC, having attended Secondary School at a fully English speaking school for at least 1 year, previous coursework at a U.S. college, SAT English score of 470 or higher or ACT English score of 18 or higher.
CMC does not offer an intensive English language program.
Students must show that financing is available through self-pay and/or a sponsor for one full year with a full cost of attendance at approximately $35,262.
CMC does not provide other financial assistance to international students. Students with F-1 visas are not allowed to be employed in the United States off-campus to meet their financial obligations. You may be allowed to work on-campus, but there is no guarantee that employment is available for you. You may also apply for a CMC Scholarship by March 1 but funding is limited and may at best be $1000. You can learn more about the importance of financing and find resources at U.S. Department of Homeland Security / Study in the States.
You must have a valid passport to apply as an international student at CMC. Remember, when applying for a visa that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after you intend to stay in the United States. If you do not have a passport or your passport is expiring, you should contact your country’s Embassy or Consulate.
All international college level credits that you wish to transfer in to CMC must be evaluated with a “Catalog Match” from Educational Perspectives at edperspective.org.
Are you currently studying at another college in the United States with an F-1 visa and looking to transfer? Learn about F-1 Transfer Eligibility in the Transfer F-1 International Student Process section.
After determining that you are ready to apply as an international student to CMC, please complete the following:
- Submit the Online Application and indicate that you are seeking an F1 student visa.
- After completing the CMC application, you must log back in to your application portal to provide the necessary additional documentation that will be listed.
- Check your email often.
- Contact the Admissions Department with questions, to determine English proficiency and to ensure you have submitted all information required:
Are you currently studying at another college in the United States with an F-1 visa and looking to transfer?
F-1 Transfer Eligibility:
- Student must be maintaining legal F-1 status
- Must notify current school of intention to transfer within 60 days of program completion or end of OPT
- New program start date must be within 5 months of the current program end date
Transferring to CMC Process:
- You must first complete a CMC Application with the required supplemental forms. Once you have been admitted, you should complete the Transfer In Form that will be provided for you by CMC.
- Once the transfer release date is reached and upon the receipt of all required materials, CMC will issue your new I-20. We cannot issue your I-20 until the transfer release date in SEVIS.
- You must check in with your CMC International Advisor prior to the start of classes.
Important Guidance for the Summer Between Programs
- When transferring from one U.S. institution to another, you are eligible to remain in the U.S. in the summer between two programs.
- You may travel outside the U.S. during the transfer pending period. If your current F-1 visa (unless Canadian) is still valid, you can use it to re-enter the U.S. prior to the start of your new program using the I-20 from your new school.
- If you are on OPT from a previous degree program, selecting a SEVIS Transfer Release date during the approved OPT period will end any remaining OPT work authorization. You may wish to choose a release date that is after your OPT end date, unless you are terminating employment early.
Once you have applied to CMC and been accepted, you will be contacted by your campus’s Designated School Official (DSO) with the next steps. After you have acquired your F-1 student visa, you will be able to prepare for being a student at CMC!
Students entering the United States for the first time will be issued a Form I-20 after they have been admitted to CMC.
Remember, you must show proof of finances for at least 12 months prior to being issued a Form I-20. International students pay the "out-of-state" tuition rate. Please see Tuition and Costs. However, you must prove that you have resources to live in the U.S. for 12 months (details are on the application).
+ After receiving your Form I-20:
- Review the form to ensure all of the information on the document is correct then sign on the bottom of page 1.
- Pay the SEVIS Fee: All new students coming to the United States in F-1 status must pay a one-time SEVIS fee prior to obtaining their visa. You must do so before you attend your visa interview. You can learn more about how to pay the SEVIS fee.
+ When to Apply
You must apply for your visa well in advance of your arrival, as it can in some instances take several weeks and occasionally longer, to obtain the F-1 student visa.
The U.S. Department of State has instructed U.S. consulates that they may issue an F-1 visa no more than 120 days in advance of the program start date. However, an application for an F-1 visa can be submitted more than 120 days in advance of the I-20 start date in order to accommodate long processing times but the visa validity will never be before the 120 day mark. Check the website of the consulate where you will apply for a visa for detailed instructions.
Before you apply you must have:
- Form I-20
- SEVIS Fee Receipt
The first step in applying for a U.S. visa is the online application DS-160.
Access the DS-160 application at the Consular Electronic Application Center.
Watch an overview of the online application process.
The next step in applying for a U.S. visa is making an appointment at your closest U.S. embassy or consulate. The earliest you can interview for your visa is 120 days before your start date. It is generally recommended that you apply for a visa in your home country rather than a third country if possible.
At this appointment you will need to present the following documents:
- Your I-20 form
- The SEVIS fee receipt (I-901)
- Your DS-160 confirmation page
- A copy of your financial support documents
- A valid passport
- Passport-size photographs (that you uploaded in the DS-160 application)
- Completed required visa application forms (available on the U.S. consular websites.)
Check the website of the U.S. consulate/embassy where you are applying to see if there are other requirements.
An application fee and an interview will also be required. There have been (and continue to be) changes in the visa application process and these changes are usually reflected on the consular websites.
- Find the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy
- Find the visa appointment wait times at your local consulate
Steps to Obtaining a Visa
Once you have your visa document(s) from CMC, you can take steps to apply for the appropriate visa at a U.S. consulate overseas. As a rule, you should plan on applying for a visa in your country of citizenship or country of legal permanent residence. The time it takes to get a visa appointment, and exact visa application procedures, will vary from consulate to consulate, so consult the web site of your consulate for more information. Planning ahead is also extremely important, as visa processes can take a few days to several months, depending on individual circumstances.
- Check your visa document from CMC (Form I-20)to make sure the information on it is correct. Contact Admissions if you have any questions or notice any errors on your form.
- Pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee at least three days before your visa appointment
- $350 for F-1 students (F-2 dependents do not pay the fee)
- Make your visa appointment at a US consulate in your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence
- When making your appointment, you may need to complete the Form DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application and pay the DS-160 fee (currently U.S. $160)
- Prepare your visa application materials, including:
- Your passport, which should be valid at least six months into the future
- Your visa document (Form I-20)
- U.S. passport photos
- Your I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt (F and J visa applicants only)
- Financial documents, such as your scholarship letter(s), or bank statements.
- Your CMC admission letter
- Passports and proof of family relationship for any dependent family members coming with you to the U.S.
- Follow instructions provided by the US consulate regarding the visa approval process, timelines, and pick-up instructions
- Plan your arrival to the US
- Note: F-1 students coming to start new programs can enter the US only 30 days before the start date printed on their Form I-20
Now that you have been admitted to CMC and acquired your F-1 student visa. It’s time to prepare for being a student at CMC!
Log into Basecamp
Find your email titled “Access Your CMC Student Account” from your campus enrollment services specialist to access your student portal. Be sure to check your personal email and your student email through Basecamp regularly.
Having a place to live is an important part of your student experience at CMC. While it can be very difficult and expensive to find housing in our mountain communities, we have wonderful on-campus student housing at three of our campuses, Leadville, Spring Valley-Glenwood Springs, and Steamboat Springs. If you are under 21 and attending one of these three campuses, you will be required to live in CMC Student Housing which offers a supportive community, student activities, a cafeteria and easy access to your classes!
If you are attending a different campus, or are over the age of 21 and planning to live off campus, we suggest working early to secure housing.
You can learn more about housing options at our different campus locations at these websites:
Seek Advising and Register for Orientation
Contact your campus enrollment services specialist to set up a time for advising and class registration. If you are unsure who your campus enrollment services specialist is, you can find a Campus Contact. Register for New Student Orientation.
Plan your travel
Students typically fly to Denver International Airport and find transportation from there. Depending on your campus, it can take at a minimum 1.5-3 hours to travel from Denver International Airport to campus. You can learn more about transportation services from the airport. It is a good idea to ask your campus enrollment services specialist or DSO for local advice on transportation to campus.
Prepare to arrive at customs
IMPORTANT: if arriving in the U.S. by air, do not pack your immigration documents in your checked luggage; have them ready in your carry-on bag so that you have access to them when going through U.S. Customs.
Documents to have ready upon arrival:
- Your passport, which should be valid for the duration of your program, or no less than six months into the future.
- Your visa document from CMC (Form I-20)
- A valid U.S. visa (exception: Canadian citizens do not require visas)
- Supporting documents such as
- Your I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
- Your admission letter
- Financial documents, such as your bank statements, or scholarship letters
- Other evidence that shows your purpose for coming to the U.S.
Upon arrival at the airport, be prepared to answer questions about your reasons for coming to the U.S. - such as to study - and the expected length of your stay in the U.S. For more information about the arrival process, go to the CBP web site for international arrivals.
Your I-94 Record
Once a CBP officer approves your entry into the U.S., the officer may stamp your passport indicating your status and the date of entry. Because the passport entry stamp is not required, it is not a problem if you do not receive one. However, the officer must also update your electronic I-94 admission record to show the date you entered the U.S., the status you were given (F-1) and the date your expiration status. This electronic record is your proof of legal admission into the U.S. in the appropriate student status.
You should check your I-94 after entering the U.S., by going to the CBP's I-94 lookup site. It is important that you view your I-94 information every time you return from a trip from outside the U.S. Mistakes sometimes happen and errors need to corrected as quickly as possible. Contact Admissions if you have any questions about your I-94.
Arrivals at a Land Border Crossing: If you are arriving in the U.S. at a land border crossing along the Canadian or Mexican border, you will need to complete a paper I-94 card when going through immigration inspection and clearance.
Arrive at Campus
The first thing you will want to do is check in with your Designated School Official (DSO)! Once you have verified your arrival at campus, your DSO will direct to the right people to get you settled in, attend orientation and set up for success.
+ Begin your program!
This is what you have worked so hard for and when you get to begin to make your educational goals at CMC a reality!
You will find very helpful information and tips for F1 International Students available through Study in the States.
Many international visa types permit individuals to study in the United States while present, however, there may be limitations. It is your responsibility to be sure that studying at CMC complies with your visa terms knowing that should you take college classes or earn a degree when not permitted, that you may jeopardize your legal status in the United States. Please research this carefully.
When applying, you may apply as a Non-Resident and indicate that you are “Planning to attend using my current U.S. visa that is not F1.”