Gaston College is approved to issue I-20 forms for international students who are interested in studying in our associate degree programs, including university transfer Associate in Science or Associate in Arts degrees. These programs prepare students to enter most four-year colleges and universities at the junior level to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Admission Requirements

Admissions Requirements:

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Applying for admissions outside of the United States:

If you reside outside of the United States and want to attend Gaston College as a full-time student, you will need an I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa. All admissions requirements must be submitted by the posted deadline. The admissions process includes:

  • Completed application:
  • Completed International Student Application
  • Submit official high school transcript showing graduation date and credits earned (If transcript is not in English, it must be translated and evaluated by an approved outside agency.)
  • Evidence of English competency – TOEFL (iBT only) or IELTS, if applicable.
  • Affidavit of Financial Support
  • Placement Testing* *This test will be scheduled upon your arrival.

For information on bringing dependents to the U.S., returning to continue studies, renewing your visa, or details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the U.S. Department of State website, at: For students who will be entering the United States for the first time to study, the following information will be helpful.

  1. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy
  2. Schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa
  3. Complete required visa forms
  4. Pay the visa application Fee
  5. Pay the SEVIS fee
  6. What to bring to your visa interview

1. Contact your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy to ask about how to get an F-1 international student visa. A list of Consulates and Embassies can be found at:

2. After you receive an I-20 form from Gaston College, follow the U.S. Embassy/Consulate’s instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 student visa
. It is important to apply for your student visa as far in advance as possible. Many consulates recommend that appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.

3. Complete the following forms*:

  • DS-160 Online Non-immigrant Visa Application


  • DS-156 Non-immigrant Visa Application Form
  • DS-158 Contact Information and Work History for Non-immigrant Visa Applicant
  • If a male between the ages of 16 and 45, DS-157 Supplemental Non-immigrant Visa Application

*Check the requirements of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country as some require only the   DS-160 and others require the DS-156,157 and 158. Visa Forms

4. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local U.S. embassy or consulate’s website.

5. Pay the SEVIS fee. To Pay Online

  • Find the Form I-901 at
  • Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. *Be sure to write your name exactly how it appears on your I-20 form.
  • Print a copy of the online receipt.
  • Be sure to make copies of your receipt and keep it with your other important immigration documents.

You must bring the receipt of fee payment with you to the interview. If you have lost the receipt, the Visa Officer may be able to view your payment history in his or her database. If you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

6. Prepare and bring to your visa interview the following:

  • A passport valid for at least six months
  • Form I-20 (sign the form under Item 11)
  • School admission letter
  • Completed visa applications (DS-160 or DS-156, DS-158, and, if applicable, DS-157
  • Two 2”x2” photographs in the prescribed format
  • A receipt for the visa application fee
  • You must print a copy of your receipt.  It is advisable to print more than one copy.  A receipt will not be mailed to you.  If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview.
  • Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study. (The total amount shown in the financials section on your I-20)
  • Any information that proves that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.

You may be refused entry into the United States if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the program start date listed of your SEVIS I-20 form.

Applying for admission as a Transfer Student

Transfers: If you are currently in the United States studying at an institution with a current I-20, you need to transfer your I-20 to study as a full-time student with Gaston College. All admissions requirements must be submitted by the posted deadline.

The admissions process includes:

*Placement Testing will be schedule during your initial advising session.