Testing, Placement, and Registration
Students will be tested for English and Mathematics prior to registering for classes. Students presenting official transcripts in sealed envelopes from other colleges that indicate a passing grade of C or above in college-level composition and/or Mathematics will be exempt from taking the placement test. If English is not your first language you must take the ESL placement test. The test is administered in the Test Center at the Pemberton Campus (Room 428, Parker Building) or Mt. Laurel Campus (Tec Building, Room 219). It is advisable that students take the math test early, so they will be able to register for a wider range of courses that have math prerequisites.
Most international students need some developmental ESL courses. We have a three-level comprehensive ESL program. Your test results with place you either in or out of the ESL program. You may be able to take both ESL and some major courses concurrently depending on your English language proficiency. We do not use TOEFL score for placement. Students must accept placement results from ESL testing. Students who place in ESL Levels I or II will be restricted to taking only ESL courses until they reach Level III.
New ESL students and all visa-related matters must be referred to the International Office.
Students who have completed the ESL program or who test out of ESL are to be advised on academic issues must also contact the International Program Specialist.
Please set up an appointment with the International Office in Pemberton or in Mt. Laurel by phone at 609 894-9311 or 856 222-9311; Ext. 1350 or e-mail at email@example.com.
Current Students- B1/B2 and F2 Status
VISITOR VISAS (B1/B2)
Anyone who holds a visitor visa is only allowed, by USCIS regulations, to take 1 ESL course per semester. They are not entitled to study any further than ESL.
If you are interested, please complete the BCC Application for Admission and contact the International Program Specialist for testing and registration.
F-2 VISA HOLDERS
An F-2 dependent is prohibited by U.S. law from pursuing a course of study before obtaining a change of status to F-1 student [8 CFR 248.1 (c)(3 and 214.2(f)(15)(iii) ].
A course of study is considered to be a focused program of classes, such as a full-time course load leading to a degree or certification. Casual, short-term classes that are not the primary purpose of the visitors presence in the United State, such as a single English language class would not constitute a course of study [INS Field Memorandum, April 12, 2002].
Non-immigrants are legally responsible for complying with the laws that govern his or her stay in the United States. This information is provided to help non-immigrants maintain lawful status in the U.S. Please make an appointment to learn more information on your status and your options.
Arrival Procedures for Students
ARRIVAL PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS
When F-1 Academic Students enter the United States they are to pursue a full course of study at Burlington County College.
ADVANCE PREPERATION PRIOR TO ENTRY (CBP.gov)
Careful planning and preparation by students and exchange visitors can ensure that the delay based established procedure is minimal. If you are a non-immigrant student or exchange visitor, here are some things you should do:
- Before leaving your country, confirm that your passport and nonimmigrant visa are still valid for entry into the United States. The passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay.
- Check to see that your visa accurately reflects your correct visa classification.
- If the visa states the name of the institution you will attend or identifies the exchange program in which you are participating, verify that this information is accurate as well. If your review indicates any discrepancies or potential problems, visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain a new visa.
- Students and exchange visitors entering the United States for the first time under their respective nonimmigrant visa classification may only be admitted up to 30-days prior to the program start date.
- When you receive your U.S. nonimmigrant visa at the Embassy or Consulate in your country, the consular officer will seal your immigration documents in an envelope and attach it to your passport. You should not open this envelope! The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the U.S. portof-entry will open the envelope.
- When you travel, you should carry some specific documents on your person. Do not check them in your baggage! If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will not be able to show the documents to the Customs and Border Protection Officer and, as a result, may not be able to enter the United States.
Documents you should carry on your person:
- Passport (including attached envelope of immigration documents) with nonimmigrant visa;
- SEVIS Form I-20AB;
- Visa exempt nationals presenting a SEVIS Form I-20AB, I-20MN or DS-2019 issued on or after September 1, 2004, who are entering the United States for the first time should have a Form I-797, Receipt Notice or Internet Receipt verifying SEVIS Fee payment. For additional SEVP/SEVIS Program Information, refer to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website at http://www.ice.gov/graphics/sevis/students/index.htm
- Evidence of financial resources. In addition, it is recommended that you also carry the following documents:
- Evidence of Student/Exchange Visitor status (recent tuition receipts, transcripts);
- Name and contact information for Designated School Official (DSO) at your intended school or program;
- Writing instrument (pen).
If you are traveling by aircraft, the flight attendants on board will distribute CF-6059 Customs Declaration Forms and Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record for immigration, before you land at your initial point-of-entry in the U.S. Complete these forms while you are on the aircraft and submit them to the appropriate Customs and Border Protection Officer upon your arrival. If you do not understand a form, ask the flight attendant for assistance.
Upon arrival at the port-of- entry, proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers for inspection. As you approach the inspection station, ensure that you have: passport, SEVIS Form I-20; completed Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record; and, CF-6059 Customs Declaration Form available for presentation to the CBP Officer. The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will reside (not the address of the school or program sponsor).
If you are entering through a land or designated seaport, the Customs and Border Protection Officer will provide the necessary CF-6059, Customs Declaration Form and Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record at the port-of-entry. If you do not understand a form, ask the CBP Officer for assistance.
Like all entering visitors, you will be asked to state the reason you wish to enter the United States. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school where you will enroll/participate.
If you are authorized optional practical training, this should be reflected on page 3 of your SEVIS Form.
Once your inspection is complete, the inspecting officer will:
- Stamp your SEVIS Form for duration of status (D/S) for F and J visa holders;
- Stamp your SEVIS Form for 30-days beyond program end date for M visa holders, not to exceed one-year;
- Stamp the Form I-94 and staple it in the passport;
- Return the SEVIS Form.
SECONDARY INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS
If the inspector cannot automatically verify your information or you do not have all of the required documentation, you may be escorted to an interview area know as secondary inspection. Secondary inspection allows inspectors to conduct additional research in order to verify information. Verifications are done apart from the primary inspection lines so that an individual case will not cause delays for other arriving passengers.
It is recommended that you have readily available the name and phone number of the foreign student advisor at your school in case your admission/participation needs to be verified.
Failure to provide proper documentation and to comply with entry/exit procedures is cause to refuse the student or exchange visitor admission into the United States. In limited circumstances, if a student or exchange visitor is mostly, but not fully in compliance, he/she may be issued a Form I-515A, Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor. This form authorizes temporary admission for 30 days into the United States and requires the student or exchange visitor to take immediate action to submit proper documentation. Noncompliance with the directions contained on these forms can result in future adverse action.
Continuing students who are going to travel outside of the United States must see their foreign student advisor and obtain an endorsement from the DSO. The endorsement will be made on page 3 of the SEVIS Form I-20. When returning to the United States, a continuing student must present a valid SEVIS Form I-20 with the DSO signature showing that the student is active and in good standing with the school or program.
ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION
International travelers who are seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are now subject to enhanced security requirements. All eligible travelers who wish to travel under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization using the following process: Electronic System for Travel Authorization Web Site. The tool is easy to use, free of charge and available in 16 languages
Travel and Re-Entry
Students traveling within the United States should carry:
- Valid I-20 form
- Passport with I-94 card
- Student ID card and/or Drivers License
Students leaving the US must have DSO signatures from Carmen Ghiran on page three of their I-20 form.
If you plan to travel outside of the United States with a valid visa:
- Make an appointment with the International Program Specialist to ensure that all paperwork is endorsed and updated
- Register for the upcoming semester
- Carry with you at all times: I-20, Passport, School contact information, registration form and a copy of your transcript
There are many travel warnings for international students. Don't travel out of the country if:
- Your visa has expired
- You dont have a visa for the country you want to visit and they require one from citizens of your country
- You are in the process of changing your status
- You have changed your status (but dont have a new visa)
- Your I-20 is in terminated or completed status
- You are in the process of reinstatement
- Page three of your I-20 is not signed by a Designated School Official
- You are at or near the end of your program or OPT
Renewing Your F-1 Visa
Things to Remember When Applying to Renew an F-1 Visa
All visa applicants are now required to appear for an interview at the American embassy or consulate. Before you apply, you should understand the process and rules governing the issuing of a U.S. visa. Please read the following information very carefully and contact us if you need more information or help.
Since September 11, there have been many changes to Immigration and State Department rules and procedures. In many cases, it can now take weeks or months to get a US visa because of additional security procedures. Therefore, it is not advisable that students leave the United States during the Winter or Spring breaks if they must get a new visa to re-enter the US.
By law, all applicants for non-immigrant visas, such as visitor or student visas, are seen as potential immigrants; that is, someone who plans to remain in the U.S. permanently. Student visas are only given to persons who can convince the visa officer that they intend to return permanently to their home country. Therefore, you must be ready to convince the visa officer that you will return home permanently after you complete your studies.
Employment for F-1 Students
Employment opportunities for International Students are very limited. You must be able to show support for your entire program of study without working. Employment opportunities for F-1 students is limited to the following
- ON-CAMPUS (tutoring, office work, etc): There are a few opportunities for on campus employment (tutoring, office work, etc): No documents are necessary except a social security card. In order to obtain a social security card, an F-1 student has to receive a letter from an employer with a job offer and a letter from the International Program Specialist to be able to apply for a Social Security Number at a local Social Security Office. (See more information below)
- CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING: off campus, part time (less than 20 hrs per week) for less than one year in a co-op or internship related to your studies. You must have had F-1 status for one year to qualify. The College has a co-op internship program to allow F-1 students to obtain some limited employment;
- OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING: one year, full-time after completion of studies in a job related to your major. You can only use this opportunity after the successful completion of each academic level (i.e. associates, bachelors, etc.)
- ECONOMIC HARDSHIP: temporary employment may be granted by USCIS. This can be part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer. You must have had F-1 status for one year to qualify. This employment authorization is only for the most serious emergency situations and is not easily obtained.
Social Security Numbers
As of October 13, 2004 international students cannot be issued a Social Security card without an offer of lawful employment (Ref: XXIII below). International students do NOT need Social Security numbers to obtain a drivers license, to open a bank account or even to rent an apartment. The International Office may assist you by providing necessary documentation required to obtain any of the above services.
Students applying for on-campus jobs and do not report to work will jeopardize the chances of other international students for gaining lawful employment on campus. We are required to report these students to the Social Security office.
International students do NOT need a Social Security number to obtain a drivers license, to open a bank account or even to rent an apartment. We can assist you by providing you with the documentation you need to help you get what you want. You can get all the necessary letters from the International Program Specialist by calling 609 894-9311 or 856 222-9311, ext. 1350 and/or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health insurance is required by law for all F-1 visa students. Burlington County College provides a very basic policy for emergency medical insurance for about $85.00 per academic year. This policy covers a few routine medical exams, please read the brochure for more information regarding coverage. To review brochure click here.
DO I NEED HEALTH INSURANCE?
The New Jersey State Legislature mandates that all full-time students (enrolled in 12 or more credits) be covered by hospital medical insurance.
The College has obtained a group policy that provides coverage for the period September 1 to August 31. All students with an F-1 visa must purchase the health insurance every year they register and attend Burlington County College.
General Transfer Information
TRANSFERRING INTO FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES
- Grades are important indicators of a students progress. Good grades will make it easier for a student to be accepted at other colleges and universities in the US and around the world. It will also enable the student to qualify for scholarships or grants.
- The GPA or grade point average is one measure of a students academic competence. The higher the GPA, the better chance for a student to advance and to receive scholarship money.
- Remedial courses such as ESL do not count for or against your GPA.
- If you fail a course, you may repeat it the following semester. The higher grade will be calculated into your GPA even though the F grade will appear on your transcript.
TRANSFER CANCELS OPT
- PLEASE NOTE: Students taking advantage of the OPT benefit will terminate their OPT immediately when their SEVIS record (I-20) is transferred to another school. Please keep this in mind when you make your transfer plans.
To visit the Transfer Services website, Click Here.
Transfer-In Information for F-1 Students
We are happy that you want to continue your U.S. education with Burlington County College! This information is provided to help you maintain your F-1 student status after you have been accepted at Burlington County College.
The Department of Homeland Security requires that F-1 students complete a school transfer when beginning studies at a new school.
** WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO BEFORE YOU COME TO CAMPUS! **
- Notify your international student advisor at your current school of your intention to transfer to Burlington County College.
- Schedule a release date with the International Program Specialist for your F-1 record to be transferred to Burlington County College. Your Burlington County College Form I-20 cannot be issued until after this release date has been reached.
IMPORTANT: If you are completing (or have completed) your program of study or Optional Practical Training, you only have a 60 day period following this completion to have your F-1 record transferred to us. Your F-1 student status ends 60 days after you complete your program of study or OPT!
- Complete the attached F-1 Transfer-In Information and submit it to this office as soon as possible.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
AFTER YOU ARRIVE ON CAMPUS
- Attend Orientation. It is required that you do so.
- Report to International Office immediately to select your classes!
Bring the following original documents with you:
- Passport identification pages
- F-1 and all other U.S. visas
- Form I-94 Departure record
- Our Form I-20 (if it was sent to you to travel)
- I-20s from all other schools you have attended in the U.S.
IMPORTANT: You will not be allowed to register for classes until you have been cleared by International Office! We will not clear you without all the documents indicated above.
- Return to International Office to pick up your new Burlington County College Form I-20 as instructed at Orientation.
- Protect your legal documents. Make photocopies of them. Never destroy any I-20s. Keep them in a safe place.