International Student FAQs

What happens after I submit all documents to Wake Tech?

Once the application and all supporting documents are submitted to satisfaction, Wake Tech will issue an I-20. This document should be taken to the U.S. embassy in your country to apply for a student visa.

How long does it take to receive the I-20?

The processing time is two weeks after your application is complete. However, if your application is completed extremely early, you will receive your I-20 about three-and-a-half months before the required check-in date for the semester.

Once I have the I-20, how do I apply for a student visa?

You will need to contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country and make an appointment. You will have to pay a $200 SEVIS fee and submit other documents. You will also be given a letter from Wake Tech showing that you have been accepted to study.

If I follow all the instructions and have all the proper documents, will I get the visa?

Once all the documents are presented to the embassy or consulate officials, the decision is made whether to grant the visa. There is a chance the visa can be denied. If this happens, you should kindly ask for a denial letter in writing from the official. This will assist in you reapplying for the visa at a later date.

If I am denied the visa, when will I be able to reapply?

You will have to consult with the embassy or consulate in your country.

I received my visa. Now what do I have to do?

Congratulations! Your next step is to arrive in the U.S. and check in with Wake Tech's International Student Office no later than the program start date listed on the first page of your I-20. Once you arrive, you will take any needed placement tests, register for classes and attend a mandatory student orientation.

What are my housing options at Wake Tech?

Wake Tech does not have on-campus housing. Please check the Resources link on the International Students page for information on available housing in the area.

What are my employment options while in the U.S.?

Employment options for F-1 students are very limited:

  • On-campus work-study
    You are allowed to work on-campus for 20 hours or less per week only if a job is available. On-campus jobs are very limited. Prior authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not required.
  • Off-campus employment (Curricular Practical Training/CPT)
    A student can work off-campus part-time only after 12 months of study and if it is required by the program of study. For example, if the Associate in Applied Science in Network Management includes the Work-based Learning course as part of the study, you are allowed to engage in the co-op/internship as dictated by the curriculum. Before engaging in this type of employment, it must be indicated on the I-20 by the coordinator of International Student Services and coordinated through the Career Services on campus.
  • Post completion off-campus employment (Optional Practical Training/OPT)
    Once a student graduates with an associate degree, 12 months of full-time work is permitted off campus but has to be related to the field of study. The international coordinator will assist the student in applying for this type of employment through USCIS. Authorization is required before the student should begin working.

Will I be able to get a driver's license in the U.S.?

The current laws in North Carolina permit students to get a driver's license if they have a valid I-20 and I-94. This means that, if your I-20 is valid for only one year, then your driver's license will expire on the same date as the I-20.

What is a Social Security number, and will I get one?

A Social Security number (SSN) is issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration and is used for filing taxes. Many institutions require an SSN to rent an apartment, get a credit card, etc. F-1 students do not qualify for an SSN unless they are offered a job, and job options are very limited.

Will I be able to open a bank account in the U.S.?

Once you arrive, students are able to open bank accounts at financial institutions in the U.S. Most banks do allow for bank transfers - wiring of funds for a minimal fee. More banking information will be available at the New Student Orientation upon arrival.

Can I return to Wake Tech for a second associate degree after I graduate?

Yes, Wake Tech will issue a second I-20 to study for a second associate degree.