International Students FAQ | Knox Theological Seminary

International Students FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. May I come to Knox as an international student?
Yes. This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

Knox is authorized to host international (F‐1) students at our campus in Fort Lauderdale.  This applies to both Master‐level students who are studying full‐time in the country and to Doctoral‐level students who will study in week‐long increments.

Doctor of Ministry students may study in the United States, provided they enter the country only for the week‐long session(s) that they will be studying.  Because of various complexities associated with the DMin schedule, Knox does not offer I‐20 documents to Doctor of Ministry students who want to live in the United States while they study.

2. How long may I stay?
You may stay in the United States for the entire duration of your program (Master level) or for the duration of the session for which you are registered (Doctoral level).

Students holding an F‐1 visa may enter the country up to 30 days prior to the start of the courses. There is also a 60‐day grace period from the date of the last course completed, in which you may leave the country.  We strongly discourage Doctor of Ministry students (who visit for only weeks at a time) from using these grace periods, but they are there if needed.

3. What kind of paperwork is required?

Master Level
In addition to regular admissions documents, students applying to a Master‐level program that will be completed in the United States must complete and submit the following document to Knox: Statement of Financial Resources (Master).  This document must be submitted with any affidavits of support and/or supporting bank statements.

Master‐level students must submit these documents along with regular documents for admission, and your application will not be considered by the Admissions Committee until ALL paperwork (including financial documentation) is received.  An I‐20 will be issued only after your file is fully complete, you have been accepted to Knox, and you are able to demonstrate adequate financial support to cover estimated yearly expenses.

Doctoral Level
Students applying for the Doctor of Ministry program must first go through the full application process, be accepted to the Seminary, and register for at least one course.  Once you have registered for a course, please submit the following document to Knox: Statement of Financial Resources (Doctor).  Knox will then issue you an I‐20 document for the dates of your course(s), which you will in turn take to the United States Embassy in your country, in order to apply for an F‐1 visa.  Once you receive the F‐1 visa, you may then travel to the United States for the dates listed on your I‐20.

Doctor of Ministry students must receive a new I‐20 every time they enter the country for a course or block of courses.  The Embassy in your country may be willing to issue an F‐1 visa that will cover a year or more, but you must still leave the United States at the end of every session and receive a new I‐20 before re‐entering for another session.  The longer visa would only ensure that you would not need to travel to the Embassy each time, but it would not replace the need for a separate I‐20 for each trip to the United States.  The decision to issue an F‐1 visa for a longer period of time is solely at the discretion of the Embassy in your country.

4. What does it cost to enter as an international student?

Estimated in‐country expenses

Estimated yearly expenses for a Master‐level student living in the United States are $40,610.  You will need to show through bank statements or through a combination of affidavits and bank statements that you have this much available to you for the first year, and this much promised support for every subsequent year of study.  There is an additional estimated $16,680 per year for a spouse and $3000 per year per child.

Estimated living expenses for a Doctoral‐level student are $700 per week.  If you plan on paying your tuition in person, you will also need to bring in enough money to cover that expense.  There is an additional estimated cost of $220 per week per additional dependent who travels with you.

Visa and entrance fees

Both Master‐level and Doctoral‐level students must pay the required visa fees directly to the Embassy.  See State Department Travel Website ‐ Fees for more information on fees.

In addition, every student entering the country must pay an I‐901 fee upon every entrance with a new I‐20.  This fee is currently $350 and must be paid by visiting the following link: I‐901 Fee and entering the student number provided on your I‐20 document.  You cannot pay this fee without first being issued an I‐20 from Knox.

For more information about applying for an F‐1 visa, please visit: State Department Travel Website ‐ General Information.

5. How far in advance do I need to submit my documentation?
For Master‐level students, you must submit all of your admissions documents, including all of the financial paperwork, at least three months prior to the date that you would like to begin classes.

This provides adequate time for us to consider your application for acceptance, provide you with an I‐20 and then for you to obtain an F‐1 visa and make the proper travel arrangements.

For Doctoral‐level students, please register for a course and submit the financial paperwork to us at least one month prior to the start of your first course in Fort Lauderdale.

6. I live overseas and would like to study by distance education. Do I need to apply for a visa?
No.  Unless you are entering the United States, you do not need an I‐20 and will not need to apply for an F‐1 visa.
7. I live in Canada. Do I need an F‐1 visa to study at Knox?

Yes.  Canadian citizens must request an I‐20 after acceptance from Knox in order to enter the United States, whether by car or by plane.  The Canadian citizen receives their F‐1 visa at the border and does not need to make a special trip to the Embassy to apply for an F‐1.

8. What is required of me once I am in the country?

You must report to the school on the start date of your first course and make your presence known to the International Student Coordinator at Knox.  You will then be registered in SEVIS (the governmental system regulating international students) and your status will be changed to active. You must also make the International Student Coordinator aware of any changes in address, program dates, or other information relevant to your stay in the United States.  It is the student’s responsibility to communicate any irregularities or concerns with Knox.

Master‐level students living in the United States on an F‐1 visa must maintain a full course load of at least 9 credit hours. The student is able to take up to one course online each semester. Doctoral‐level students are expected to attend all sessions of the course for which they are registered.

9. May I work while I’m studying?

F‐1 students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus.  However, we are not able to guarantee any part‐time work for international students, so part‐time income should not be a factor in calculating financial support while in the United States. Off-campus work while studying in the states is not permitted.

10. What about certificate students?
We are not authorized to offer an I‐20 document to a student accepted into the certificate program.  We only offer I‐20 documents to those enrolled in degree programs.

Still have questions? Contact us!

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