Western Seminary is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien
Students at all of its campuses and in all degree programs.
After reading this material, if you feel we can meet your spiritual needs in theological training,
and if you are not a U.S. citizen, please fill out the Pre-Application Form and send it to us. This
will begin the application process. If you are a U.S. citizen, then pre-application information
is not relevant. Instead, notify us and we will guide you through the procedures for you to follow.
Your answers on the Pre-Application
Form will help us determine if you currently possess the qualifications
necessary to enter this seminary. If so, we will then guide you through the regular application
process. Please read the information describing the qualifications for entrance before sending any
information to us.
If you want to be considered for a scholarship, you must submit the regular Application
for Admission, the $50.00 Application Fee, and other necessary application materials by April 1,
prior to your first semester of enrollment. The decision for scholarships will be made by May 1.
International student applicants are expected to meet the
same admission standards as other applicants. A four-year, postsecondary, baccalaureate
degree or its full educational equivalent, with above-average marks, is
required. International student applicants must state, in detail, why
he or she believes it is necessary to enroll at Western Seminary instead of completing
theological and ministerial studies in his or her own country. The
chosen degree program at Western should be compatible with his or her
vocational and ministry objectives. International students are required to
continue working toward a degree as a full-time student at all times. They
are not permitted to enroll as non-degree students.
- Download and complete a Pre-Application
Form. This brief form requests personal information, church relationship, academic
record, financial information, conversion experience, call to ministry, degree
program of interest and immigration status. Any questions or hindrances to
admittance will be discussed upon receipt of the Pre-Application. When pre-admission
standards are met, you will be encouraged to submit a formal application for admission with a
$50 application. Should you have any questions or difficulty with downloading
this Pre-Application, feel free to contact Ryan Hollister at email@example.com.
- Upon receiving a formal application, follow the process described,
including sending a $50 application fee, statement of Christian
experience, and personal references (forms provided). Official
transcripts are required from all institutions attended following
secondary school. To be official by U.S. standards, the transcript
must be sent directly from the college or university to the
Admissions Office of Western Seminary.
- Present proof of English language proficiency.
- Present proof of financial support.
- Official admission is not granted until a complete review of all
required documents is conducted by the Admissions Office.
- All international applications must be postmarked no later than
April 1 for the upcoming fall semester. Completed materials
must be received no later than June 1 in order to allow time for
visa processing. Those applying for scholarship assistance should
submit all application materials early, so that they arrive no later
than April 1. International students are highly encouraged to
submit applications for entry in the fall semester. Some programs,
such as the Doctor of Missiology, require fall admission.
The last step in the process is the issuing of the Certificate of Eligibility
for F-1 Student Status (Form I-20), which is essential when requesting a visa. This cannot
be done until all materials are received, including proof of mastery of English
and proof of
Once a student has demonstrated that they have the required funds to pursue their educational
goals, the next step is that we create their I-20 and SEVIS record. SEVIS (Student and Exchange
Visitor Information System) is administered by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US ICE)
under the Department of Homeland Security. Your I-20 serves as the paper record of your information
in the SEVIS database. We will mail the signed copy of the I-20 along with a packet of important
information that will help you obtain your visa. The I-20 is a very important document that you
should keep in a safe place.
You will also be required to pay a SEVIS fee before you can get your visa. If you would like
more information on SEVIS and the I-20 as well paying the SEVIS fee, please
visit the International Student and Exchange Visitor Program's
Once you have received your I-20, signed it, and paid your SEVIS fee, you
are now ready to schedule your visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate
in your country. Each
embassy may have different ways in which these appointments are scheduled
ao you will need to check the website of the embassy in your country. General information
about student visas, including required documentation needed and the current
visa costs, can be found on the US
State Department website.
In addition to the required documents outlined at the above site, it is highly recommended that
you also have with you:
letter of admission from Western Seminary
- Financial Guarantee Form with original copies of supporting financial documentation
- Transcripts from previous study
- TOEFL scores or Proof of English Proficiency
Proof of returning to your home country: Before granting a visa, the official may ask for proof
that you will not remain in the U.S. after your studies. You need clear proof of this, since
you will need to convince him that you will return home following the completion of your studies
at Western Seminary. Several things may be helpful for you to prove this:
A visa might not be granted if it is suspected that you will
remain in the US. Documents,
letters, contracts, etc. proving all of the above will be helpful. The more proof you give,
the easier it will be to have a visa granted.
- If you own property, then provide written proof.
- If you have family members remaining in your country, tell them so.
- If you have NO relatives in the U.S., then tell them. It may help your case.
- If you can present a letter from an employer, indicating that you have study leave, that
- If you can supply a letter from a church, saying they expect you to join them in their church
work upon completion of your program, get a letter from them.
Once you have your visa in hand, you can make your flight arrangements. US regulation allows
students to arrive no earlier than 30 days before the start of their program.
Upon arrival, you will fill out the Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) and present this along
with your passport/visa and I-20 form to the Border Patrol Officer. You should also have all
the documents that you took with you to the visa interview should the Border Patrol Officer wish
to see them.
Please note that having a visa does not guarantee admission into the US. It guarantees
that you can arrive at the border and seek permission to enter. The Border Patrol official
has the authority to approve or deny entry. Therefore it is very important that you have
all of your documents on hand and that you are prepared to answer questions should they ask. If
you are admitted, the Border Patrol official will determine the length of your visit on the I-94.
The I-94 indicates your authorization to stay in the US so it is very important that you keep it
in your passport until you leave the US.
A special consideration is made for citizens of Canada. The process for Canadian citizens
is the same as all other international students except that they are not required to obtain an F1
visa from the US embassy or Consulate or pay the visa fee. The Canadian student will bring
to the border crossing their Form I-20, receipt of SEVIS payment, and supporting documents. If
granted admission, the Border Patrol Office will stamp an F1 entry in their passport.