Application deadlines:

  • July 1 for the Fall semester (August to December)
  • November 15 for the Spring semester (January to May)


1. Submit an online international student admissions application.

New Applicant  Returning Applicant

For more information please visit the San Mateo Community College District International Education website.

2. Submit the following supporting documents:
  • $50 Admissions Application Fee:  Payment is accepted online through the application.
  • Financial documents showing funds of at least $32,000 to cover the first year of expenses.
  • Proof of English proficiency: Minimum requirements include TOEFL:  56 internet-based (iBt); IELTS: 5.5; Pearson: 42; EIKEN Test, Grade 2A; Duolingo 85; or completion at a partner Intensive English School.
  • Academic transcripts from all high schools and colleges/universities attended with English translations.
  • Copy of your valid passport.

Applicants will upload all supporting documents to the online application.  The application fee can be paid through the online portal as well.  Once your application has been successfully submitted, an admissions representative will notify you if any materials are missing.  Once admitted, you will receive an email with your acceptance letter and I-20 Form.  

3. After you receive your acceptance email, you must pay a SEVIS fee at and schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy in your country of residence. Find a list of U.S. embassies here: and check out current visa wait times. Bring all of your supporting documents, your acceptance letter, and I-20 to the visa interview.  Canadian citizens are not required to apply for an F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy but will request F-1 student status when entering the U.S. by presenting all supporting documents at U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

4. Upon entering the U.S., please present your passport with F-1 student visa stamp, your acceptance letter, I-20, and financial documents to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer.  The CBP officer will review your documents and issue an electronic I-94 arrival/departure record as an F-1 student.  Please check your electronic I-94 record to ensure that you have been granted F-1 student status at

5. All new and transfer international students must attend an International Student Orientation starting on the program start date listed on your I-20 (usually the week before the start of classes).  You can find a list of important semester dates, including holidays and the end of the semester on our Academic Calendar.



International students who are currently in F-1 student status and interested in transferring to Cañada College must follow the steps above to apply for admission.  After being admitted to Cañada College, students will receive an acceptance letter and Transfer Form.  Admitted students should submit a copy of their acceptance letter and Transfer Form to your previous college/university to request a SEVIS transfer.

International transfer students who are interested in transferring credits from another U.S. college/university must first be admitted to Cañada College and register for classes before submitting a request for a transcript evaluation here:



Other non-immigrants (J-1 or H-4) or F-1 students studying at another school, who are interested in taking class(es) at Cañada College while maintaining their current immigration status must follow the steps below.

1. Submit an online Open CCC application.

2. Submit the following supporting documents by email to

  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of DS-2019 or I-20 from currently enrolled school
  • Copy of I-94 record (
  • Letter from current school approving list of approved Cañada College classes (for F-1 students only)

Students on non-immigrant visas are required to pay the enrollment fee, the nonresident fee, and all other required fees.  Non-immigrants on a tourist visa (B-1/B-2) are not eligible to study at any California community college.



Prospective students on a non-immigrant visa (such as B-2 or J-1) who are interested in changing immigration status to F-1 student visa without leaving the U.S., must follow the steps above on how to apply for admission to Cañada College.  The International Student Center can assist you in submitting a Change of Status (COS) application to USCIS, as long as your current status end date has not passed.  Please call 650-306-3487 or email for additional information on how to submit a Change of Status application.



The International Student Center follows all privacy laws regarding student records privacy.  For more information about your privacy rights as student, please visit