Frequently Asked Questions

Can I study in the United States with a Tourist / Visitor ("B") Visa?

Federal laws prohibit non-immigrants holding a “B” Visa from attending higher education.  Saddleback College will immediately deny your application. 

Does Saddleback College offer Intensive ESL?

Saddleback College offers ESL classes that are designed to be taken with other academic classes if you are an F-1 international student. However, we do not offer an Intensive English Program. International students who apply to Saddleback College must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the English proficiency requirement.

For a list of Intensive English Language Programs contact

Can I study Nursing, EMT (Emergency Medical Technology), or MLT (Medical Laboratory Technician Program)

No, unfortunately due to California State Licensing requirements and F-1 visa regulations you may not pursue studies in these majors.

Can I mail or send my documents electronically?

For admission purposes, you can send PDF files (ONLY) of your documents to .  Do not send images of photos.  You can also mail your documents to: 

Saddleback College

International Student Office

28000 Marguerite Parkway, SSC 107

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Must I attend the International Student Orientation?

YES!  The International Student Orientation is MANDATORY and is designed to provide you with valuable information about resources on the campus, college processes, immigration information and college life.

What does “available funds” mean?

“Available Funds” means that your money is accessible and available at any given time.  You can withdraw/remove money from your account without having to pay a penalty.  A checking account or a savings account both have accessible funds.  Submitted bank statements may not be older than four (4) months.

What are the requirements when submitting transcripts?

Evidence of High School Graduation:  All applicants must provide evidence of graduation from high school or equivalent in the form of official records/transcripts with certified English translation (When necessary).  Records must indicate all terms of study and note a graduation or completion date.

Students can provide the GED (, HISET ( or TASC ( to fulfill this requirement.  To locate a transcript evaluation agency visit:   For admission purposes these can be sent to as pdf files.  Originals will be required upon arrival.

What do I need to do if I move?

Immigration laws require that all F-1 Visa students report their change of address and contact information no later than 10 days of your move.  The International Student Office needs to report your address changes in SEVIS.  It is required that you send an email to with your updated information or stop by our office to report this in person.

What do I need to do for travel?

Travel within the U.S.

  • Take your passport, student ID card, SEVIS I-20, and health insurance card. Make sure all your immigration documents are always in a safe place.


Travel outside the U.S.  (Must be approved by the International Student Office) If travel is longer than 5 months it will be required that you apply for a new visa.  The following should be prepared.

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months into the future from date of entry
  • Your valid F-1 (unexpired– if expired, you will need time for the visa renewal)
  • Form I-20 with a valid travel signature on Page 2
  • Have your paper I-94 card
  • Academic transcripts and documentation of your financial support are not required but are recommended.
  • For Travel to Canada, Mexico or adjacent Islands visit:

How many units am I required to take each semester?

Your F-1 Visa is strictly for Study and the federal regulations are clear about maintaining your status.

Required enrollment for fall & spring of each year.

  • 12 units per semester each fall and spring.

(Summer is not a required term unless it is your initial term)

  • 6 units for summer if it is your first INITIAL term, plus fulltime (12 units each term) for the upcoming fall and spring.

Online Courses

  • Can only register for 3 required units per semester to satisfy the 12 unit fulltime enrollment requirement.
  • You may enroll in more than 3 online units provided you have a minimum of 9 units of courses that are instructed in the classroom.

How do I contact the U.S. Embassy?

You can contact the U.S. Embassy by visiting:

Can I get help with MySite?

If you forgot your PIN click on “Forgot My PIN” and answer your security questions.  You provided the answer when you completed your application.  If this does not work visit:  or call 949-582-4363 for technical support.

Must I purchase Health Insurance?

Yes, all international students must purchase their annual health insurance plan at before enrollment is allowed.  Other domestic or foreign health insurance policies are not accepted.  Sponsored students are required to visit the International Student Office for further information about insurance.

How can I change my Major?

Contact the international Student Office at 949-582-4637 or by email to and schedule a counseling appointment to update your academic plan.  You will need to provide a copy of your new plan to the International Student Office.

I was accepted to another school and need to transfer out of Saddleback College. What should I do?

Visit the International Student Office and complete your “Transfer Out” form.  You will need to attach your offer of admission (Acceptance Letter) and any other forms required by your new school to validate your F-1 Visa.  You can only be transferred out one time!  Make sure that you have made the right choice.  Some Universities may not require that we complete any forms.  If you are traveling abroad while changing schools it is advised that you make arrangements to have your new I-20 mailed directly to you.

Can I work on-campus?

After successfully completing one semester of attendance at out college, you are eligible to work on-campus ONLY on a part-time basis if work is available and you receive approval from the International Student Office Designated Official.   Always check with the International Student Office first!

How can I apply for Optional Practical Training?

Optional Practical Training is intended for students who will be completing their Associate and/or Certificate program.  This allows students to work off-campus in a field related directly to their studies while getting paid.  For eligibility and to apply contact the International Student Office at 949-582-4637 and schedule an appointment with the Designated Official.

How do I get my Saddleback College transcripts?

The Office of Admissions and Records handles the processing of all transcripts.  You can order your transcripts online by visiting: For questions contact their office at 949-582-4555.

Can I drop my class? My class is too difficult! What can I do?

Speak with your professor during his/her office hours before dropping your class.  Your professor may provide you with assistance.  All students are encouraged to enroll in TU 300 or visit the Tutoring Center in the LRC 212 for assistance with their course work.  Also visit

Visit the International Student Office and Speak with your advisor before you drop any classes.  Being enrolled in less than 12 units is a violation of your F-1 visa unless you have been approved for a Reduced Course Load under the SEVIS guidelines and regulations.