Thank you for exploring Cuesta College for your international studies! 

Cuesta College is approved by the United States Student and Exchange Visitors Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement as an institution of higher learning for non-immigrant  F-1 Visa (Academic Visa) students.   You must be enrolled as a full-time (12 credits minimum) student and English-proficient.   

NOTE:  Cuesta College does not offer a F-1 Visa English language training program at this time.

Application DEADLINES for ALL international students (including transfers) are accepted as follows: (Exception for concurrent enrollment)

Spring Semester:  October 1 to December 15
Summer Session: April 1 to May 15
Fall Semester:  April 1 to July 15

*Is your F1 issued at Another School?   Click here for information on Concurrent F1 Enrollment at Cuesta 


(click here for printer-friendly checklist)


Students must show evidence of ability to pay non-resident fees and must maintain enrollment of 12 credits during spring/fall semesters. Completion of financial certificate is required to verify that the student has sufficient financial resources for personal care, housing, and educational costs.  Be advised that housing is not available at Cuesta College.

Financial aid is not available for international students through Cuesta College. Students holding F-1 Visas may work a maximum of 20 hours per week on the Cuesta College campus AFTER their first full academic year with prior approval from the Director of Admissions & Records.  F-1 students are not allowed to work off-campus, unless they have prior authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    Classes are conducted in college-level English, therefore, it is necessary to be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking the language. For this reason, Cuesta College requires all F-1 students applying for admission to submit proof of passing an English proficiency exam.  Exams must be completed within the year and official results submitted (sealed in original envelope or e-mailed directly from testing agency to Cuesta College).

    TOEFL Information: Inst. Code:  4101; Dept. Code: 00; Dept. Description: Undergraduate

    Required scores: Internet based minimum of 61, computer based minimum of 173, or a paper based minimum of 500. 

    For more information contact: TOEFL iBT, Educational Testing Services, PO Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6155, phone (443) 751-4862 or (800) 468-6335 in US only.  Email:

IELTS Information:  Required minimum overall band score of 6 on IELTS Academic Exam.

Please contact the test center directly where you take the IELTS test and request that your official test scores be sent to the address stated below.  We do not accept unofficial Test Report Forms from students.  An institutional code is NOT required.

Exception: Test requirement is waived if your native language is English, or if you have completed the equivalent of college-level English composition at a US college or university.

  • Official Transcripts from ACEI or other accredited organization (members of NACES
    Scanned or photo copies as email attachments are not official and will not be accepted.

Official transcripts must be submitted in an original, unopened envelope, translated into English from ACEI - Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc., OR other accredited organization.  Students must provide certified transcripts of academic records achieved during all prior high school or college attendance. Transcripts submitted must bear the school seal and be signed by the registrar or another appropriate official and evaluated as a Comprehensive Report by ACEI or Academic/Course-by-Course evaluations.

ACEI phone in US only:  (310) 275-3530 or (800) 234-1597 
ACEI Hours:  Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm, PST
ACEI Email:
ACEI web

  • Tuberculosis Clearance

    Applicants must provide a physician's certificate of negative skin test or a chest X-ray for tuberculosis completed within one year.  Do not send X-ray film.

  • Health Insurance

Applicants must provide certification of current health insurance coverage for the following criteria:
⇒ The policy is valid for the entire academic year;
⇒ the medical benefit is at least $50,000 per illness or injury;
⇒ the repatriation benefit is at least $7,500;
⇒ the medical evacuation benefit is at least $10,000.
Note:  You must present a copy of your updated policy to the Admissions Office each time it is renewed.

  • Copy of Valid Passport and F1 Visa

Applicants must submit a legible copy of their passport and copy of F1 Visa.

  • $100.00 Application Fee

Check/Money Order: payable to Cuesta College
Credit Card: payable in myCuesta portal.  Email for fee to be posted.

Submit the required items by the following methods:

Postal mail: Cuesta College Admissions, PO Box 8106, San Luis Obispo CA 93403-8106
Shipping address: Highway One, Building 7400, San Luis Obispo CA 93405
Fax:  (805) 546-3975


USCIS Special Instructions for B-1 (Temporary Business) and/or B-2 (Tourist) Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School.