Student Support

International Education Center


New Student F-1 Regulations and Travel to the U.S. Update


Great news on F-1 visa and travel regulations for new Winter/Spring 2022 international students.

With the successful roll-out of vaccines, the United States is once again a world leader in public health and safety.  The U.S. is lifting travel restrictions and is reopening its schools and businesses.  There is no better or safer time to begin your studies at Santa Monica College.

Clarifications on Travel to the U.S.

Starting on January 26, 2021, all air passengers entering the U.S. will be required to provide Proof of a negative viral COVID-19 test within the 3 days before boarding a flight to the U.S.  Please visit the CDC website for more details.

February 16, 2021

Due to an increase in COVID cases in the U.S. and abroad, it is possible that new travel restrictions for F-1 visa students seeking to re-enter the U.S. may be enacted. 

We strongly advise you not to travel outside the United States if you can avoid it.

If you must travel, please be sure to check with your country’s U.S. embassy to find out if there are travel restrictions that apply to F-1 visa students traveling from your country back to the U.S. You may also inquire with the airlines to find out if there are any restrictions or requirements to re-enter the U.S.

If you must travel, be sure to request an updated travel signature for your I-20. Submit the travel signature request form to from your SMC email account at least 2 weeks before your return to the U.S. We will email you an updated I-20 with a travel signature.

Please note, SMC and IEC are closed on the following days:

Monday September 6, 2021

Wednesday November 11, 2021

Thursday, Friday November 26-27, 2021

Friday, December 24, 2021 through Sunday, January 2, 2022

IEC Services

Contact the International Education Center for assistance with:

  • Immigration and F-1 visa issues
  • Travel Signatures
  • Health Insurance questions
  • Department of Motor Vehicles support
  • Housing
  • Verification Letters
  • Package Program support
  • Social Security questions

IEC Counseling

Contact International Counseling for the following:

  • Academic and Transfer Counseling
  • Educational Planning
  • Transcript Evaluations
  • Course Waivers and Substitutions
  • Personal Counseling and Referrals
  • Transfer Application Assistance


About SMC

Welcome to Santa Monica College! SMC is recognized as one of the best community colleges in California and the nation. SMC provides the first two years of American university education to help you get where you want to be. SMC is the #1 school to transfer to the UC system, USC, and Loyola Marymount University. SMC is #2 nationwide to Columbia University and #1 among schools west of the Mississippi River.

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Additional Information

Click below for addtional information for New Students, Continuing Students, or for information on Special Programs

New Students

SMC offers many programs, like the Intensive English Program and 18​0 degrees and certificates.

Join our community of more than 3,400 international students from 100 countries.​

New Students Information

Current Students

The International Education Center supports students with many services, like orientation, academic advising, activities, immigration assistance and more.

Current Students Information

Special Programs

Go Global with SMC! Travel in a study abroad program and engage in our nationally-recognized Global Citizenship program with various campus events and activities.

Special Programs



Helpful Information


Application Deadlines

Winter 2022
Out of country: November 15
In country:  December 1

Spring 2022
Out of country: January 5
In Country: January 15

Summer 2022
Out of country: May 15
In Country: June 1

Fall 2022
Out of country: July 15
In country: August 1


Hours SSC


International Education Center Office Hours​
Mon-Thurs: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

International Counseling (Fall 2021)
Mon - Thurs: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.