BTS is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. 8 C.F.R. §214.3 (j)
All International students must apply for admission to Birmingham Theological Seminary. The admission process must be 100% complete prior to the issuance of Form I-20 and before the applicant is eligible for enrollment. In order to be in compliance and to meet all requirements, please read and adhere to the following. Please visit http://educationusa.state.gov for additional information:
- Review of your academic credentials. Applicant must be able to provide proof of a baccalaureate degree from an undergraduate institution.
- Meeting the required scores for English as a second language. The score is required by non-native English-speaking countries. A score of 575 is required for the written exam, and a score of 230 is required for the computer-based exam. The internet based test score is 90. The TOEFL score may be waived for the following. The BTS reporting code is 7609:
- Non-native speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from post–secondary institutions in English-speaking countries.
- Non-native speakers who have successfully completed at least a two-year course of study in which English was the language of instruction.
- Applicants who transfer from institutions in the United States or Canada whose academic course work received favorable critique relative to its demands and duration.
- Non-native speakers who have taken the TOEFL test within the past two years.
- Non-native speakers who have successfully pursued academic work at schools where English was the language of instruction in an English-speaking country for a specified period, generally two years.
- A legitimate sponsor. To ensure that your sponsor is both willing to sponsor you for the duration of your studies, and is capable of doing so, an Affidavit of Financial Support form must be completed in its entirety, with appropriate supporting documents. The form must show the documents of support in American dollars.
- A complete and properly filled out BTS application form and International student supplemental form. Both forms must be filled out in their entirety as part of the application and admission process.
- Make arrangements for a place to stay in the U.S. Many students have friends, relatives or sponsor(s) who live in Birmingham with whom they may be welcome to stay temporarily or throughout the duration of their course of study. Birmingham Theological Seminary does not provide nor have on campus housing. Every student must have a local address on file with the Birmingham Theological Seminary. The seminary must be informed immediately of a change of address. It is imperative that we have a current local address on file at all times
- Upon receipt of Form I-20 from Birmingham Theological Seminary, do the following:
- As soon as possible, make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy in your country. Any delay could affect your approval. In some countries, embassy appointments must be made several months in advance. The embassy should issue a U.S. Visa, valid for at least one year.
- Complete necessary financial preparations.
- Upon arriving in Birmingham, please call the seminary office at 205-776-5350 to schedule an appointment. Bring the following to your scheduled appointment: Form I-20, Visa, Passport, I-94 card and proof of medical insurance.
- At that time we can assist you with setting your degree plan and preparation for the upcoming semester.
- Working in the U.S. on an F-1 Visa. Off-campus employment is not permitted while you are in your degree program. OPT (Optional Practical Training) is temporary employment is permitted by Immigration after the completion of each higher degree. See the Vice President for specifics.