Thank you for your interest in The College of the Florida Keys. CFK is the leading provider of academic programs and services in the Florida Keys. We offer two-year programs that don’t just produce college graduates, but well-rounded citizens who will thrive in their careers and shape the societies of tomorrow. 

Located nearly 150 miles south of mainland Florida, CFK is the southernmost college in the state. Fully-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), the College provides unique learning opportunities that enrich the lives of its students, its community, and well-beyond. Nestled within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, students are just a boat ride away from studying the coral reef or exploring historic shipwrecks. Its rich history and diverse culture create an environment that has inspired artists, poets, novelists, playwrights, scientists, and even presidents. 

We welcome students from around the world to study in paradise at CFK!

Visa Requirements


Preparation is the key to success as an international student. In order to prepare for the transition, we recommend that you:

  • Make sure your passport is valid

  • Pay the SEVIS fee

  • Be clear and definite about your studies

  • Be ready to say what kind of career your studies will prepare you for in your home country

  • Be prepared to explain why it is better for you to study in the U.S. than at home

Know the Rules

The consular officer who makes the decision on your visa application is required to think of you as someone who plans to come to the U.S. permanently; it is up to you to prove that you intend to return to your country after completing your studies. U.S. law clearly states that F visas may be given only to persons who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily.

The other important rules are:

  • You must know what you are going to study.
  • You must have a definite academic objective.
  • You must be qualified for the program of study.
  • You must be adequately financed and have the documents to prove it.
  • You must be definite about your choice of school. If you do not seem certain that you want to attend CFK, you will not get a visa.​

Collect Documents

U.S. government officials are much more easily convinced by documents than by spoken statements. When possible, have papers to show your connections to your home country. In the U.S. it is considered important to be impersonal when administering laws. Do not try to negotiate or discuss personal matters.

Examples of documentation you should collect include:

  • Proof of a family-owned business: If your family owns a business, take letters from a bank describing the business to the visa interview with you.
  • Property deeds: If your family owns property, take the deeds.
  • Siblings’ U.S. diplomas: If you have a brother or sister who studied in the U.S. and then returned home, take a copy of their diploma and a statement from an employer showing that they have returned home.


Please read your I-20. Especially note your start and end dates and the rules and regulations on page 2. Once you obtain your student visa, you cannot enter the country any earlier than 30 days before the start date on your I-20.​

Tuition & Fees

Tuition costs are $438.73 per credit hour for all Associate Degree courses. Tuition and fees must be paid in full prior to the beginning of each semester. You must register for and successfully complete 12 credit hours each semester and be degree-seeking to maintain your F-1 student visa status.

Tuition for students on F-1 visas will always be calculated at the cost of out-of-state tuition rates.

The College of the Florida Keys requires you to have an equivalent yearly stipend of $29,022.00 for the school year which is itemized with approximate figures as follows:

  • Tuition and Fees in an Associate Degree Program (Per credit hour for F-1 students is $438.73 U.S.D. + lab fees, if applicable)-$10,592.00
  • Medical Insurance (mandatory) cost approximate - $1,200.00
  • Books and supplies - $1,433.00
  • Room and board - $13,499.00
  • Personal expenses - $2,298.00
  • Total USD - $29,022.00

NOTE:  $5,000.00 U.S.D. must be added for each F-2 dependent student (spouse or child).

Certain programs may require additional laboratory fees above the per-credit-hour cost.




The SEVIS I-901 fee of $350.00 USD is required and must be paid through the payment website at  Proof of payment is required for a visa interview at a U.S. consulate and for admission at a U.S. port of entry. This receipt should be kept with your I-20.  Completion of the form online and paying with a credit card is the quickest method of payment and receipt of proof-of-payment.  You may use a third party’s credit card with their permission.

For complete information on who needs to pay the fee (or does not need to) see the SEVP website at  There is a complete list of questions and answers on all aspects of SEVIS I-901 fee payment.

Students who were previously approved for an I-901 fee transfer should contact SEVP if they require an updated I-797 receipt reflecting the fee transfer.  They may contact SEVP by emailing All emails regarding this issue should specify “Transfer Receipt” in the subject line of the email. Students must provide their name, date of birth, original SEVIS ID number utilized for payment, as well as the SEVIS ID number to which the payment was transferred. 

For all students who require an I-901 fee payment transfer in the future, please go to the SEVP website at:  The website provides information on those persons eligible for an I-901 fee transfer as well as instructions on requesting a fee transfer.

Health Insurance

F-1 International Students will not be cleared to register or permitted to continue enrollment at CFK without demonstrating that they have adequate medical insurance coverage.  Students must demonstrate adequate medical insurance coverage including, but not limited to, major medical expenses, hospital room and board, physician visits, surgery, illness, and accidental injury.

Submit a copy of medical insurance coverage proof from your health insurance company.  Submit this document as part of your international student packet.

Transcript Evaluation

University/College transcript(s), if you have attended college – Arrange for any and all previous university or college transcript(s) to be course-by-course translated and evaluated by one of the approved providers listed at Ensure that the provider sends the evaluation and translation results directly to CFK, not to you, so that we can accept as official.

High School Transcript, if you have not attended college – Arrange for your official High School transcript to be document-to-document evaluated and translated by one of the providers listed at Ensure that the provider sends the evaluation and translation results directly to CFK, not to you, so that we can accept as official.

All students must provide proof of high school graduation OR evidence of completed post-secondary course work to be eligible for admission. If you have graduated from a university in your country, CFK may accept those credits after the transcript has been translated and evaluated by an evaluation service.

The College strongly encourages students to have their transcripts evaluated by World Education Services (WES) at or Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. at

For a list of NACES approved providers please visit NACES | Credentials Evaluations Provided by NACES Members

After Applying

Within two to six weeks after receiving an application, the International Admissions Office will notify you regarding one or more of the following:

  • Proof of acceptance along with the I-20 eligibility form
  • Proof of acceptance with a letter indicating the student must contact the International Admissions Office regarding his/her visa status
  • A request for additional information, indicating which items are missing in your application packet
  • A denial letter with an explanation for that decision.

After Admission

Please be advised that acceptance to the College does not guarantee a student visa by the US Embassy in your country; neither does it guarantee a change of status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

International students obtaining the student visa in their country cannot enter the US more than 30 days before the first day of classes. Once in the US, students must bring proof of the student visa to the International Student Advisor at the Enrollment Services Office before the on-campus advisement and registration process can begin.  Placement test scores will determine if the student should enroll in developmental courses in Math, Reading or English. These are credit courses that do not apply toward a degree.

Students who have completed university course work outside the United States and desire transfer credit are required to complete a course-by-course commercial evaluation and translation of all course work completed.


May I apply for admission to CFK at any time?

Yes; however, you must submit all of your required international student documents that are required in CFK’s international student packet at least two months prior to the start of your desired term.

Does CFK offer an English program?


Do I need TOEFL to apply to CFK?

Yes. Degree-seeking students must possess TOEFL scores reflecting a high-intermediate level in each skill.

May I take the TOEFL in my country before applying to CFK?

Yes. The test is administered several times per year worldwide. Please visit the TOEFL website to learn more.

If my native language is English, is TOEFL required?

No. If English is your native language, evidence of English proficiency is not required. ​

If I submit a satisfactory TOEFL score, will I still have to take placement exams at CFK? 

Yes. TOEFL scores are not used for placement, only for admission purposes. Confirmation of your English proficiency will be determined by the placement exams at CFK.

I have limited financial resources. May I receive financial assistance from CFK?

No. A statement of financial resources available to support your educational and living expenses must be provided to CFK. The minimum required resources are estimated to be $29,022.00

I have completed an English-as-a -Second Language Program at another institution. Do I still have to take the CFK placement exams?

Yes. Exams are necessary to determine if you still need additional language training and to assist with proper placement into courses.​  You also need to take the TOEFL exam.

Does CFK issue the form I-20?

Yes, once you have submitted all documents required in CFK's international student packet and have been approved for admission to CFK you will be issued a form. ​

After admission, will I be able to register for classes at CFK before I receive the student visa?

No. You must enter the U.S. on your student visa and provide proof of the student visa before registration for classes will be allowed.

After being admitted, if I am unable to enter the U.S. by the start date on my I-20, will I be able to attend classes for that term?

No. If you are unable to enter the U.S. prior to the deadline for registration, you must request a new I-20 for the next available term. For initial admission to the U.S. on a student visa, students will not be allowed to enter the U.S. any earlier than 30 days before the start date on the I-20.​

Admissions Deadlines

Fall - Last day for all admissions documents to be received is June 1.

Spring - Last day for all admissions documents to be received is October 1.

Summer - Last day for all admissions documents to be received is March 1.