Please visit the CUNY website to prepare for the admissions process at www.cuny.edu/prepare.
In order to apply for admission to York College, you will need to go to the CUNY website, create a portal account and click on the APPLY ONLINE link. You must have an email account in order to begin the application process.
Your eligibility to attend York College will be determined based on your complete academic profile, i.e. all courses taken and grades received. And, while the SAT (or ACT) is not required for admission, we strongly urge you to take this exam and submit your scores. By so doing, you may be eligible for a waiver from part or all of our proficiency test requirements.
Note: All applications MUST be submitted online (no paper applications are available).
After you have received your acceptance letter to York College, you will need to prove to the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you can meet the financial obligations of pursuing a full course of study for at least one academic year. Proof of your financial ability is documented in the form of a Certificate of Eligibility, also known as the SEVIS I-20.
In order to obtain a SEVIS I-20, you will need to submit a York College Application for the Immigration Certificate of Eligibility Form (SEVIS I-20). This includes the Statement of Financial Ability, supporting financial documentation (no older than three months from the date of submission) and the Affidavit of Free Room and Board (food and lodging), if necessary.
If you are submitting the Affidavit of Free Room and Board, please attach a copy of your sponsor's lease/deed or a copy of a statement from your sponsor's landlord.
Please print and complete the form, and return it to:
Grace Prescod - International Student Advisor
94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.
Jamaica, New York 11451
Note: Students on F-1 visas are not eligible for US federal or state financial aid.
As of September 1, 2004 the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instituted a rule requiring F-1 Visa applicants to pay a $200 USD one-time fee.
The SEVIS fee is $200 and must be paid at least 3 business days before you can apply for your Visa.
The F-1 Student Visa may only be obtained by filing an application "in-person" with a US Embassy or Consulate in your home country OR where you hold a permanent residence.
In order to be eligible for the F-1 Student Visa, you must present documentary evidence that will convince the consular officer of the following:
- You have been accepted to a school for a full course of study.
Evidence: Your SEVIS I-20 and York College acceptance letter (be definite and clear about your educational plans). Anticipate that the Visa interview will be conducted in English.
- You have paid the required SEVIS processing fee and you have proof of payment. Be prepared to prove financial ability to pay for your education and living expenses for the full length of your program.
Evidence: Proof of your financial ability that you presented with this application (e.g. Sponsor's Affidavit of Support and supporting documentary evidence). These documents MUST BE originals, not photocopies).
- Demonstrate convincing reasons for consular officials to believe that you intend to return home after your studies in the United States. This means demonstrating that you have compelling ties that will cause you to return to your home country.
Evidence: If your family owns a business, bring letters from the bank describing the business. If your family owns a property, submit the deed. If you have taken a leave of absence from your job or have a prospective job offer, obtain a letter from the company stating that your job will be held until you return or that your profession is in demand in your country. Documents that will help to prove strong ties include, but are not limited to:
- Employment letters stating position, date of commencement of employment and salary.
- Bank, Credit Union, and Unit Trust statement indicating when accounts were opened, current and six-month average balances.
- Property titles.
- Vehicle registration certificates.
Self-employed persons, including vendors, businessmen and others should submit their most recent Income Tax Assessment or evidence of income (such as contracts or receipts) and business registration instead of a job letter.
Remember, your main purpose for coming to the United States should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students do work off-campus during their studies, such employment is incidental to their main purpose of completing their US education.
Other Important Considerations
Spouse F-2 Visa: If your spouse is also applying for an accompanying F-2 visa, be aware that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstances, be employed in the United States. If asked, be prepared to address what your spouse intends to do with his or her time while in the United States. Volunteer work and attending school part-time are permitted activities.
Dependents Remaining at Home: If you have a spouse and/or children remaining behind in your home country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be an especially tricky area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular official gains the impression that your family members will need you to remit money from the United States in order to support them, your student visa will almost surely be denied.
Be concise: Because of the volume of visa applications, all consular officials are under considerable pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview.
Not all countries are the same: Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the United States as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Make an appointment and check the waiting times for student Visa appointments at the US Embassy in your country.
Visa Denial: The vast majority of York College students will be successful in obtaining their student Visas. Despite this, a small number of students may have their visa applications denied. The most common reasons for visa denial are:
- failure to prove sufficient ties to your home country, or
- failure to provide sufficient evidence of financial support
The visa officer must verbally inform you of the reason for the visa denial. If your visa is denied, please send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the date and location of your visa interview including details regarding the reason given by the Visa officer for the denial.
Once you have received your student visa, you should anticipate arriving in the United States within thirty (30) days prior to the first day of classes. Item #5 on your Certificate of Eligibility (SEVIS I-20) specifically states the date by which you must arrive within the US and report to your International Student Advisor.
Expect to go through both immigration and customs inspection at the U.S. port of entry. You may also be required to go through a pre-inspection procedure at certain airports abroad.
At the immigration booth, present your passport, your SEVIS I-20, your proof of SEVIS fee payment, and your completed I-94 arrival/departure card (if the card was distributed on the airplane). Expect to have your index fingers scanned for fingerprinting purposes and a digital photograph was taken, as required by U.S. federal regulations.
Upon arrival to the inspection area, you will speak with an Immigration Inspector, show your passport, your SEVIS I-20, your SEVIS I-20 fee receipt and your completed I-94 Departure Record.
The inspector will:
- Place a red stamp, on page 1 of your SEVIS I-20 with the current date and the notation "F-1 D/S". This will also appear on the white I-94 card.
- Give you the SEVIS I-20 and staple the I-94 "Departure" record into your passport opposite the F-1 Visa page.
Note: If you notice that the inspector does not do all of these things, please bring this to his or her attention, or report it to a supervisor at the port of entry. Make sure you pay attention to ensure all steps are done properly.
DO NOT alter anything on another school's SEVIS I-20 form, as that is considered to be a fraudulent entry by the U.S. Immigration authorities.
DO NOT attempt to enter the United States on a visitor/tourist Visa (B-2) unless it is designated "Prospective Student" by a consular officer. The U.S. Immigration Service rarely authorizes a change of status from B-2 to F-1, and you will be prevented from enrolling in school until your change of status application is approved, which could take several months.
DO NOT attempt to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, available to citizens from nearly 30 countries throughout the world. The waiver program is designed for tourists only, and attending school under the waiver program is a clear violation of U.S. immigration law.
Your SEVIS I-20, passport and Form I-94 are legal documents and must be kept in a safe place. It is wise to make photocopies of them in case they are lost or stolen or scan them to your computer and email it to yourself.
Make sure that you report to your International Student Advisor (Grace Prescod) with these documents as soon as possible.
Note: Never throw away a SEVIS I-20, even if you transfer schools. It is a legal record of your stay in the US as an F-1 student.
As a matriculated student at York College, we strongly encourage you to attend the International Student Symposium. The Symposium is an informational session that would greatly benefit you.
Once you have been accepted to York College, you will need to submit your immunization documents to the Health Services Office. It is a requirement that you present proof of vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella.
Please visit York College Health Services Department for more information.
You may need to take the CUNY Assessment Test. If this is required, you will be notified accordingly.
Note: You must register for a minimum of twelve equated credits every Spring and Fall semester in order to maintain F-1 status. Failure to do so is a direct violation of your non-immigrant F-1 status.