Transfer Guide to Becoming an F-1 International Student
Only if You are transferring from a college or University Outside of the United States
Listed below are the required steps and documents needed to apply for the SEVIS Form I-20. Review each step carefully.
STEP 1. Applying for Admissions
STEP 2. Getting Accepted/Following Up
STEP 4. Paying the SEVIS Fee
STEP 5. Applyingfor the F-1 Student Visa
STEP 6. Have your Transcript Evaluated
STEP 9. Register for classes.
If you wish to be a matriculated student (pursuing a university degree):
You must apply for admission to the college as soon as possible and not beyond the following deadlines:
Fall semester: March 15
Spring semester: October 1
Applications received after these dates may be considered for the following terms.
To be considered, please submit the following documents:
A completed Transfer application for admissions.
A $70.00 processing fee in the form of a money order, personal or bank check in U.S. funds:
All fees should be made out to “University Application Processing Center” or “UAPC”.
Official transcripts or certified copies from all secondary schools and universities attended. Records must include the subjects studied, grades/marks attained, and an explanation of the grading system on the official letterhead of the institution.
Also accepted would be:
A university issued “mark sheet” (Bangledesh, India, Pakistan)
An “indeks” (Poland)
A prilozhenie k dyplomu [addendum to the diploma] (Russia and the other former Soviet Republics)
A “releve de notes” (France)
A “Statement of Academic Record” or a “General Certificate of Education Examination” (United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries)
A “Caribbean Examinations Council Secondary Education Certificate” [CXC] (Caribbean countries) [photocopies accepted]
A “West African Examinations Council” notification of result slip (African Countries)
External examination results and school leaving certificates must also be included. If not in English, records should be submitted in the original language and be accompanied by a literal translation. Records will not be returned, therefore, for countries that issue only one certificate for your lifetime, please request an official certificate of completion from your school or Ministry of Education instead.
If you are not sure what document would be comparable as proof of having completed secondary school, please contact CUNY at 1-800-CUNY-YES or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is not necessary for you to have your school records evaluated by a third party. The City University of New York and Medgar Evers College will evaluate your records.
English proficiency is required. If English is not your native language or if it was not your language of instruction, you must register for and pass the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of:
|52 or better (New Internet Based Test)|
|150 or better (Computer Based Test)|
|470 or better (Paper Based Test)|
Request that your official scores be sent to UAPC’s code of 2950.
You may use code 2460 to have your SAT I scores sent directly to Medgar Evers College.
To ensure the timely processing of your application, please submit all required documents and fees at the same time to the University Application Processing Center at the address listed below:
The City University of New York
University Application Processing Center (UAPC)
P.O. Box 359023
Brooklyn, NY 11235-9023
 Kearney, Richard. Designing sound rules for documenting foreign study. WENR. Volume1, Issue 4, Page 8.July/August 1998.
The application process usually takes from four to six weeks. Within this time period, check the status of your application, by contacting UAPC at (212) 997-2869 or via email at inquireCUNY@mail.cuny.edu
Once your application has been reviewed and approved by UAPC, your information will be electronically forwarded to the Office of Admissions at Medgar Evers College. We will then forward a letter of acceptance to you along with documents to obtain a certificate of Eligibility (I-20).
It is only after you have been accepted to the institution that your immigration process may begin.
Once you have been accepted to the college and have received the acceptance letter, you will then need to prove to the United States government that you can meet the financial obligations of pursuing a full course of study here 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 Form I-20.
In order to obtain a Form I-20 you will need to submit the Application for the Form I-20, with the Statement of Financial Ability, supporting financial documents (not older than three months from the date of submission) and the Affidavit(s) of Financial Supportincluding the Affidavit of Free Room and Board (food & lodging), if necessary.
Please note that all I-20 applications and supporting financial documents must be dated less then six months prior to your planned date of enrollment at Medgar Evers College. In addition, all supporting financial documents must be stamped and signed by either a notary or bank official.
Important Note: Students on F-1 visas are not eligible for U.S. federal or state financial aid.
As of September 1, 2004 the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instituted a new rule requiring F-1 visa applicants to pay a $100 USD, one-time fee. This fee will be used to supplement the administrative costs used to maintain the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS).
The fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to applying for your visa, or applying for admission at a US port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa requirement. The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail or online and must be accompanied by a Form I-901 (attached). It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the US.
You have three options to remit the fee:
Payment by mail:
Mail the completed Form I-901 (attached), and the check or money order made out to “I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee.” to:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
EXPRESS MAIL fee and Form I-901 are to be sent to:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
Payment by Internet:
You may log on to www.FMJfee.com, complete the form online, print it out and mail with fee to the above addresses.
You may complete the form and the make an electronic payment (via credit card or debit card) at www.FMJfee.com.
Note: Be sure that your name and SEVIS identification number (upper right hand corner of your Form I-20) are written on the face of the check or money order.
Payment by Western Union Quick Pay
Go to a local participating Western Union Agent location.
Request and complete a Blue Form.
(It may show such words as “Payment Services” or “Quick Pay”.)
Visit http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/I-901.pdf for instructions on how to complete the form.
Note: In addition to the $100.00USD fee, the Western Union agent will require a processing fee.
The F-1 student visa may only be obtained by filing an application in person with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you hold permanent residence. In order to be eligible for the F-1 student visa, you must present documentary evidence which will convince the consular officer that:
You have been accepted to a school for a full course of study.
Evidence: your form I-20 A-B and Medgar Evers College acceptance letter.
You have sufficient funds to support your studies and living expenses for the full length of your program.
Evidence: the proof of your financial ability you presented with this application. That is: Sponsor's Affidavit of support and supporting documentary evidence (originals, not photocopies).
You have paid the required SEVIS processing fee and you have proof of payment.
You fully intend to return to your home country after the completion of your studies. This means demonstrating that you have compelling ties that will cause you to return (Coded 214b).
Evidence: if your family owns a business, take letters from the bank describing the business. If your family owns property, take the deed. If you have taken a leave from a job or have the prospect of a job offer, obtain a letter from the company stating that your job will be held until you return or that people with the education that you are seeking are in demand in your country. If you have family residing in your country, discuss your plans to frequently return home to see them.
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 statements indicating when accounts were opened, current and six month average balances.
Vehicle registration certificates.
School letters verifying enrollment.
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 of 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 U.S. education.
You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program. 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.
It is important that you plan carefully – most interviews with consular officers are less than three minutes long. Prepare documents proving your intention to return home. Try to discuss your future plans and how your education will prepare you for it before being asked. Never lie. Respond only to questions you are asked.
Be sure to visit the official consular website of the U.S. embassy for your region. Official websites can be found (listed by country) at : http://usembassy.state.gov/
Once you have been accepted to Medgar Evers College, your college transcript (s) should automatically be evaluated for credit toward your MEC degree.
Once you have received your student visa, you should anticipate arriving in the United States within thirty days prior to the first day of class. Item #5 on your Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) specifically states the date by which you must arrive within the U.S. and report to your Foreign Student Advisor.
It is a requirement that you present proof of vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella. Please obtain written verification from your physician regarding the inoculation type, and exact date (month/day/year). Part of your registration and enrollment process will require you to present this written proof prior to class attendance.
The embassy will give you an envelope containing your Form I-20 A-B and financial documents to present to the Immigration Inspector at the U.S. port of entry. During your air travel to the U.S., you will be given an Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) to fill out. The number on the Form I-94 will become your “admissions number” a special immigration identification number which you will use as long as you are a non-immigrant in the U.S.
When you arrive at a U.S. Immigration inspection site, give your passport, your Form I-20 A-B, the receipt of having paid your SEVIS fee, and your completed I-94 Departure Record to the Customs Inspector.
The inspector will:
Write your admission number on your Form I-20 A-B and visa page of your passport.
Place a red stamp, on your Form I-20 A-B, on the white I-94 card, and on the visa page of your passport.
Give you the Form I-20 A-B and staple the I-94 “Departure” record into your passport opposite the F-1 visa page.
Important: 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. Having the blue & red stamp of entry on your Form I-20 and on your I-94 card are extremely important.
Your I-20 A-B, 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 and make sure that you report to the Foreign Student Advisor with these documents as soon as possible. Never throw away any I-20 even if you transfer schools. It is your legal record of your stay in the U.S. as an F-1 student.
As a matriculated student at Medgar Evers College, it is mandatory that you attend the new international student orientation. Failure to attend will result in a block of your ability tot register for classes.
Once you have been accepted to Medgar Evers College, you will need to submit your immunization documents to the Health Services Office and you will need to take the CUNY Placement Skills Assessment Test. Once your test has been graded, you will be assigned an Academic Advisor who will register you for your classes. 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.