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Freshman Guide

Freshman Guide to Becoming an F-1 International Student

The required steps and documents needed to apply for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Form I-20 are listed below. Review each step carefully

If you intend to apply for admissions to Medgar Evers College, you must complete the application before the deadlines: Fall semester: February 1 Spring semester: October 1 Note: applications submitted after the deadline dates may be considered for the following semester. To complete the application you will need: A completed freshman application for admission ns A $65.00 processing fee paid online (credit/debit card) or with a bank money order (made out to University Application Processing Center or UAPC) mailed to the address listed on the application. Official transcripts or certified copies from all secondary/high schools and universities attended. Records must include the subjects studied, grades/ marks attained, an explanation n of the grading system on the school / university official letterhead. Additional acceptable documents:

  • The University issued “mark sheet” (Bangladesh, India and Pakistan)
  • The “indeks” (Poland)
  • The prilozhenie k dyplomu {diploma addendum} (Russia and former Soviet Republic countries)
  • The “releve de notes” (France)
  • The “General Certificate of Education Examination” (United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries)
  • The “Caribbean Examination Council {CXC} Secondary Education Certificate (Caribbean Countries)
  • The “West African Examination Council” notification of result certificate (West African Countries)

External examination results and school leaving certificates MUST also be included. If the educational documents are not written in English, the records should be submitted in the original language and must be accompanied by the English translation. It is not necessary to submit evaluation of documents by a third party, the City University of New York (CUNY) will complete the evaluation of your academic records. Documents submitted will become property of the University. If you are uncertain of the documents to be submitted as proof of secondary/high school completion, contact the City University of New York (CUNY) welcome center at (212) 997 – 2869 or English proficiency is required for acceptance. If English is not your native language or not your language of instruction, you must take and pass either the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test System (IELTS) with a minimum score of:

Internet-Based TOEFL Computer Based TOEFL Paper Based TOEFL IELTS Equivalent
52  or better 170 or better 470 or better 5.5 or better

To ensure that your application processed in a timely manner submit all required documents and fees together either electronically or to the University Application Processing Center at the address listed on the application.

The normal processing time for application is eight (8) to ten (10) weeks. If you do not receive any communication after the processing period you may check the status of your application by contacting the University Application Processing Center (UAPC) at (212) 997-2869 or Once your application and academic documents have been reviewed and approved by UAPC, your information will be electronically forwarded to Medgar Evers College. The office of Admissions at Medgar Evers College will forward you the letter of acceptance along with the application for the certificate of eligibility (Form I-20). Note: the process for your student visa begins after you are accepted to Medgar Evers College.

Once you have been accepted to Medgar Evers College and receive the acceptance letter (email) notification, you will then need to prove to the United States government that you 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 the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20).

  • In order to obtain the I-20 you will need to submit the Application for the Form I-20 along with:
  • The statement of eligibility
  • Supporting financial documents (not older than three months from the date of submission)
  • The affidavit(s) of financial support

Note: all I-20 applications and supporting financial documents must be dated less than six months prior to your first day of enrollment at Medgar Evers College.

Students obtaining F-1 visas are not eligible for U.S federal or state financial assistance.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires all F-1 visa applicants to pay a $200.00 USD onetime fee. The purpose of this fee is to supplement the cost of maintaining the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

The fee must be paid three business days prior to applying for your student visa, or applying for admissions at a United States port of entry (for those who are exempt from the visa requirement). The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail or online by you or a third party within or outside the United States and must be accompanies by the Form I-901.

Options of paying the SEVIS Fee:

  • Payment by mail:
    You may log on to, complete the form online, print it out and mail with the fee to the address below. The completed form I-901 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 63197-0020Express 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

    Note: Be sure that your name and SEVIS identification number (begins with an N upper left hand corner of the I-20) are written on the check or money order.

  • Online Payment:You may complete the Form I-901 and pay electronically with a credit or debit card at

The F-1 student visa can only be obtained by filing an application with the United States Embassy or Consulate office in your country of permanent residence three business days after the SEVIS fee is paid ( if the fee is mailed you will have to wait much longer). Official websites for the U.S embassy or Consulate Offices in your country can be found at

In order to be eligible for the F-1 student visa, you must present evidence to convince the consular officer that:

  1. You have been accepted to a college for full time course of study.
    Evidence to present: your acceptance letter from Medgar Evers College
  2. You have sufficient funds to support your academic studies and living expenses for the full length of your program.
    Evidence to present: proof of financial ability that you submitted with your I-20 application. Your sponsor’s Affidavit of support and supporting documented evidence (originals only).
  3. You have paid the required SEVIS processing fee and you have proof of payment.
  4. You have the full intent to return to your home country upon completion of your studies.

Evidence to present:

  • If your family owns a business bring letters from the bank describing the business.
  • If your family owns property, take the deed.
  • If you will be taking leave from your employment, obtain documentation from your employer stating that your employment with the company is secured until your return
  • If you have family residing in your home country, be prepared to discuss how frequently you plan on returning to visit them.

Important to note:

Your purpose of entering the United States is to study and not for employment before or after the completion of your studies. Although students may work on-campus during the course of their studies, such employment is considered incidental to their main purpose of completing their education in the United States.

You must be able to clearly articulate your plans to return home upon completion of your academic program. If your spouse is also applying for accompanying F-2 visa, note that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstances, be employed in the United States. Be prepared to address what your spouse intends to do with his/ her time while in the United States.

Once you have received your student visa, the embassy will return your passport ,your Form I-20 and all financial documents to you to present to the Immigration inspector at the United States port of entry.

You should contact the Designated School Official Ms. Joylyn Phillip-Ndiaye ( your anticipated arrival to the United States within thirty days prior to the first day of classes. The “Earliest Admission Date” on your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) indicates the specified date by which you are allowed to enter the United States and report to the Office of International Student Services.

You are also required to present proof of immunization against measles, mumps and rubella. Please obtain written verification from your physician regarding all inoculations including the exact date (month/ day/ year) they were received. This must be presented to the Office of Health Services prior to registration of classes.

Arrival to the United States:

Once you have arrived in the United States you must check-in with the DSO within five business days. You will need to make an appointment for the check-in process.

What I need to bring for the check-in appointment?

  • Signed I-20 form. If you have dependents (F2) bring their documents with you.
  • Passport and I-94 (Print 2 copies after you arrive in the United States
  • Original:
    • Approved Application for the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) packet which includes the financial documents, acceptance letter and academic documents)
    • SEVIS fee receipt.
    • Passport
    • Immunization records
    • Birth certificate
  • Copy of SEVIS Fee receipt
  • Updated address, email, telephone number and emergency contact in the United States.

As a matriculated student at Medgar Evers College, it is mandatory that you attend the new international student orientation on academic and SEVIS procedures and regulation ns. Failure to attend the orientation will result in a hold on your ability to register for classes.

As an accepted student to Medgar Evers College, before registering for classes you will need to:

  • Submit your immunization records to the Office of Health Services (S 217)
  • Take the CUNY Placement Skills Assessment Examination ( mandatory for freshman student/ transfer students will be notified if they need to take the test)

In order to maintain your F-1 status, you must register for a minimum of twelve credits every spring and fall semester. Failure to do so is a direct violation of your non-immigrant F-1 status.