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Immigration

immigration

D'Youville's International Student Office is here to help guide you through the immigration process. The pages in this section provide you with useful information on how to obtain an I-20 and an F-1 student visa. Please review them carefully and contact us if you have any questions.

For International (non-Canadian) Students

How to Obtain Your I-20 From D'Youville

Before the International Student Office can issue a Federal Form I-20, you must:

  1. Be accepted into a program of study.
  2. Submit a $500 US deposit.
  3. Submit the International Student Financial Form (PDF) with appropriate supporting documentation.

Once these items are received, the International Student Office at D’Youville College will review the documents. If approved, the Federal Form I-20 will be issued.

How to Apply for a non-immigrant u.s. visa

Applying For A Non-Immigrant U.S. Visa

You must obtain a U.S. visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy outside of the U.S. To learn about the application procedures, please consult the website of the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where you will apply for your visa. Visit usembassy.state.gov to locate the correct website.

June, July, and August are the busiest months in most U.S. Consulates so interview appointments may be difficult to obtain during that period. To see the wait times for visas at particular U.S. Consulate, please check travel.state.gov.

What you need to apply for an F-1 student visa

The U.S. Department of State website lists detailed instructions regarding the forms, documents, etc. which are required for the visa application. It is important that you bring everything to your visa interview to avoid needless delays in the processing of your application.

Documents you will need to bring to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy:

  • Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form) http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_4230.html
  • SEVIS Form I-20 from D'Youville College.
  • Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended duration of your visit to the U.S.)
  • One (1) photograph (50mm x 50mm) which meets the requirements specified at http://travel.state.gov/visa/visaphotoreq/visaphotoreq_5334.html
  • Application fee.
  • Visa issuance fee (if required).
  • Proof of payment of SEVIS fee (Form I-901). (Usually from www.fmjfee.com)
  • Transcripts and diplomas from current and/or previous institutions.
  • Original score reports of standardized tests required by the school (e.g. TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT).
  • Original acceptance and scholarship letters from D'Youville College.
  • Financial evidence showing sufficient funds to cover educational and living expenses for the entire length of your program.
  • Documents showing your "non-immigrant intent" (i.e. documents which help to prove your ties to your home country and verify that you have no intentions of immigrating to the U.S.)
  • Other requirements as determined by your U.S. Consulate.

What is non-immigrant intent?

All applicants for F-1 Visas are required to demonstrate their intent to return to their home country following the completion of their studies or scholarly activities. There are several ways you demonstrate your intent to return home:

  • Be ready to explain clearly how you intend to utilize your degree or research experience at home after you finish your program.
  • Bring proof of ownership of any property (e.g. land, house, apartment) in your home country.
  • Bring bank statements for accounts you maintain in your home country.
  • Bring proof of a job offer or continuing employment in your home country.
  • Bring proof of your family's ties to your home country (e.g. property, business ownership, bank accounts or other assets) .

Arriving at a U.S. Port of entry

What to Expect

Congratulations! You have obtained your F-1 student visa, made your flight arrangements, contacted the ISO and are coming for international student orientation. Here is what to expect when arriving at a US port of entry.

When arriving at a US port of entry

  • Be sure to remember your I-20 and your passport.
  • Do not enter on another school's certificate of eligibility.
  • Do not attempt to enter the country on a visitor/tourist visa (B2).
  • Expect to go through immigrations and customs when you reach the US port of entry.
  • You may be required to go through pre-inspection procedures at certain airports abroad.
  • Expect to have your fingerprints and a digital photograph taken.
  • At the immigrations booth you will have to present your I-20, your passport, and F-1 visa. New electronic I-94 procedures have been put into place at all air and sea ports. There will no longer be a paper I-94 stapled into the passport. You will receive a detailed information sheet on how to access it electronically. The ISO will assist you when you arrive on campus. View more detailed information

Further port of entry information can be found on the Department of Homeland Security website.

Please let the International Student Office know immediately when you obtain your visa and what your flight plans are.

For Canadian Students

How to obtain and process your I-20 from D'Youville (for Canadian citizens)

Before the International Student Office can issue a Federal Form I-20, you must:

  • Be accepted into a program of study.
  • Pay the deposit.
  • Submit the International Student Financial Forms along with appropriate supporting documentation.
  • You will receive your I-20 either at registration or it will be mailed to you.
  • As a Canadian citizen you are not required to obtain an F-1 student visa at a US consulate or embassy, but you are required to process the Federal Form I-20 at a US port of entry.

How to Process Your I-20

SEVIS I-20 CHECKLIST

  1. Check over your I-20 and ensure that all information (name, birth date, country of birth and citizenship, course of study) is correct. If there are any errors, please contact the ISO at (716) 829-8119 or ext 8114.
  2. The SEVIS processing fee ($200US) must be paid BEFORE you go to the port of entry. You can fill out the I-901 form online and pay by credit card atwww.fmjfee.com. We suggest that you pay online by credit card (you will receive an immediate receipt that you can take with you to the port of entry.) If you mail the payment to the address on the front of the I-901 form, you will have to wait for them to mail a receipt back to you, which could take up to three weeks.
  3. Assemble your financial statements to prove that you have access to enough liquid assets to cover the total in item #8 on your I-20. Financial proof may include official bank statements (on bank letterhead), lines of credit, approved loans, or receipts from the college if you have already paid. Please also keep in mind that you must show proof that you have the capability to cover the entire length of the program. Please check the instructions on the International Student Financial Form.
  4. If you are sponsored by a parent, family member or employer you will need the notarized "Sponsor Affidavit" stating that they are willing to support your educational endeavor. The sponsor will need to show proof that they have access to enough money in liquid assets to cover the total in item #8c on your I-20 (See #3 above). They must also provide proof of capability to pay for the entire length of the program.
  5. To process your Federal Form I-20, you need to go to the Peace Bridge. Remember that you CANNOT process your I-20 more than 30 days before the start of class as listed in #5 on your I-20.
  6. When you reach the booth where the CBP officer asks where you are going, tell him or her that you are a D'Youville College student and you would like to process your SEVIS I-20. They will take your passport and your I-20. They will ask you to pull over to the right where another guard will be waiting.
  7. Once there, you must show your SEVIS I-20, photo identification, proof of citizenship, the $200 receipt from the I-901 form and your financial documents. They will stamp and return your I-20 with a small, white card (I-94). You will need $6 USD for the port of entry fee (I-94) THESE ARE VITAL DOCUMENTS – DO NOT LOSE THEM.
  8. After processing at the U.S. Port of Entry you will need to visit the International Student Office to have page 3 of your I-20 signed. Your I-20 isn't valid for re-entry until this is done.
  9. If you are attending school on a part-time basis your I-20 will be stamped "F-1", it will only be valid for one semester, and you will need to go through Step #6 EACH SEMESTER. Please remember that you will need to contact the ISO before the beginning of each semester. You CANNOT wait to pick up your I-20 after classes begin. Part time students will also be required to turn over their I-94 after the completion of each semester. You will receive a new I-94 card when you process your new I-20.
    If you are attending school on a full-time basis, your I-20 will be stamped "F-1" and you will need to go through Step #6 only once for your duration of status. You do, however, need to have page 3 of your I-20 signed each year.
  10. Carry the SEVIS I-20 and your I-94 with you EVERY TIME YOU CROSS INTO THE U.S. As you pull up to the booth, present your I-20, I-94 and passport to the CBP officer. This includes times when you are not going to class, but just visiting. Tell them you are a student, but you are visiting, going shopping, etc.
  11. If you plan on working in the US after you complete your program (Optional Practical Training), you must see the ISO BEFORE YOUR GRADUATION DATE.
  12. After you have completed your program at D'Youville, on your absolute last day when crossing back into Canada, hand the Canadian Customs official your I-94 (small white card) and tell them you are done with school. Keep your I-20. Do not turn over your I-94 if you are applying for OPT.

Important Information for Canadian Students

US Customs Border Protection announces change in travel document requirements at land borders

Starting June 1, 2009, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative ("WHTI") will go into effect at land borders and sea ports of entry. This means that all travelers (including U.S. and Canadian citizens) will be required to present a WHTI-compliant document to enter the United States.

WHTI-compliant documents include: Passports, US Passport Cards, State or Province-Issued Enhanced Drivers Licenses, or Trusted Traveler Cards, such as NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST. Children under age 16 may present a birth certificate or alternative proof of citizenship.

We suggest that travelers prepare now and obtain the appropriate documents in anticipation of this change.

In the meantime, the two-document option (i.e. driver's license plus birth certificate) will continue to be accepted until June 1, 2009. Please note that travelers without acceptable documentation may face delays at the border.

At all times lawful permanent residents of the U.S. (green-card holders) should present evidence of immigration status when entering the United States, such as a Permanent Resident Card.

HOW TO OBTAIN AND PROCESS YOUR I-20 FROM D'YOUVILLE (FOR CANADIAN permanent residents)

Getting Your I-20 - Permanent Residents of Canada

PLEASE NOTE: If you are not a Canadian citizen you are not allowed to attend school on a part-time basis. You must be enrolled full-time. Full-time for undergraduate and combined bachelor/master program students is 12 credit hours and for graduate students it is 9 credit hours.

How to Obtain your I-20 from D'Youville

  1. Be accepted into a program of study.
  2. Pay the deposit.
  3. Submit the International Student Financial Forms along with appropriate supporting documentation.
  4. Your I-20 will be mailed to you.
  5. Make a visa appointment at the US Consulate General in Toronto.

What to Bring to Your Visa Interview

  1. Your I-20 from D'Youville College.
  2. $200 SEVIS fee payment receipt (www.fmjfee.com)
  3. Your acceptance letter and any scholarship letters.
  4. Your original bank statements and any notarized "affidavit of support" forms
  5. Your passport and permanent resident card
  6. Passport size photos
  7. DS-160 https://ceac.state.gov/GENNIV/
  8. Non-refundable visa fee
  9. For more information please visit Advice for Visa Applicants

Port of Entry Procedures:

  1. You may not enter the United States after obtaining your F-1 visa, more than 30 days before the start of school as indicated on your I-20(#5).
  2. Please make sure that you have your I-20, passport, F-1 visa, financial forms, bank letter, I-901 receipt, and acceptance letter.
  3. You will let the port of entry know you are a student at D'Youville College and need to process your I-20.
  4. Please make sure to bring $6USD. You will be issued an I-94 and it will be stapled into your passport.
  5. After you process at the port of entry please stop by the International Student Office in the D'Youville Academic Center, Suite 219, to have the third page of your I-20 signed.
  6. Once you have officially obtained F-1 student status you will need to make sure you always carry your I-20, I-94, passport and visa when travelling in the United States, for the duration of your status.

Important Information for Canadian Students

US Customs Border Protection announces change in travel document requirements at land borders

Starting June 1, 2009, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative ("WHTI") will go into effect at land borders and sea ports of entry. This means that all travelers (including U.S. and Canadian citizens) will be required to present a WHTI-compliant document to enter the United States.

WHTI-compliant documents include: Passports, US Passport Cards, State or Province-Issued Enhanced Drivers Licenses, or Trusted Traveler Cards, such as NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST. Children under age 16 may present a birth certificate or alternative proof of citizenship.

We suggest that travelers prepare now and obtain the appropriate documents in anticipation of this change.

In the meantime, the two-document option (i.e. driver's license plus birth certificate) will continue to be accepted until June 1, 2009. Please note that travelers without acceptable documentation may face delays at the border.

At all times lawful permanent residents of the U.S. (green-card holders) should present evidence of immigration status when entering the United States, such as a Permanent Resident Card.

For more information please visit the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative web page.

HOW TO OBTAIN AND PROCESS YOUR I-20 FROM D'YOUVILLE (FOR part-time border commuters)

How to obtain and process your I-20: Part-Time Border Commuter Student Status

What is Part-Time Border Commuter Status?

In 2002, the Immigration and Naturalization Service announced new regulations regarding part time commuter students to serve the educational interests of students living in communities within commuter distance of the border. The interim rule allows Canadian students to study on a part time basis at schools located within 75 miles of the United States border.

To qualify for the classification described above, a student must:

  • Be a national of Canada who maintains an actual residence in Canada.
  • Be attending a school located within 75 miles of the border.
  • Be matriculated (be accepted in a degree program) in a full course of study. A full course is defined as leading to attainment of a specific educational or professional objective, albeit on a part-time basis.
  • Seek admission to the United States at a land border port of entry.
  • Present Form I-20 endorsed to reflect the student is registered as a "border commuter student" in a full course of study on a part-time basis only to the end of the current semester or term.

Part Time Status Defined

Undergraduate: Less than 12 credit hours Combined Bachelor/Masters Program: Less than 12 hours Graduate: Less than 9 credit hours

You must visit the International Student Office every semester for a brand new initial I-20. Your first part-time I-20 will state in the remarks "initial part-time border commuter student." Your subsequent I-20's will state "continuing part-time border commuter student." As long as you maintain continuous enrollment you will not have to pay the $200 SEVIS fee again.

You will be required to turn over your I-94 after the completion of each semester. You will receive a new I-94 when you process the new I-20.

Please note: Part-time border commuter students may not live in the United States and they cannot work on campus. However, you are able to apply for CPT and Post Completion OPT.

How to obtain your part time I-20

  1. Be accepted into a program of study.
  2. Submit the deposit.
  3. Submit the International Student Financial forms with supporting documentation.
  4. Your I-20 will be available at your registration session/orientation session.

How to Process your I-20 at a U.S. Port of Entry

  1. Check over your I-20 and ensure that all information (name, birth date, country of birth and citizenship, course of study is correct. If there are any errors, please contact the ISO at 716-829-8119 or 716-829-8114.
  2. The SEVIS processing fee ($200US) must be paid BEFORE you go to the port of entry. You can fill out the I-901 form online and pay by credit card at www.fmjfee.com . We suggest that if possible to pay online by credit card. You will receive an immediate receipt that you can take with you to the port of entry. If you mail it in to the address on the front of the I-901 form, you will have to wait for them to mail a receipt back to you, which could take up to three weeks.
  3. Assemble your financial statements to prove that you have access to enough liquid assets to cover the total in item #8 on your I-20. Financial proof may include official bank statements (on bank letterhead), lines of credit, approved loans, or receipts from the college if you have already paid. Please also keep in mind that you must show proof that you have the capability to cover the entire length of the program. Please check the instructions on the International Student Financial Form.
  4. If you are sponsored by a parent, family member or employer you will need the notarized "Sponsor Affidavit" stating that they are willing to support your educational endeavor. The sponsor will need to show proof that they have access to enough money in liquid assets to cover the total in item #8c on your I-20 (See #3 above). They must also provide proof of capability to pay for the entire length of the program.
  5. To process your Federal Form I-20, you need to go to the Peace Bridge. Remember that you CANNOT process your I-20 more than 30 days before the start of class as listed in #5 on your I-20.
  6. When you reach the booth where the CBP officer asks where you are going, tell him or her that you are a D'Youville College student and you would like to process your SEVIS I-20. They will take your passport and your I-20. They will ask you to pull over to the right where another guard will be waiting.
  7. Once there, you must show your SEVIS I-20, photo identification, proof of citizenship, the $200 receipt from the I-901 form and your financial documents. They will stamp and return your I-20 with a small, white card (I-94). You will need $6 USD for the port of entry fee(I-94) THESE ARE VITAL DOCUMENTS – DO NOT LOSE THEM.
  8. After processing at the U.S. Port of Entry you will need to visit the International Student Office to have page 3 of your I-20 signed. Your I-20 isn't valid for re-entry until this is done.
  9. If you are attending school on a part-time basis your I-20 will be stamped "F-1", it will only be valid for one semester, and you will need to go through Step #6 EACH SEMESTER. Please remember that you will need to contact the ISO before the beginning of each semester. You CANNOT wait to pick up your I-20 after classes begin. Part time students will also be required to turn over their I-94 after the completion of each semester. You will receive a new I-94 card when you process your new I-20.
  10. Carry the SEVIS I-20 and your I-94 with you EVERY TIME YOU CROSS INTO THE U.S. As you pull up to the booth, present your I-20, I-94 and passport to the CBP officer. This includes times when you are not going to class, but just visiting. Tell them you are a student, but you are visiting, going shopping, etc.
  11. If you plan on working in the US after you complete your program (Optional Practical Training), you must see the ISO BEFORE YOUR GRADUATION DATE.
  12. After you have completed your program at D'Youville, on your absolute last day when crossing back into Canada, hand the Canadian Customs official your I-94 (small white card) and tell them you are done with school. Keep your I-20.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR APPLYING AS AN INCOMING FRESHMEN?