Congratulations on your Acceptance!
Now that you've been fully admitted to Mercy College, there are a number of next steps to take before arriving...
Registration as a Full-Time Student
To register for your first academic term, International Admissions will put you in communication with your PACT Mentor who will help you register for classes.
All students must also pay their enrollment deposit.
Submit Documents for Form I-20
A Form I-20 is issued by Mercy College for the purpose of certifying to the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 student status. It certifies that that you have been fully admitted, you intend to pursue a full course of study as a bona fide student, and you have enough funds to study and live in the U.S.
Documents needed for I-20 Issuance
- Copy of Picture Page in Valid Passport (should be valid 6 months into the future)
- I-20 Eligibility Form
- Recent bank statement (no more than 3 months old) of student OR sponsor, indicating enough funding for one year of tuition plus living expenses.
- Proof of income of sponsor (either recent pay stubs, recent tax statement, or letter from employer)
- Affidavit of support, signed by the student’s sponsor
If you are transferring from a school in the U.S., you should ALSO submit the items listed below:
- Copies of ALL previous Form I-20s (all three pages)
- Copy of I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
- Copy of picture page of visa
- F1 Transfer Form and get SEVIS record transferred
- Copies of any previous EAD, social security card, or miscellaneous USCIS documents
Obtaining your Form I-20
Once received, your documents will be reviewed by ISS within 48 hours. If anything additional is needed, International Student Services will inform you via email. Otherwise, your Form I-20 will be issued within 1-2 business days of receiving all documents. Once the I-20 is issued, ISS will send you a confirmation email with the Form I-20 attached and all relevant information on the next steps. The Department of Homeland Security allows the issuance of electronic I-20s.
Obtain your F-1 Visa
If you will be entering the U.S. as a new F-1 student, you will need to obtain an F-1 visa in your home country. To do so, you must follow the steps below. If you already have an F-1 visa that has not expired, you do not have to get a new F-1 visa as long as you have not been out of the U.S. for more than 5 consecutive months. If you have been out of the U.S. for more than 5 consecutive months, then you must obtain a new F-1 visa if you plan on traveling during your studies.
- Obtain the Form I-20: This form is issued by the educational institution. You will receive this form by email from Mercy College once you have satisfied all requirements for eligibility.
- Pay MANDATORY $350 SEVIS fee: You must pay the SEVIS Fee prior to the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in your country. In order to do so, you must have your I-20 Form to complete Form I-901 (online) at https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html and obtain the receipt or Form l-797. Please note that this process requires the use of a credit card. For more information regarding this topic please visit https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901
- Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) form: https://ceac.state.gov/GenNIV/Default.aspx This requires you to upload one (1) passport picture. Please make sure to carefully review the instructions prior starting the process.
- Prepare documents for visa interview: You must have a valid passport, letter of admission from the school, evidence of financial ability to meet expenses (original documents, no older than 3 months), and evidence of intent to depart the United States after completion of studies. During your interview, you will need to speak about (1) Who you are, (2) What your intent is in the U.S.,(3) your plans to return home after completion of study, and (4) how you will cover the costs of studying and living in the U.S.
You will be charged with a Machine Readable Visa fee and you will complete an ink-free finger print process during your F1 visa interview.
How to Submit Documents for I-20
Please submit your I-20 application documents here.
Before You Arrive
- F-1 students can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before their program start date
- Citizens of Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and British subjects resident in certain islands are not required to obtain an F-1 visa
- If you are living on-campus, ensure that you are cleared to move-in
- Keep in touch and inform us of your travel plans, and expected arrival date.
After You Arrive