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Prospective International Students and Scholars

Prospective International Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to Yeshiva University! To be eligible for Yeshiva University immigration sponsorship, you need to be accepted to a full-time, classroom based academic program at Yeshiva University. Students admitted to an online program of study are not eligible for student immigration sponsorship. If you are not yet admitted, please visit the admission page for your degree level and college of interest.

If your intent is to be a full-time student, you must enter the U.S. in an immigration status that permits full-time study. The majority of full-time international students in the U.S., and at YU, come in F-1 student status with the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status. There are some non-degree exchange students at YU, who come for a short time as a J-1 Exchange Visitor, with the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitor Status.  Document and visa application information, and preparation and arrival tips, are outlined below.

Most international students at YU are in F-1 student status and apply for an I-20. If you plan to bring your spouse and/or children with you, they will need to obtain an F-2 dependent visa. F-2 dependents may not work in the U.S. and are limited to part-time study.

Some students, primarily Cardozo Law students participating in an official academic exchange program, come in J-1 exchange visitor status and apply for a DS-2019. To be a J-1 student, at least half of your funding must come from a source other than personal or family funds OR you must be participating in an official academic exchange program. If you plan to bring your spouse and/or children with you, they will need to obtain a J-2 dependent visa. J-2 dependents may apply for work permission and may study.

Admitted F and J students can now apply for their immigration document on the YU International Student PortalFully admitted students will automatically receive an email from the system with a user ID and temporary password.  In most cases, a seat deposit is required to start this process. The auto-email will go to your YU email address. Make sure that you check your YU email regularly for a message that looks like this:
     Subject: YU International Portal Website: Login Information  

To complete the I-20 or DS-2019 application you will need the following:

  • A copy of your YU admission letter (an electronic version is fine)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport
  • Financial documents that show that you have at least one year of the estimated expenses associated with your academic program.
  • You can view estimated annual expenses on the YU International Student Portal Homepage. The link is on the left.
  • Student typically submit different types of financial support, including but not limited to YU scholarships, parents, and personal loans. You must be able to pay for your tuition, fees, health insurance, and living expenses each year while at YU. Do not plan to work in the U.S. to earn extra money to supplement your expenses.
  • F-1 Transfer Students: students studying in the U.S. in F-1 status need to complete the SEVIS School Transfer-In procedure. The transfer-in process is automated within the I-20 application on the YU International Student Portal. Information about this is in the learning content in the online application.
  • If you have any questions call 646-592-4203 or send an email to

  • Once we receive a complete application, we will start working on your I-20 or DS-2019. We will contact you if we need additional information or documentation. Please make sure to check your email while you are waiting for your document.
  • We are aware of visa processing times and will work as fast as possible to send each student their I-20 or DS-2019. Please allow at least two weeks from the time your application is complete at the OISS, before checking on the status of your application. Time spent responding to application status inquires takes away from the time we spend working on your documents. We will contact you if additional documentation is needed.
  • While you are waiting for your immigration document, take some time to look at the information post on Study in the States, the official U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.
  • Once the immigration document is complete, the OISS will send it by FedEx. You may also elect to pick it up in person if convenient. Please contact the OISS if you wish to have your documents mailed overseas by a service other than FedEx.
  • Along with your I-20 or DS-2019, there will be other information about what to do next. Be sure to read all of it, as we will be sending you other important information you need to know!

Once you have received your I-20 or DS-2019, the next step is to pay a mandatory U.S. government SEVIS Fee. The fee is paid online at Form I-901. Some countries do not permit online payment. Alternative payment options are provided on the SEVIS fee website. F-2 and J-2 dependents are not required to pay the fee. If paying online, remember to print out the receipt immediately after you pay. You do not need to request a paper receipt. Learn more about the SEVIS fee. A SEVIS fee receipt is required to apply for a student visa and when Canadians cross the U.S. border.

Apply for your visa online You can only apply for a visa outside of the U.S.  The best place to apply is in your home country.

10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa

  • Your interview will be very fast, lasting only a few minutes. 
  • Politely and concisely answer only the questions asked by the Consular Officer.
  • You will be expected to speak English during your interview. Practice! Converse with others in English, watch English television and listen to the radio. Be ready to talk about why you chose to study at YU.
  • You may be required to demonstrate non-immigrant intent, which means that you intend to go home once you are finished with school. To prepare, consider the compelling or strong economic and family ties that you have to your home country that will draw you back.
  • If your visa is denied, ask for the denial reason in writing and contact the Office of International Student & Scholars for further instructions. In most cases, applying again with additional documentation will lead to success.

F and J students may enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. The only exception is for students who are Transferring from another school in the U.S. Transfer students travelling outside of the U.S. between schools may return, with YU’s I-20, as early as they wish. All students must arrive by the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. Please contact the OISS immediately if you will not be able to arrive by the date on your form.

  1. Make travel arrangements and reserve a place to stay in New York City if necessary.
  2. There are three airports in the New York City area:
  3. On-Campus Housing: Dormitory space is primarily reserved for undergraduate students. There is limited graduate student housing in the Benjamin, located on East 29th Street and Lexington Avenue.  Contact The Benjamin for more information.
  4. College dormitory friendly products can be purchased at many retail stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart, and Ikea.
    • When purchasing bedding, the sheet size is "twin extra long."
    • Electric power is standardized in all states across the USA. It is set at 110 Volts and 60 cycles. If necessary, decide if it makes sense for you bring a converter or purchase compatible appliances upon arrival. It may be more convenient and less expensive to purchase items such as coffee makers and hairdryers at a U.S. discount store.
    • Undergraduate students are required to live on-campus their first year (2 semesters.) Contact University Housing for information. Wilf Campus  Beren Campus
  5. Off-campus housing: YU does not have an off-campus housing office, however, some schools, such as Cardozo Law, have accommodations in non-YU buildings, that you can reserve on your own. Graduate students should check directly with their admission office website to see what may be available. if your school does not have resources on their website, contact the admission office directly or check here:
  6. Prepare for the weather: New York City has four seasons ranging from very hot in the summer (June through September) to very cold in the winter (December through March). Students arriving in January should be sure to have warm clothes (coat, hat, gloves, and scarf) and boots upon arrival.
  7. Banking: Limit the amount of cash you bring. Try to open an account at a bank that has a branch in New York City, while still in your home country. Popular banks with many convenient locations are JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and TD Bank. You do not need a social security number to open a U.S. bank account.
  8. Drivers Licenses: many students find that they do not need to drive in New York City because there is an extensive public transportation system.  If you think that you may wish to drive, have your license translated to English or apply for an international driver’s license before you leave. Each state has its own agency the issues driver's licenses:
  9. Immigration documents: leave copies of your passport and visa at home with a family member. Pack the original in your carry-on bag, not a suitcase. You will need your documents when you go through customs.
  10. Social Security Numbers: a U.S. social security number is a taxpayer identification number. Only non-citizens with permission to work in the U.S. can apply for a social security number. Read more about U.S. Social Security numbers.
  11. New York City ID: Everyone living in New York City (NYC) (Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island) can apply for a free government issued NYC photo identification card.  Read about the benefits and application process. This is only for NYC residents.

When you arrive at Customs, you must present the items listed below.  Carry them with you on the plane.  Do not pack them in your luggage.

  1. Passport valid for at least six months from your arrival in the U.S.
  2. F-1 or J-1 visa (Canadian citizens are exempt)
  3. Copy of your admission letter and financial documents
  4. The SEVIS fee receipt
  5. Once you clear customs, immediately retrieve your I-94 to check that you have been admitted in the proper student or exchange visitor status.

Yeshiva University's four campuses in New York City are spread across two boroughs:

Beren Campus: 245 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan
Brookdale Center (Cardozo Law): 55 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
Resnick Campus: 1300 Morris Park Avenue and 1165 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx
Wilf Campus: 500 West 185th Street, Manhattan

Please plan ahead to know how you will travel form the airport to your final destination. There are many options for ground transportation, including taxis, car services, shuttle buses, subways, and trains. The airports are all 20 to 40 miles from campus. It will be difficult to travel with more than three bags and/or suitcases, so pack light. You should be prepared to take a taxi from the airport to campus; fares can range from $50 to $80. All airports have a taxi stand outside of the baggage pick-up area. Avoid accepting a ride from anyone other than the official taxi dispatcher.

Jennifer Golden, MA 
Director, Office of International Services
Yeshiva University - Manhattan Campuses 

Tia Younginger
International Student Advisor 
Yeshiva University - Manhattan Campuses 

Rukia Rahi 
Coordinator, Wilf Campus 
Wilf Campus, Furst Hall, Room 413A 
Phone: 646-592-4203 

Betty Kam
Executive Secretary, Beren Campus 
215 Lexington Avenue, 5th Floor 
Phone: 646-592-4127 

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