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Application Forms & Resources

Immigration Status Resources: 

The OISS website should be the first place you go for immigration information, while at Yeshiva University. Our Current Student page includes helpful information about maintaining your immigration status in the U.S. In addition, information about Employment section of our website and our Guide on How to Maintain F-1 Status. Our website also has important immigration related news listed, which is updated regularly. 

If your questions are not answered on our website, you can contact our office by email or phone. You can also check this Department of Homeland Security website, Study in the States, and this ACLU page, Know Your Rights


U.S. Cultural Resources: 

Yeshiva University is an institutional member of One to World, an organization that offers access to a wide variety of programs in the New York - New Jersey metro area. Through One to World, you can attend fun events, work on professional development, learn about U.S. culture from locals, and meet other international students enrolled at universities in the New York City metro area. We highly encourage students to sign-up to receive their newsletter and take advantage of their amazing programs. 

Here are some other links for things related to U.S. culture that you may want to learn more about: 


Tax Resources:  

All students and scholars are obligated to file a tax return for every year that you are in the U.S., even if you do not earn any money. The tax filing season is January through April for prior calendar year. The OISS is not able to advise you about your tax obligations. Instead, the OISS works with Sprintax, a company specializing in non-immigrant taxation. They are truly experts. Every year, Sprintax offers free webinars to help you learn what you need to do.  

If you have questions about taxes, please direct them to Sprintax. You can also look at their blogs to see answers to common tax questions. 

YU provides all active F and J students and scholars with a code enabling you to file a free Federal tax return online through Sprintax. 


Fraud & Scam Warning: 

What is a scam? A scam is any means someone uses to get you to part with your money. It is not always easy to spot a con or scam artist. But scammers know how to get around our better judgment. They play on our emotions or promise big payoffs to get us to act. Scammers also pose as people, agencies, and companies you know and trust. Scams can occur over the telephone, though the mail, over the internet, or in person, and you may not be able to spot the scam artist until it is too late. 

Unfortunately, in the U.S. it is common to receive phone calls, emails, letters, etc. from scammers attempting to steal your personal information or money. To do this, scammers may impersonate government officials, police officers, or university officials. Clever scammer may use a phone number that looks like they are calling from a government agency. 

If you receive unsolicited messages or calls from someone about your immigration status, your Social Security Number, etc. and they are demanding your personal information or money from you, be suspicious. Never give your personal information or bank information over the phone to anyone. The U.S. government and government agencies such as the IRS, SSA, USCIS, or ICE will NEVER call your phone and demand payment to maintain your immigration status. Similarly, Yeshiva University will never call and demand that you immediately over the phone pay the university. If you are in doubt, hang up the call and tell someone from OISS about what you have experienced so we can advise you. 

Here are some resources on scams and how to protect yourself: 

Please also be wary of housing scams. Do not pay a deposit for an apartment without first seeing it or to a person you have not met. Research the company renting the apartment to ensure it is legitimate. Be wary of sublet agreements that have no written lease or agreement in place. You should always have a lease document signed.  


Getting Settled in the U.S. 

Many students and scholars wish to open a bank account in the U.S. If you want to do this, please know that a Social Security Number (SSN) or ITIN is not required for an F-1 or J-1 visa holder to open a bank account, however, you will need to provide proof of identification and immigration status in the U.S. (passport, I-94, and I-20 or DS-2019). Additional items you should bring include:  

  • Your YU ID  
  • ID from your home country 
  • Proof of your current U.S. address 
  • A letter of enrollment  
  • Money or a check to deposit 

When you are choosing which bank to use, consider the proximity of their branches/ATMs to your housing and campus. You can call the banks in advance to make an appointment and ask which documents exactly will be needed for you to open an account.  

Once you have an account, it is best to use an ATM associated with your bank. Using an ATM for another bank or in a convenience store may result in a transaction fee being charged to you. 

Common nation-wide banks include: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, Citigroup, and HSBC. 

Using a non-U.S. bank account: If you are using a debit card from a non-U.S. bank account you will be charged a foreign transaction fee to get cash out of any ATM. You can check with your current bank to see if they have branches in NY or partnerships with banks where you can use their ATMs without a charge. 

To drive in the U.S., you must have a valid driver license. The U.S. government has general requirements to apply for a driver’s license or state identification card, but the application process must be done in the state where you live. Each state has their own additional requirements and application procedures. 

As per the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) website, New York state accepts valid non-U.S. driver’s licenses for non-resident visitors for the first 90 days they are in the state and then would require them to receive a New York State license to drive. Laws vary by state so if you will drive in another U.S. state, look up the law in advance. 

If you want/need a State ID or driver license, please go to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website for more information.  

Students sometimes like to apply for a non-driver ID card from the DMV so that they have a valid U.S. ID and no longer would need to carry their passport as identification. Students also sometimes want to apply for a New York City ID card which serves the same function and comes with discount benefits.

If you want a U.S. cell phone number, you will need to do some research into available phone plans to see what suits your needs the best. The major cell phone carriers in the U.S. are Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile (formerly Sprint), though there are many more available.  

Please read the plan details before signing to make sure you understand the terms. You should also ask if you must purchase or lease a new phone or if you can get the number and plan to insert the new card (chip) into your current phone. 

Yeshiva University offers a free Shuttle Service between Wilf Campus and Beren Campus.  

New York City’s five boroughs are interconnected through the subway and bus systems and this is normally the easiest way to get around the city. The subway runs 24 hours, though trains and buses run less frequently late at night and in non-commuting times. 

When using the subway or buses, you can either purchase a metro-card to swipe or you can use a credit or debit card with tap-to-pay capabilities to pay your fare at the turnstiles.  

If you are purchasing a metro-card you will be able to either add time (7-day unlimited pass or 30-day unlimited pass) or add value (adding money to the card to be used for single rides). You can add money or time to your metro card at any MTA machine in a station. Check the MTA website for fare information. 

If you do not want to take the subway or a bus, you can find taxis everywhere. To hail a taxi, simply raise your hand to indicate you need a ride. All Yellow NYC taxis can accept credit/debit card payments. Taxi drivers should be tipped 10-20% of their fare, which should be calculated automatically on the screen. You can also alternatively use ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.  

If you will be travelling out of the city, you can find trains through NJ Transit, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), or Metro North. You can also find buses through Greyhound, Megabus, etc. You can access domestic and international flights from JFK Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport.  

Finding affordable housing off-campus in NYC can be fast-paced and overwhelming, but millions of people do it and so can you!  

Please be wary of housing scams. Do not pay a deposit for an apartment without seeing it or to a person you have not met. Research the company renting the apartment to ensure it is legitimate. Be wary of sublet agreements that have no written lease or agreement in place. You should always have a lease document signed. You should also read this Tenant’s Rights information. Here are some online resources to help you find a place: 

As a F-1 or J-1 student or scholar, you are expected to know and follow federal and state U.S. laws. Failure to do so could result in being arrested and having your visa revoked. U.S. law can be a little confusing because there are both federal laws and state laws and they may seem contradictory at times. When in doubt, be cautious.  

F-1 and J-1 student or scholars have certain constitutional rights in the U.S. when confronted by local or federal authorities. Know your rights

Here are some common U.S. laws that may differ from other countries in the world: 

  • The drinking age in the U.S. in 21 years old. If you drink under the age of 21, you could be arrested. 
  • The use of illicit drugs is illegal in the U.S. If you are found to be using, buying, or selling illegal drugs, you could be arrested. 
    • While marijuana was legalized in New York and New Jersey, it is still federally illegal and international students in possession of, using, or selling marijuana may be arrested. 
  • Smoking is not allowed inside buildings or within a certain radius of building entrances. There are typically designated “smoking areas” outside.  
  • In the U.S., you have freedom of speech and religion.  

Hopefully all our students and scholars will remain safe and healthy for their time in New York City, however, you should be prepared with resources just in case something happens. 

You can call 911 in emergencies to be connected to police, ambulance services, and/or fire department services. If you are on campus, you can also call campus security in the event of an emergency.  

  • Beren Campus Security: 212-340-7709  
  • Wilf Campus Security: 212-960-5221  
  • Yeshiva University 24-hour Security/Dispatcher: 212-960-5200  

If you are having a medical emergency, you could consider using Hatzolah. This is an emergency medical service serving mostly Jewish communities around the world.  

We recommend that students sign up for Yeshiva University’s emergency alert notifications to be notified if there is any incident on or near campus. 

If you have a non-emergency issue to report, you can do that by calling 311

If you are the victim of a crime or a witness to a crime, please inform OISS and your department and here is the NYPD website with information on how to report it

Once you arrive in the U.S. you will see many shops and brands that might be new to you, so here is a brief guide to help you get started. 

Common chain pharmacies in New York City are CVS, Duane Reads, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. In addition to prescription medicine, these pharmacies will stock over the counter medications, band-aids, shampoos, and conditioners, in addition to snacks, greeting cards, and various other miscellaneous items. 

Pharmacies have a counter inside the store where you can pick up medicine prescribed in advance by a doctor. Your doctor must send the prescription directly to the pharmacy. Keep the name, phone number and address of a pharmacy near your home and/or close to school, with you. You can use more than one pharmacy. 

Note: while some chain pharmacy stores are open 24 hours, the pharmacy counter for prescribed medications may have more limited hours. 

Common supermarkets you can find in New York City include: Gristedes, Food Basics, D’Agostino’s, Fairway Market, Key Food, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, H Mart, and Morton Williams. In addition, there are countless other small supermarkets and bodegas where you can drop in to pick something up. And if you are looking for a special ingredient to remind you of home, Kalustyan's (near Beren campus) is sure to have it! 

Farmer’s Markets are common in the U.S. and can be found even in NYC. Here is information on where and when to find them

For clothes shopping, there are so many boutiques around New York City to take advantage of, but there are also chain clothing stores like Express, H&M, Banana Republic, Loft, Gap, Old Navy, Marshalls, Brooks Brothers, Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, Uniqlo, Zara, etc.  

There are also department stores which sell clothes and housewares and everything you could need! Common ones are Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack, Bloomingdales, TJ Maxx, and Target. 

College dormitory friendly products can be purchased at many retail stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart, and Ikea. When purchasing bedding for on-campus housing, the sheet size is "twin extra-long". 

For restaurants, New York City has it all and you cannot go wrong! Ask the people you meet for recommendations! At restaurants in the U.S., you are expected to tip your server 15-20% of your total bill. Portion sizes can be larger in the U.S. than in other countries and it is completely acceptable to ask for a to-go box to bring your leftovers home with you.  

Also, in New York City, you can order takeout/delivery from restaurants through their websites or through apps like Seamless, Grub Hub, Caviar, or Uber Eats.  

Please be aware that when making purchases in the U.S., sales tax will be added, so the cost listed on the item in the store will not be the price that you end up paying at the cashier. Sales tax varies by state and by city/county. 

Application Forms & Resources

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