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.

F-1 Student or J-1 Exchange Visitor Status?
Complete Your I-20/DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
Receive your Immigration Document
Pay the SEVIS Fee
Prepare for your Visa Interview
Prepare to Enter the U.S.
     Know Before You Go
Arriving at the U.S. Port of Entry (Customs)
Getting to Yeshiva University

F-1 Student or J-1 Exchange Visitor Status?

The vast majority of 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. In order 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.

Complete Your I-20/DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility Application

Admitted F and J students can now apply for their immigration document on the YU  International Student Portal. Fully admitted students will automatically receive an email from the system with a user ID and temporary password.  In some 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  

Application checklist:

  • A signed copy of your completed I-20/DS-2019 Application (now online)
  • A copy of your YU admission letter (an electronic version is fine)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport
  • Financial documents that prove you can pay for the estimated expenses associated with your academic program. Specific information about the expenses associated with the wise variety of academic program at YU, and documentation options, is included in the I-20 or DS-2019 application. 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 procedure and upload a completed F-1 Transfer-In Form with your I-20 application.
  • If you have any questions call 646-592-4203 or send an email to

Receive your Immigration Document

  • 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’re waiting for your document.
  • Document processing time is about 2 weeks after submitting a complete application. Please allow at least two weeks from the time your application is complete at the OISS, before checking on the status of your application. The OISS will be in touch if additional documentation is needed. Time spent responding to status inquires takes away from the time we spend working on your documents. We are aware of visa processing times and will work as fast as possible to send each student their I-20 or DS-2019.
  • 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 you are in Manhattan. 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!

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Pay the SEVIS Fee

Once you’ve received your I-20 or DS-2019, you will need to pay the U.S. government SEVIS Fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In order to pay, complete the Form I-901 along with the payment online or by mail. Dependents applying for F-2 or J-2 status 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.

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  • 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.

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Preparing to Enter the U.S.

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. 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. NOTE: Undergraduate students are required to live on-campus their first year (2 semesters.) Contact University Housing for information. Wilf Campus  Beren Campus
    There is also limited housing in the Benjamin Dormitory, located on East 29th Street and Lexington Avenue.  Contact The Benjamin for more information.
  4. 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 to reserve on your own. Graduate students should check directly with their admission office website to see what may be avaialble. if your school does not have resources on their website, contact the admission office directly or check here:
  5. Preparing 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.
  6. Banking: Limit the amount of cash you bring. Try to open an account at a bank while still in your home country, that has a branch in New York City. Popular banks with many convenient locations are JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and TD Bank. You do not need a social security number to open a U.S. bank account.
  7. 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 it's own agency the issues driver's licenses:
  8. 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.
  9. Social Security Numbers: a U.S. social security number is a tax payer identification number. Only non-citizens with permission to work in the U.S. can apply for a social security number.  This means that most students, and all F-2 dependents, will not be eligible to apply for a U.S. social security number. If you have an on-campus job or obtain work permission while you in the U.S., you must obtain a U.S. social security number. Once you have a number, it is your number for life. Read more about U.S. Social Security numbers.
  10. 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.

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Arriving at the U.S. Port of Entry (Customs)

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 into the future
  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

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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.

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