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Immigration Information

International Students Who Currently Reside Outside the U.S.

Most students come to the United States to enroll in a full-time degree program in F-1 student status. A Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for an F-1 student visa) is issued to students by CBU for entry into the U.S. Dependents (spouse or children) of an F-1 visa holder can accompany the student on F-2 dependent visas. F-2s are not permitted to be employed in the U.S., study full-time or in degree programs.

If you reside outside the U.S., the Admissions Office will mail you the appropriate certificate of eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) after you have submitted the required evidence of financial support. You must then pay the SEVIS fee.  The certificate of eligibility (Form I-20 form must be presented at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy when applying for your F-1 student visa, along with your unexpired passport, evidence of financial support and SEVIS fee receipt.

If you do not receive the Form I-20 , do not enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or the visa waiver program! Doing so may prevent you from beginning your academic program on time, or make it necessary for you to leave the U.S. to change to a student status. If it is absolutely necessary for you to enter the U.S. prior to receiving the Form I-20 form, you should request at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate that “prospective student” be noted on the B-1/B-2 visa to make a change of status easier to obtain.

International Students Who Are Currently in the U.S. on an F-1 Visa

If you plan to remain in the U.S., United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations permit a transfer of your immigration status to CBU provided that you are in valid

 F-1 status at the school you are currently attending. You must inform your current school of your intent to transfer to CBU as soon as possible but no later than the last day of your final semester at your current school (ex. if spring is your last semester at your current school, then no later than the last day of the spring semester). Your Form I-20 from CBU cannot be issued until your current school has been notified and releases you to transfer. Please talk to your international student advisor about the transfer process as soon as you decide you will transfer.

Failure to complete the transfer process within 15 days of the program start date at CBU results in a violation of your immigration status. Furthermore, you may not work on campus until your immigration transfer is processed. If you are out of status, discuss your options with your current international student advisor.

If you plan to leave the U.S. before enrolling, please use the CBU transfer Form I-20 to re-enter the U.S. and to apply for a new visa at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy (if your current F-1 visa has expired or if you changed your status to F-1 while in the U.S.).

International Students Who Are Currently in the U.S. on Another Type of visa (F-2, J-2 or H-1) or Who Have Applied for Permanent Residency

If you are in a status other than F-2, the University does not require you to change your status to F-1 to be enrolled; however, you may not be eligible to work on campus without changing to F-1 status. You are required to present your immigration documents to the International Student Advisor during Immigration Briefing and Check-In. For individuals interested in changing their status within the U.S., the change of status must be submitted to USCIS prior to the expiration of your current status (and prior to the termination of employment for H-1 visa holders). 


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