If you are a degree-seeking student, you will need the Form I-20 when you come to the U.S. to prove you are eligible to enter as a student at U.S. immigration inspection at the port of entry.
In order to receive a Form I-20, you need to submit your financial documents showing you or your sponsor has financial ability to cover the cost of attendance of the College. Required financial documents for you to submit are listed below:
- Official financial documents:
- Official financial documents need to include either your name or your sponsor's name, with a date, signature, and seal of a bank official showing a current balance of at least the total cost of attendance. The College requires proof of funds of $4,000 per year for each child dependent and $6,000 per year for a spouse. Such proof of funding is required by the U.S. government that necessitates that all international students and their dependents present proof of financial resources.
- Original letter written, signed with date by your financial sponsor:
- If the original bank statement listed above is not in your name, you do not need to provide Financial Sponsor letter. This letter must state that your sponsor will be responsible for your expenses while attending the College. The exact amount of the funding being sponsored must be listed.
Please send the required documents through email to International Students Services.
Applying for an F-1 Student Visa
A visa is a stamped confirmation made in the passport by an American consular or embassy official outside the U.S. It indicates that all requirements have been met for entry into the U.S The number of entries allowed within a specified period is indicated on the visa and can vary from country to country.
The U.S. Department of State maintains an excellent website on the visa application process, and you should study it carefully. You can also find information about how long it will take to get your visa. Students applying for initial-entry F-1 and F-2 visas may be issued the visas up to 120 days before the academic program start date as noted on the I-20.
You must show your Form I-20 and your passport to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate to officially apply for a student (F-1) visa with the following items:
- Entire I-20 form
- The original letter of acceptance to SUNY Brockport
- Original bank statement showing the amount you and/or your sponsor are expected to
support for your expenses while at the College, as shown on your I-20 (Item 8a-Student's
personal funds, and 8c Funds from another source)
- Letter of Support: Indicates the amount of funding to be provided by your sponsor
- Letter of Guarantee: Indicates the amount of funding from the bank or other agency if a loan is part
of your support.
Copies of all academic records
- Scholarship or assistantship notification letter (Item 8b on I-20-Funds from this school) only if you have been awarded an assistantship from Brockport
- Assistantship or campus employment notification (Item 8d on I-20 On-campus employment) if awarded
Obtaining Your F-1 Student Visa
The F-1 Student Visa is the specific type of visa, which is required for most international students to enter and study in the United States. To secure your F-1 visa, you will need to apply through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
You will need to obtain F-1 student visa if you are:
- Currently in your country of citizenship or
- Not in the United States and not in your country of citizenship and
- Do not possess a valid (or unexpired) F-1 Student Visa
You may not need to obtain F-1 student visa if you possess a valid F-1 Student Visa from another school. Show your Brockport I-20 to the Immigration Officer at your port of entry. If you use your Brockport I-20 to enter the United States, you must be prepared to attend the College.
If you are in the US on an F-1 visa and are transferring to SUNY Brockport, you will
need to complete the SEVIS Transfer Form.
At the start of the semester: Bring your Brockport I-20 and your passport to International Student Services no later than fivedays after the beginning of classes. An advisor will endorse your transfer to the College, and return your I-20 to you. Failure to do so may jeopardize your visa status.
Arriving in the United States
In order to enter the United States, you will need to have the following. Be sure to pack all of following documents in a carry-on bag:
- A valid passport
- Your F-1 student visa (except for Canadian students)
- Your I-20 form
- Financial documentation to show adequate financial resources
I-20 ID Copy
Once you arrive at a port of entry into the United States, you will need to present the above documents to the immigration officer. The officer will keep one copy of your I-20 form and stamp another copy that will be returned to you, which is known as the “I-20 ID Copy". This “I-20 ID Copy" is a permanent record of your permission to enter and remain in the United States. You must keep this “I-20 ID Copy" in your possession for as long as you remain a student.
In addition, you may be issued a completed I-94 Arrival-Departure Record, which will be issued by an immigration officer at your port of entry into the U.S. This I-94 is extremely important as it indicates your visa status and the date when your permission to remain in the U.S. expires.
Ports of entry in the U.S. are beginning to process the I-94 electronically. You may not receive an actual paper I-94 Arrival-Departure Record. However if you are issued I-94, it must be kept in your passport at all times. You can retrieve your I-94 Retrieval Number online here.
Maintaining Student Status
There are two important pieces to maintaining your student status. You must be a full-time student and you must maintain the minimum GPA for your program.
Full-Time Student Status
After your first semester, you will be able to register for classes yourself with the help of your academic advisor. The most important thing to remember is that you must maintain your full-time student status, which means that you have to have a minimum of 12 credits each semester as an undergraduate or 9 credits as a graduate student.
Minimum GPA Requirement
You must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher for undergraduate programs and a 3.0 for graduate programs. The College uses a 4.0 GPA Scale, the most commonly used GPA scale in the United States. A 2.0 on our GPA scale would equate to a "C" average and 3.0 would equate to a "B" average.