International Students


At St. Francis College, we are proud of the wide variety of cultures and ethnicities represented by our student body.Our international students come from all parts of the world and mix together to create a microcosm of Brooklyn itself, one of the most diverse counties in the United States.

The College fully complies with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Due to the amount of time required to properly enter a student’s information into SEVIS, and because of the large quantity of documentation, international students must present documents well in advance of their anticipated entrance date. For more information contact Chad Lectura: 718.489.5246.

Please Note: All documents, including financial statements, submitted to St. Francis College for the purpose of obtaining a SEVIS I-20 must be translated into English prior to submitting.

My admissions check list:

All International students must provide the following:

  • Completed Application
  • Transcripts from high school (translated)
  • Proof of high school completion (diploma)
  • TOEFL exam scores (information found in Catalogue)
  • Translated transcripts from any college/institute (if applicable)

What is an International Student?

An international student may apply as either a first-time freshman or as a transfer student from his or her home country. They may also already be studying in the United States.

A student is considered “international” if he or she is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. The term assigned to describe international students by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is called “F-1,” and is used interchangeably to describe both legal status and visa type.

International Admissions and International Student Services

International Students have two elements which need to be addressed sequentially and separately: 1) the admissions process, and 2) services provided to help establish lawful F-1 status.

  • International Admissions

The first step is to complete the free online application by visiting Apply.sfc.edu

If you are a first-time freshman, you must then submit:

  • Official high school transcript

The transcript must be in English and must express a grade point average that is similar in nature to a US grading system (4.0 scale or 100-point scale). If the transcript does not satisfy these two elements, you must arrange to have the transcript evaluated by an independent credit evaluation service. Recommended and reputable companies are World Education Services, Globe Language Services, and Langalo. However, you may use any accredited member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. These services will review your transcript and forward a certified report of your academic history to the SFC admissions office.

  • SAT or ACT score report

We strongly encourage prospective applicants to take either exam multiple times. The Office of Admissions will always take the highest super score. You can register for the SAT exam at www.CollegeBoard.org and the ACT exam at www.ACTStudent.org.

  • Proof of English proficiency

If you attended a high school in a country whose language of instruction or native language is something other than English, you must provide evidence of English proficiency. This is done by taking the TOEFL exam (www.ETS.org/toefl) or the IELTS exam (www.IELTS.org).

  • International Student Services

St. Francis College fully complies with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which operates under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As an SEVP-certified school, the College is authorized by federal law to enroll non-immigrant F-1 students for the purpose of completing a degree.

After you have been formally accepted into the college, your focus should now shift towards obtaining lawful F-1 status and a visa if you are applying from outside of the United States.

Before reviewing the requirements to be considered F-1, you should familiarize yourself with the difference between the terms status and visa.

Status refers to the amount of time granted to you to participate in an activity; in this case, it is the amount of time given to you to complete a degree.

Visa refers only to the document (a sticker) placed into your passport which allows you to lawfully travel to the United States.

Think of the student visa as the key to your house: you need it to enter, but once inside, it serves no purpose. This applies to the status/visa relationship, with the visa being secondary to status. F-1 students must observe all regulations associated with international study to remain in lawful, good standing, or “in status.” The document which demonstrates F-1 status is called Form I-20.

Form I-20 is the next document you will need after you have been accepted. It allows you to apply for a student visa at the U.S. embassy in your country.

To obtain Form I-20, you must complete the SFC Application for a Form I-20 and submit it with copies of bank statements and pay stubs from financial support sponsors. You will find helpful instructions on the application.

Once this is completed, St. Francis College will send you your original, signed Form I-20 along with detailed instructions on the final step in the process: appearing for your student visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.

If you are already enrolled in a high school, college, or university in the U.S. as an F-1 student, you will need a new Form I-20. You must also supply the SFC SEVIS Transfer Recommendation Letter to your current international student coordinator so that your SEVIS record may be transferred to St. Francis College.

Arrival at St. Francis College

Each student’s academic and immigration situation is different. Therefore, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with the SFC International Student Coordinator so your questions can be addressed as accurately as possible. However, here are some general points of responsibility to which you must adhere in order to stay “in status.”

  • You must report to the International Student Coordinator immediately upon arrival. Please bring a color photocopy of your passport identification page and your student visa, and a black-and-white photocopy of your Form I-20.
  • For your first entry for initial school attendance, the school listed on your visa and your Form I-20 must be the same, and that is the school you must attend.
  • Each academic semester you are required to register for a full course of study, which is a minimum of 12 credits. The only exceptions are during breaks in between the fall and spring semester or if you have been approved in advance by the International Student Coordinator for a reduced course load.
  • Make normal progress towards completing your course of study by completing your program before the end date listed on your Form I-20.
  • Refrain from off-campus employment unless authorized by the International Student Coordinator. All internships and applications for severe economic hardship must be approved by the International Student Coordinator.
  • Ensure the program completion date on your Form I-20 accurately reflects the date you are expected to obtain your degree.
  • Keep your Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures to change your education level, program of study, extend your stay, and/or transfer to another school.
  • Report a change of address within 1- day of the change so your record in SEVIS can be updated.
  • After you have completed your studies, you are authorized to remain in the U.S. for no longer than 60 days. This grace period does not apply if you have followed the correct procedures to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), advancing to the next higher education level, or have initiated a school transfer.
  • Ensure you follow any special reporting requirements requested by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Ensure that your passport and Form I-20 remain valid at all times.

Working as an F-1 Student

Different requirements exist for each type of F-1 employment, but there are basic requirements which must be met for all:

  • You must be in valid F-1 status and in good academic standing while engaged in a full course of study, except during points in the year when the fall or spring semester is not in session (summer break and winter break).
  • Once employment is authorized, you must properly maintain your eligibility or you will lose your right to continue employment.

Types of F-1 Employment

On Campus Employment

F-1 students are permitted to work on the St. Francis College campus. This work is part-time, limited to 20 hours per week when school is in session or full-time when the fall or spring semester is not in session. Work on-campus is a benefit of F-1 status and, aside from obtaining a Social Security Number with the help of the International Student Coordinator, requires no additional authorization.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Application for Curricular Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Application for Optional Practical Training

CPT-OPT Calculator

Important Forms and Other Details