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International Student Services

Welcome to St. Francis College

International Student Services (ISS) operates under the SFC International Department and advises all students with F-1 visas on immigration, personal, social and cultural matters while they complete their studies.

ISS advocates for international students and helps to connect them with resources around Brooklyn, New York City and the greater metro area. In addition, we help faculty and staff learn more about our international student population.


Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
SFC International

179 Livingston St. (Room 6212)
(718) 489-2067

Getting Settled

Living in NYC

Getting settled in a new international city can be overwhelming. We're here to help you find your way around NYC and make St. Francis College your home.
Employment on Campus

Find a Job

If you would like an on-campus job, contact the SFC Center for Career Exploration where they can help you with resume development and finding offices that are hiring international students. You can also visit Handshake with your SFC credentials, where you will be able to see on-campus job postings.
Learn From Experience

Chat with a student

Have questions about what it's like to be an international student at SFC? Chat with an international student who has been through the entire process and get the answers you need.

Meet Your International Student Advisors

Hudson Hooton

Hello all! My name is Hudson Hooton and I am so pleased to be a full-time member of SFC International and of the SFC family at large. During my time here, I have already gotten to know many of our international students, and I am lucky enough to be in a position to help and support them. I advise the Amnesty International Chapter of SFC and, as SEVIS Coordinator, I provide assistance with the rules and regulations of studying in the U.S. for St. Francis College international students, while supporting them in their quest for a fulfilling academic career. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and in Film History from Bard College in upstate New York. I was born and raised in New York City and I love sharing this incredible place with people from all over the world. I am passionate about politics and social change, and I hope to further pursue a career in teaching. In my free time, I write and read stories, I draw, and I watch lots of movies!

Getting Started

The information below will help you through the pre-arrival process.

During this process, you will request an I-20, pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, obtain a student visa, bring family (if applicable), get health insurance, secure housing, arrive to SFC and attend orientation. If at any point you have questions about the process, do not hesitate to contact your international student advisor who can help at every step of the way.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus!

Getting an I-20

Form I-20

Each international student who wishes to study at St. Francis College must first receive a Form I-20, which is the key form for your F-1 student visa application. In order to receive an I-20, you must first be admitted to SFC and provide financial support to cover, at least, the total cost of attendance for the first year of attendance. The total cost of attendance can be found below.

In order to receive an I-20, you need to submit the following:

Students will need to email a copy of the biographical page of their passport. This is to ensure that SFC has the correct spelling of a student’s name and the correct date of birth.

International Student Information Sheet
This form is needed to show where the student was born, what country/ies they hold citizenship, where they currently live, and information where to mail the I-20 once completed. Most of the information on this form will be entered into the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the database used to create the I-20 and monitor international students.

Affidavit of Support
This form is to be completed by the student’s sponsor(s), who will be providing financial support for their educational/living expenses while at SFC.

  • See the above chart for total cost of attendance for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • International students may be eligible for academic and/or international scholarships.
  • The amount that needs to be covered by the sponsor(s) is the difference between the scholarships (academic, international, athletic, or other) a student may receive and the total cost of attendance.
  • This amount is proven through an affidavit of support and bank statements from one or more sponsors. If a student has more than one sponsor, each sponsor would need to submit an Affidavit of Support and bank statements.

Free Room and Board
This form is to be submitted only by those students who have a “housing sponsor” who is either an owner of a real estate property (apartment, house, condo, etc.) or a person leasing a real estate property in the New York City metropolitan area.*

  • In order for the College to accept this affidavit of support, a student’s sponsor will need to complete this form, submit their proof of domicile (lease or deed), and prior year’s tax statements or 3 months of earning statements. Both of these documents are mandatory in order for the student to receive the Form I-20.
  • This form, AOS-Free Room and Board, is equivalent to $18,000 in cash support for the undergraduate students, $16,000 in cash support for graduate students. Thus, this funding does not need to be shown on the bank statement from potential sponsors.

*The New York City metropolitan area is considered to be within a 70 mile radius of SFC.

Once completed, all documents may be emailed [email protected]. When the I-20 has been generated by St. Francis College, you will receive an email from us with information about what to do next to apply for your visa.

I-901 SEVIS Fee

The I-901 SEVIS fee is paid directly to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Students transferring to another institution within the U.S. are not required to pay it. If you receive a new SEVIS ID, you will have to pay the fee again. Unless in certain circumstances.

Under these circumstances, you may be eligible to transfer the SEVIS fee payment to your new SEVIS ID.

Applying for a visa

The F-1 student visa is permission in your passport to enter the United States. Canadian citizens are not required to have an F-1 visa to enter the U.S.

You can only apply for a visa outside the United States at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is recommended that you apply for the visa in the country of your permanent residence.

It may be possible to apply for a visa in another country that is not your home country. This is called a “Third Country National (TCN).” Not all embassies and consulates accept TCN applications. Make sure to check with the embassy or consulate where you plan to apply.

You may be taking a risk applying for a visa outside of your home country. For example, if there are delays in processing, you would be required to stay in that country and wait for your visa to be approved before attempting to enter the U.S.

F-1 visas may be issued up to 120 days before your program start date.

Visa checklist

Additional documentation may be required:

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, etc. from schools you attended
  • Standardized test scores required by St. Francis (SAT, ACT, etc.)(if applicable)
  • Your intent to depart the United States after completing your program
  • How you will pay for all educational, living, and travel costs
  • Learn appointment expectations

Obtaining an F-2 visa
An F-1 student’s dependent who are required to have a valid passport and visa for entry to the United States must apply for F-2 visas at their home country’s U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Each applicant must present the consular officer with a dependent Form I-20 and other documents that may be required to demonstrate eligibility for F-2 status, such as proof of relationship to the F-1 student and evidence of financial resources to support the dependents while in the United States. For additional information about what is required for a visa appointment, refer to the appropriate consulate or embassy website.

Once an F-2 visa is issued, the F-2 dependent would show their I-20, passport, and visa upon entering the United States. They are able to remain in the United States for as long as the F-1 student remains in ACTIVE status.

Health insurance

SFC International Announcement: Health Insurance is Mandatory for All International Students

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Francis College is requiring insurance for all international students. Students must be covered by their own Personal Medical Insurance (PMI) plan if they are coming to New York for the Fall 2021 Semester.

For those international students coming to New York in the Fall who will not have health insurance, it is strongly recommended that they apply for a PMI plan with an insurance company we have partnered with called Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). For more information, and to apply for coverage, please click here or visit the CISI website. CISI offers a quality insurance policy with broad and affordable coverage for international students. Student-athletes will also receive information about CISI insurance through Athletics. Please reach out to the Athletic trainers if you need more information.

Students planning on coming to New York and remaining on the insurance plan from their home country are allowed to do so, but proof of insurance coverage will be required in order to allow students to participate in classes. International students and their parents are encouraged to contact their medical insurance company prior to their son’s or daughter’s arrival at St. Francis College to ensure that medical coverage is extended to “out of network” coverage during their duration of study at St. Francis College. Since St. Francis College’s partnership with CISI has been recently finalized, we will also accept proof of coverage for alternative US-based group health insurance plans you may have already made on a case-by-case basis.

It is the responsibility of the international students and their parent(s)/guardian(s) to understand the conditions that apply to their medical insurance policy and comply with any requests for information from their home insurance company.

Please note: we strongly recommend enrolling with CISI as the coverage they offer is far broader than the one you may be bringing from home.

Proof of your PMI plan must be provided to us and kept on file with the SFC International and Registrar’s Offices prior to September 08, the beginning of the Fall semester. If you will “waive” or decline CISI coverage because you are bringing a plan from home, or have already secured an alternative US-based group health insurance with comparable coverage, please complete the St. Francis College Health Insurance Waiver for Academic Year 2022-23.

St. Francis College is not responsible for any medical bills incurred by international students. Illnesses, injuries and other health issues will not be covered by St. Francis College. Therefore, we kindly ask you to make sure you have some form of acceptable personal medical insurance as we welcome you to SFC campus for an exciting academic year!

The Admissions and SFC International teams are ready to assist and support you however we can. Please let Elizabeth Baldwin, International Student Advisor, know if you have any questions or concerns at [email protected]

Bring Your Family (Spouse and/or Children)

When adding a dependent to an F-1 student’s I-20, a new I-20 must be made for the student (F-1) and a separate one for each dependent (F-2) showing the names and additional expenses required.

To generate a new I-20 for the student and their dependent(s), International Student Programs and Services will need the following:

  • Proof of funding showing you have access to $10,000 for your spouse and $5,000 for each child
  • Dependent information form:
    • dependent first and last name
    • dependent’s date of birth (month/day/year)
    • dependent’s country of birth
    • dependent’s country of citizenship
    • dependent’s gender
    • whether dependent is a child or spouse
  • Marriage certificate for spouse (translated to English, if not already in English)
  • Birth certificate for each child (translated to English, if not already in English)
  • Passport for each dependent



Visit the Residence Life & Housing page if you are considering living on campus in our newly renovated residence hall.

You may also choose to live elsewhere in New York City and the surrounding area. Before searching for housing on your own, be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) put out by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board so that you know your rights as a renter. In addition, check out the off-campus housing resources below.

These guides from Curbed NY, Brick Underground, Thrillist, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Medium may also help you on your off-campus housing journey in New York City.

The above mentioned resources (housing websites and guides) resources have no affiliation with St. Francis College. Therefore, we do not endorse any specific site nor do we vet any of the listings provided. When conducting your search, please be aware of scams, do not send money before viewing an apartment, and be careful about the information you provide.

Geting to SFC

You have just received your visa and now you are planning your trip to the United States. What do you do now? The regulations state that you can only enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date on your I-20.

Check your start date and the earliest admission date! Do not enter before the earliest admission date or you may be asked to return after that date!

Similar to your visa interview, prepare your documents to be shown at the port of entry.

These will include:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-20
  • I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Copies of the financial documents of your sponsors
  • A copy of your admission letter

As you already know, we are located in the greatest borough (Brooklyn) in the greatest city (New York City) in the world.

The three airports close by are:

There are many options for you to get to SFC from these airports.

Our address is:

St. Francis College
179 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

When you arrive

After you have arrived in Brooklyn, check in with your international student advisor. To do this, you will need the following:

  • Your most recent I-94
  • Copy of your visa and admission stamp
  • Copy of page 1 of your I-20 with your signature

International student orientation

At the beginning of each semester, fall and spring, St. Francis College will host an International Student Welcome and Orientation. At this orientation, you will have a chance to meet incoming international students, learn about adjusting to New York City and the American classroom and have fun while winning prizes and eating.

Orientation is mandatory for all incoming international students. You will also have an opportunity to learn basic immigration rules and regulations and get to ask plenty of questions.

On your orientation registration form, you will also need to list a local address and local phone number (if you have one) in order to be “registered” as ACTIVE in the SEVIS database.

Study in the States Frequently Asked Questions

Policies and Procedures

When you sign your I-20, you are agreeing to abide by all the rules and regulations of being an international student studying in the U.S. Your international student advisor is here to assist with making sense of the many rules and regulations but you, the student, are the one who is ultimately responsible. If you do not know the answer, review the regulations or ask your qualified international student advisor. Meeting deadlines for applications or tests/quizzes/homework/exams is always the responsibility of the student. The SFC academic calendar has academic deadlines, such as add/drop and withdrawal dates.


The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. The staff members at International Student Services are not immigration attorneys nor do they work for the U.S. government. If you need legal advice, we highly recommend you contact a competent immigration attorney.

Maintaining Legal Status

All international students studying in the United States must follow the rules and regulations set forth by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Learn More.

Reasons to Update Your I-20

At different times, you may choose or need to make changes to your academic program, status and more. Find important information on how to manage such situations. Learn More.


The #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship was developed as a result of U.S. higher education institutions’ commitment to providing a welcoming, safe and diverse environment to international students. Learn More.

Traveling in the U.S. & Abroad

There are so many interesting places to explore in the world. Before you travel, though, it's important to make sure you have the appropriate documentation. Learn More.

Additional Resources

St. Francis College has many on-campus resources for you to succeed while you are here. Learn More.

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