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F-1 Student Visa and Status Overview

An F-1 nonimmigrant is a student in the United States with an F-1 status, pursuing a full-time course of study in an accredited educational program. The primary purpose of an F-1 status is full-time study. This is required for the fall and spring semesters with a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester or a certified full-time language training program. F-1 applicants are not eligible to apply for a certificate program due to course load requirements. Suffolk County Community College only admits F-1 students in the fall and spring semesters.

Applicants will need a SEVIS Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa, apply for a change of status or to keep lawful F-1 status when transferring from a SEVIS school to another SEVIS school within the U.S. This document tells the U.S. government that the applicant has met our admission and financial requirements.

Change of Status

Nonimmigrants in the U.S. may or may not be permitted to study depending on their current immigration status. Those seeking a change of status to F-1 are required to contact the International Student Office for more information regarding their current status and eligibility to change to an F-1 status. It is highly recommended to seek the advice of an immigration attorney for assistance with the change of status application.

Important note:
B1/B2 (visitor) status holders are prohibited by United States law from pursuing a full-time course of study prior to approval of a change of status to F-1. Visit: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Length of program of study per education level:

Associate Degree Program - Two years.

Intensive English Program (IEP) - Language Training - One year and a half.

F-1 students who complete the Intensive English Program - Language Training can continue their education and earn an associate degree. Students must apply for a new education level. The new SEVIS Form I-20 will reflect the new length of study.

Suffolk County Community College does not have dormitories or residence halls. Applicants need to arrange their housing.

Annual Cost of Attendance for Educational Level for F-1 Students

*Total Annual Cost for Associate Degree Program in U.S. dollars:

Tuition and Fees $10,510  
Living Expenses $9,680  
Books and Supplies $1,500  
Total Annual Cost $21,690 USD

*Total Annual Cost for Intensive English Program - Language Training for F-1 students in U.S. dollars:

Tuition and Fees $3,678  
Living Expenses $9,680  
Books and Supplies $1,500  
Total Annual Cost $14,858 USD

*Additional funds may be required if you do not have a U.S. Housing Sponsor offering you free room and board and/or if F-2 dependents are accompanying you to the U.S.

Suffolk County Community College has a tuition payment plan (TPP) that allows students to pay their tuition and fees in three installments. Visit: Tuition Payment Plan.

International Student Office

Office Location:

NFL Building, Room 12
533 College Road
Selden, NY 11784-2899


Phone: (631) 451-4773
Fax: (631) 451-4708

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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F-1 visa applicants who meet all the application requirements will receive their acceptance packet to Suffolk County Community College and a SEVIS Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Status) from the International Student Office, after the process is complete.

F-1 Student Visa Application Requirements

All documents must be original unless noted on the list of requirements that a copy can be submitted.

  • Admissions Application including a non-refundable application fee
  • Application for SEVIS Form I-20
  • Housing Sponsorship Form and copy of proof of residence
  • Financial Sponsorship Form and proof of finances
  • Education credential evaluation (original in a sealed envelope)
  • English proficiency
    (not required for Intensive English Program [IEP] - Language Training)
  • Copy of applicant's valid passport identification page
  • Copy of dependent valid passport identification page (if applicable)

Important Notice

If any document in a language other than English is submitted, the applicant needs to include a full English language translation along with the original document. The translator certifies that the translation is complete and accurate, and that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language to English.

Understanding F-1 Student Visa Application Requirements

  • Admissions Application - Applicants are required to list their name as it appears on their passport. Applicants must include their mailing address (in the U.S.) and legal address (foreign). Complete all sections and attach a non-refundable application fee payable to Suffolk County Community College. Payment can be made by check or money order. When answering questions regarding residency, note that F-1 status does not allow nonimmigrants to establish U.S. residency.
  • Application for SEVIS Form I-20 - Complete all sections of this form. This form provides pertinent information required to create the SEVIS Form I-20.

There are no dormitories or residence halls at
Suffolk County Community College.
Applicants need to arrange for their housing.

  • Housing Sponsorship Form - Housing sponsor must complete this form and include proof of residence. Proof of residence can be one of the following:
  1. Copy of Deed
  2. Copy of Lease Agreement
  3. Copy of a Utility Bill (example: electric, gas, oil, or water bill)

The housing sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. By completing the Housing Sponsorship Form, the sponsor is swearing to the U.S. government that the applicant will receive free room and board. The applicant cannot be required to provide the sponsor with any service in exchange for room and board.

Applicants without a housing sponsor: If you do not have a housing sponsor offering you free room and board, you need to add the cost of housing of $11,000 to the total annual cost. Upon arrival to the U.S., the applicant is required to submit a Housing Sponsorship Form with proof of residence within ten days of arrival. Failure to comply with the housing requirement will prevent the student from being registered in SEVIS. As a result, it will lead to the termination of the F-1 student's status.

  • Financial Sponsorship Form - Financial sponsor is required complete this form and include an original bank statement to confirm the availability of funds required for the duration of studies.

Applicants with F-2 dependents - If a dependent is accompanying the applicant, additional funding is required. For a spouse, an additional $6,500 per year; and for each additional child, $4,500 per year must be added to the total annual cost.

The bank statement must be in the name of the person offering the financial support. The bank statement needs to include balances and deposits and cannot be more than two months old at the time of the application submission. Please note: if another person's name appears on the bank statement, that person is required to complete a separate Financial Sponsorship Form permitting those funds to be used for the applicant. The bank statement(s) must indicate the immediate availability of funds to pay for the expenses for the first academic year. If the bank statement only shows enough funds to cover the first year, then proof of income must be submitted.

Financial sponsor(s) proof of income can be one of the following:

  1. Original employer's salary statement on company letterhead
  2. Original salary estimate from a private accountant or bank if self-employed
  3. Copy of most recent income tax return
  4. Copies of pay stubs for the last two consecutive months
  5. Original documentation of liquid assets

By completing the Financial Sponsorship Form, the individual is swearing to the U.S. government and agrees they will provide the funds indicated on the Financial Sponsorship Form to the applicant from their own financial resources for the purpose of full-time study for the entire length of study.

When applying for an F-1 visa or for a change of status, it is recommended at least part of the applicant's financial support come from a financial sponsor from their country as this demonstrates ties to their country.

Please note: F-1 applicants who will provide financial support for themselves must submit proof they have adequate financial funds for each year of the student's program of study. Reminder, length of study is two years for an associate degree program or a year and a half for Intensive English Program (IEP) - Language Training.

Suffolk County Community College cannot provide any financial assistance to F-1 students nor are they eligible for federal or state-based financial aid.

It is important to note that F-1 students cannot be expected to work in the U.S. to meet their financial needs. On-campus employment is extremely limited, and off-campus employment is strictly controlled by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. For more information on F-1 students and employment eligibility visit,

To assist you with determining your annual cost of tuition and living expenses, complete the Annual Tuition and Living Cost Worksheet.

  • Education Credential Evaluation - International applicants are required to prove their secondary education from their home country is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma. Applicants who have been determined by an accredited agency to have earned the equivalent of an associate degree or higher can have the high school requirement waived. Applicants who have attended college and wish to transfer credits to this institution need to have a course-by-course evaluation before determining potential transfer credits.

All foreign education credentials must be evaluated by an accredited agency.
Academic degree evaluations will be accepted from a credential evaluation agency which is a member of either the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE). Please note, the agency the applicant selects to process their education credential evaluation will specify the required documentation and English translation requirement on their website.

The Education Credential Evaluation is required to be sent to the International Student Office at the address below in a sealed envelope.

Please visit the websites below for NACES and AICE to select one of the evaluation agencies:

National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)
Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE)

  • English Proficiency - For admission to an associate degree program, English proficiency must be demonstrated by meeting one of the following requirements:
  1. TOEFL Examination - a minimum score of 61 (internet-based), 173 (computerized-based) or 500 (paper-based)
  2. Completion of a recognized English as a Second Language (ESL) program at another American institution
  3. SUNY English Proficiency Report - This form is to be completed by a professor or instructor of English at a school or university or director of an English language program

Please note: Applicants who enroll in the Intensive English Program (IEP) are not required to meet the English Proficiency requirement.

  • Copy of the applicant's identity page of a valid passport - valid for at least 6 months into the future
  • Copy of the identity page of any dependent's valid passport (if applicable) - valid for at least 6 months into the future

Please note: You will not be admitted until all application requirements are accepted. We recommend all requirements be submitted together.

Submit a complete application to:
Suffolk County Community College
International Student Office
Norman F. Lechtrecker Building, Room 12
533 College Road,
Selden, NY 11784-2899 USA