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Immigration Issues

Read this important information!

If you have difficulty accessing these PDF files, please contact our office:
Phone: 315 464-4604


Obtaining a visa comes AFTER acceptance to SUNY Upstate.

Applying to our university is a separate process from that of obtaining a visa.

  1. The first step is to apply for admission to a program of study.
  2. After you have been accepted for admission, the International Student Advisor will assist you with your I-20 form application.


An I-20 form is a certificate of eligibility document issued by the International Student Advisor from the SEVIS web-based system, sponsored by the US Departments of Justice, that shows that you are eligible and approved to apply for an F-1 student visa.

Keep in mind that you must also submit the foreign student financial statement and supporting financial documentation that shows you are able to afford your tuition and living expenses in order to be issued an I-20, unless you will be receiving a graduate assistantship and tuition waiver. You will take the I-20 form with you when you apply for the F-1 visa at the nearest US consulate in your home country.

Canadian Students

Canadian students can attend school in the US without a visa. If your primary language is English, it is not a requirement to take a Test of English as a Foreign Language exam (TOEFL) or submit TSE scores. Please note that SUNY Upstate does not recognize results from the 13th year as credit toward admission. Canadian students may apply for loans from Provincial Canadian federal sources to attend SUNY Upstate.