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Congratulations on your Acceptance to Mercy!

Now that you've been fully admitted to Mercy College, there are a number of next steps to take before arriving:


  1. Pay your enrollment deposit fee ($100) and/or your housing deposit fee.
  2. Register as a full-time student
  3. Submit documents for your Form I-20
  4. Obtain your I-20
  5. Obtain F-1 visa (if you are currently outside the U.S.)
  6. Submit all outstanding documents (on-campus housing items, immunization records, official transcripts/evaluations)
  7. Arrive in time for International Student Orientation and the start of the term!
How to Submit Documents for I-20
Please mail, email, or fax the above requirements for the I-20 form to:
International Student Services
555 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Fax: (914) 888-5018
Arrival Picture
Important Reminders BEFORE your Arrive
  • F-1 students can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before their program start date
  • Citizens of Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and British subjects resident in certain islands are not required to obtain an F-1 visa
  • If you are living on-campus, ensure that you are cleared to move-in
  • Be sure to send International Student Services a copy of your F-1 visa once you obtain it, as well as your signed F-1 Statement of Understanding
  • Communciate with International Student Services regarding your arrival date, and if you would like to request complimentary airport shuttle transportation from JFK Airport
  • Work closely with International Student Services and your PACT Mentor in the weeks before your arrival to ensure that you have fulfilled all requirements to begin your academic program at Mercy!
Important Reminders AFTER you Arrive

After you arrive in the U.S., you are required to check-in with ISS within 15 days. Attend International Student Orientation and get ready for your first day of classes!

1. Registration as a Full-Time Student

Full-time registration is required for all F-1 international students for every term. Undergraduate students must register for a minimum of 12 credits with no more than one online course, and may receive assistance with registration from Paige Hook ( Graduate students must register for a minimum of 6 credits (quarter schedule) or 9 credit (semester or trimester schedule),with no more than one online course. Graduate students may receive support with class registration from Valerie Monaco ( or Bogdana Vladescu (

2. Submit Documents for Form I-20

A Form I-20 is issued by Mercy College for the purpose of certifying to the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 student status.  It certifies that that you have been fully admitted, you intend to pursue a full course of study as a bona fide student, and you have enough funds to study and live in the U.S.

Documents needed for I-20 Issuance

  • Copy of Picture Page in Valid Passport (should be valid 6 months into the future)

  • I-20 Eligibility Form

  • Financial Sponsorship Documents (no older than 3 months): recent bank statement demonstrating one year of tuition and estimated living expenses, proof of income such as recent tax statement, letter form employer, or recent pay stubs

  • Affidavit of Support

If you are transferring from a school in the U.S., you should also submit

3. Obtaining your Form I-20

After submitting your documents, they will be reviewed by ISS within 48 hours.  If anything additional is needed, ISS will let you know via email.  Otherwise, your form I-20 will be issued within 1-2 weeks of receiving all documents.  Once the I-20 is issued, ISS will send you a confirmation email with all relevant information on the next steps. 

ISS does not send digital copies of the I-20.  A hardcopy will either be mailed to you or available for pick-up based on what you indicate.

4. Obtain your F-1 Visa

If you will be entering the U.S. as a new F-1 student, you will need to obtain an F-1 visa in your home country. To do so, you must follow the steps below. If you already have an F-1 visa that has not expired, you do not have to get a new F-1 visa as long as you have not been out of the U.S. for more than 5 consecutive months. If you have been out of the U.S. for more than 5 consecutive months, then you must obtain a new F-1 visa if you plan on travelling during your studies.

  1. Obtain the Form l-20: This form is issued at the educational institution. You will be able to receive this form by mail from Mercy College once you have satisfied all requirements for eligibility.
  2. Pay MANDATORY $350 SEVIS fee: You must pay the SEVIS Fee prior to the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in your country. In order to do so, you must have your I-20 Form to complete Form 901 (on-line) at and obtain the receipt or Form l-797. Please note that this process requires the use of a credit card. For more information regarding this topic please visit  
  3. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) form: This requires you to upload one (1) passport picture. Please make sure to carefully review the instructions prior starting the process.
  4. Prepare documents for visa interview: You must have a valid passport, letter of admission from the school, evidence of financial ability to meet expenses (original documents, no older than 3 months), and evidence of intent to depart the United States after completion of studies.  During your interview, you will need to speak about (1) Who you are, (2) What your intent is in the U.S.,(3) your plans to return home after completion of study, and (4) how you will cover the costs of studying and living in the U.S.
    • You will be charged with a Machine Readable Visa fee and you will complete an ink-free finger print process during your F1 visa interview