How to Apply

International Students

International students must meet the same admissions criteria as American students. Applicants must also provide translations of transcripts and records, and validate that they have completed the equivalent of a United States bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

It is important for international applicants to apply on or before the priority submission dates because considerable time is required for sending and processing credentials, making admission decisions, and arranging for passports and visas.

  • Applying to Bank Street

    Complete applications for international students require:

  • Obtaining Your I-20

    Receiving the I-20 document:

    The I-20 document is required by the U.S. Consulate to issue an F-1 Student Visa. By issuing you an I-20, we certify that you have been admitted to Bank Street as a full-time student and that you can show sufficient funds to pay for tuition and living expenses while in New York. In order to issue you an I-20, we need several pieces of documentation from you as outlined below.

    • Application Form for I-20: After you are admitted, we will send you an application to complete. We are required to collect this information in order to issue you an I-20.
    • Financial Documentation: You will need to provide evidence that you or someone sponsoring you has the money to cover your tuition and living expenses. We will need proof of income, six months of bank statements, and recent pay stubs or tax returns for the individual(s) financing your study in the United States.
    • Copy of your passport identification page.
    • Copy of your Health Insurance Card: While studying in the United States, you will need a valid health insurance plan. If your plan does not cover you internationally, we can recommend external student plans for you.  Please note that health insurance plans are not offered by Bank Street College.

    After we receive all required documentation from you, we will issue you the I-20 and send it to your home address through express mail.  You can then prepare for and schedule your visa appointment.

    Visas:

    International students planning to attend Bank Street full-time must come into the United States on an F-1 visa. For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of State Student Visas page.

  • Applying for an F-1 Student Visa

    An F-1 Student Visa allows you permission to enter the country a student at Bank Street.  At your visa appointment, you will explain that you have been accepted to study in the United States and provide the following documentation required by the embassy.

    • I-901 form and SEVIS fee: The form and fee should be submitted online before the appointment
    • Your passport
    • I-20 document: You will need to present this as documentation that you have been given permission to study in the United States at Bank Street. You should bring the original document that we mailed to you.
    • Financial documentation: You will also need to bring the same documentation you sent to Bank Street before receiving the I-20.
    • Admissions documents: Bring a copy of your acceptance letter as proof of your acceptance to Bank Street.
    • Compelling ties: The embassy wants evidence of strong ties to your home country. This will serve as proof that you plan to return home after your course of study, as opposed to trying to remain in the United States indefinitely.
  • Arrival in the United States

    You will need to carry several documents with you on the plane and present them to Customs and Border Protection before you enter the country.

  • Maintaining Your F-1 Student Status

    To remain in the United States, students are responsible for making sure they maintain status while in the country. If you fail to meet the criteria to remain in status, Bank Street is legally required to terminate your status.

    • Engaging in appropriate F-1 activity: Students must remain full-time students (at least 9 credits) for each fall and spring term, maintain post-Optional Practical Training employment, and refrain from engaging in any unauthorized employment.
    • Travel: Be sure to get your I-20 signed for travel every time you plan to leave the country. Be sure you do this in advance of your travel date.
    • Program extension: Your I-20 lists a program start date and end date for your studies. If your course of study will take longer than the time given on your I-20, please notify the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) as soon as possible so we can begin the process for obtaining a program extension.
    • Reduced course load: If you need to drop a course or withdraw from school completely, please contact the PDSO before taking any action to withdraw. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for a reduced course load if you meet certain academic or medical criteria. However, if you withdraw from courses before speaking with the PDSO, we will be required to terminate your status.
    • Update PDSO with any name or address changes.

    What ends F-1 Status?

    • Engaging in activities prohibited by the F-1 status (i.e., unauthorized employment)
    • Failing to enroll in courses
    • Dropping below full-time student status (9 credits is considered full time)
    • Being absent from the United States for more than 5 months
    • Depending on the situation, it might be in your best interest to continue taking classes full time while applying for reinstatement if you wish to regain your F-1 status. Contact the PDSO immediately to schedule a meeting.

    Travel

    • Exit Procedures: Surrender I-94 upon departure (unless traveling to a neighboring country for less than 30 days)
    • Reentry Requirements: Valid Passport, Valid F-1 Visa, Form 1-20 with PDSO signature and any old I-20s, Best Practices (i.e., transcripts, proof of financial support, PDSO contact information, copy of I-94)
  • Completing Your Program and Applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    Completing Your Program:

    After graduation, you have a 60-day grace period in which you must either start Optional Practical Training (OPT), transfer to another institution, or leave the United States. If more time is needed for program completion than what is listed on your I-20, be sure to meet with the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) to request a program extension as soon as possible.

    Applying for OPT:

    At the conclusion of your program, you have the option of finding a job relevant to your course of study and working for 12 months on an extended F-1 status. You can apply for OPT no more than 90 days before graduation. You can apply for OPT before finding a job, and it normally takes more than two months to receive employment authorization.

    Please refer to the following checklist for materials required as a part of the OPT application:

    • Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization
    • Letter of Support from the PDSO
    • Form G-1145: E-notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
    • $410 fee: Check made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    • Copies of all previous I-20s
    • Two passport-format photos. Print your name and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) ID number on the back in pencil
    • Copies of I-94, passport ID pages, and previous Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) (if applicable)

    After you receive your employment authorization, schedule a meeting with the PDSO to copy your EAD card, get your Social Security letter, and pick up your updated I-20.

    Rules for Maintaining Status during OPT:

    • Remain employed full time
    • No more than 90 days of unemployment
    • May be paid or unpaid
    • Report interruptions of employment to PDSO
    • Report changes in name or address
    • Traveling is not advised while OPT application is ending. After OPT is authorized, you should travel with: proof of job offer, Employment Authorization Document, passport valid six months into the future, valid Visa, and I-20 endorsement.

books on windowsill with plants

Further Information

Applications will be reviewed after all of the supporting materials have arrived at the Admissions Office. If you have further questions concerning the international application process, you may contact the Admissions Office at 212-875-4404 or send an email to Stephen Ostendorff, our Director of Admissions, at sostendorff@bankstreet.edu.