Frequently Asked Questions
Applying To The College
What are QCC’s admission requirements?
For more information on admission requirements, please visit the CUNY website.
What are the application deadlines?
Fall semester: February 1*
Spring semester: September 15*
*These deadlines are set by the City University of New York (CUNY) and not the College.
Acquiring/Maintaining Your I-20
What is an I-20? How do I get one? For how long is an I-20 valid?
An I-20 is a document that certifies your acceptance to Queensborough and your ability to cover all program-related expenses (e.g., tuition, housing, meals, transportation, etc.) during your program of study. For information on the I-20 process, please visit our website. I-20 duration depends on the type of program in which you are interested. Standard program lengths are as follows:
Associate degree: three years
Certificate program: two years
Language study: one to two years
How much/what kind of assets must I show to get an I-20?
If a student is self-sponsored, s/he must demonstrate sufficient funds to cover the entire duration of his/her program. If a third party (e.g., parent, relative, friend, etc.) sponsors a student, the sponsor must guarantee financial support via liquid assets (i.e., cash) for the first year of study and income verification to prove that the sponsor can maintain that same level of support for the succeeding years of study. Acceptable documentation includes bank statements, tax returns, and paystubs. If the sponsor is self-employed, s/he must include a business certification and balance sheets displaying income and expenses.
N.B. Our annual program expenses total $34,469 USD. This figure is derived from the Bursar, which calculates tuition, and the CUNY central accounting office, which calculates New York City living expenses.
How can I submit my I-20 application?
Once you inform our office of your admission to Queensborough, we will send you an email containing links unique to you through which you will submit your I-20 application and supporting documents.
How long does it take to process an I-20 application?
Generally, it takes 1-2 days to review an I-20 application. If we receive all necessary documents, we will notify the applicant and issue the I-20. If we require additional documentation, we will notify the applicant via email.
What is the deadline to apply for an I-20?
Applicants who are overseas and require an F-1 visa to enter the United States must submit an I-20 application by
- July 1 (fall applicants)
- December 1 (spring applicants)
Students who already possess an F-1 visa must submit their I-20 application before the start of the semester.
My I-20 application was approved. How do I get my I-20?
A student can either create a prepaid shipping label with University Express Mail Services or appoint a proxy to pick up the student’s papers. In this case, the student must send an email to email@example.com specifying the name of the person picking up the I-20 package. The proxy must present a picture ID in order to receive the package.*
*The abovementioned procedure has been suspended due to the closure of the college in response to COVID-19. Our office will email the I-20 directly to the student once the application has been approved. Per the Student and Exchange Visitor Program's guidance regarding COVID-19-related policy acommodations, we are authorized to issue electronic I-20s with electronic signatures to students.
My I-20 is expiring but I have not completed my program of study. What do I do?
If you are not on track to complete your program by the end date listed on your I-20, you must apply for a program extension. To apply for an extension, you must supply our office with updated financial documents from your sponsor to demonstrate that you have the necessary financial resources to support yourself for the additional time you need to graduate. Students must extend their program before the end date listed on their I-20. Those who fail to file a program extension prior to the end date listed on their I-20 are in violation of their F-1 status.
My I-20 is lost/damaged. What do I do?
If your I-20 is lost or damaged, please contact us so we may issue you a new I-20.
I changed my curriculum. Do I need a new I-20?
Yes. If you changed your degree program after you received your I-20 from our office, please let us know and we will issue you an updated I-20 that includes your new program information.
Acquiring/Maintaining/Concluding F-1 Status
What is an F-1 visa? How do I get one?
An F-1 visa is a document issued by U.S. Department of State that you use to apply for admission into the United States to pursue academic or language study. To obtain an F-1 visa, you must first receive an I-20 from our college and then apply for a visa interview at your local U.S. embassy/consulate
What must a student do to maintain valid F-1 status?
To maintain valid F-1 status, a student must observe his/her responsibilities as outlined by our contract.
What happens if I violate my status? What can I do to restore my valid status?
Our office is obligated to report status violations by terminating a student’s SEVIS record. Once we terminate a student’s record, s/he will begin to accrue days of unlawful presence. Individuals who accrue more than six but less than twelve months of unlawful presence will trigger a three-year reentry bar upon leaving the United States. Individuals who accrue more than twelve months of unlawful presence will trigger a ten-year reentry bar upon leaving the United States. To restore valid status, a student must apply for a new I-20, pay a new SEVIS fee, and apply for an F-1 visa overseas.
Can I work under F-1 status?
Yes, though subject to limitations. During a program of study, F-1 students are limited to part-time work (twenty hours per week or less) either on or off campus. While a student can apply for on-campus work right away, a student must have completed at least one academic year in valid degree status before s/he can apply for Optional Practical Training, a benefit that permits F-1 students to seek employment anywhere in the United States. Students may exceed their weekly work hours during official school breaks (i.e., summer and winter). For more information on this topic, please consult the links on our resource page under the sections labeled "Optional Practical Training, email us, or visit our office.
My F-1 visa is expiring. What do I do?
It depends. If you do not plan to travel outside the United States before concluding your studies, no action is required. A visa does not determine the validity of your presence in the United States. Rather, your I-20 and I-94 record are the documents that serve this role. As long as you are observing the regulations regarding F-1 status, your presence in the U.S. is valid whether or not your visa has expired.
However, if you do plan to travel outside the U.S.. and your visa is expired, you must renew it while you are overseas. To this end, we require the submission of updated financial documentation from your sponsor as well as a brief letter explaining the need to renew the visa. For more information about booking and preparing for your visa interview appointment, please visit the website of your local U.S. embassy/consulate.
I have obtained my Legal Permanent Resident Card (green card). What happens now?
Once you have acquired your green card, you are considered a New York State resident and no longer remain under the purview of this office. In this case, please email us a copy of your green card along with a written request to terminate your SEVIS record for change of status approval.
I graduated from QCC. What’s next?
Students who complete their degree have a few options. If they wish to continue their education, they may transfer to a different college or university. To transfer a student’s SEVIS record, we require the following documents:
- Acceptance letter from transfer-in school that includes student’s name and starting semester
- Transfer paperwork from transfer-in school
- SEVIS record release form
- International student exit survey
Graduates may also apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which is an opportunity to work full-time in the United States. To learn more about this topic, please visit our website.
If you have completed your educational objective and plan to depart the United States, please notify us of your intent to depart and send us a copy of your airline ticket that includes your date of departure. We will then complete your SEVIS record. Students with a completed SEVIS record are expected to then depart the United States.
N.B. Graduating students must take one of the above actions no later than sixty days after graduation. The SEVIS records of students who fail to take action within this timeframe will automatically complete, which is a status violation.
I want to travel outside the United States during my program of study. What must I do to ensure a smooth reentry to the United States?
If you plan to travel outside the U.S., check the expiration date for your passport, I-20, and visa. The U.S. Department of State requires an individual’s passport to be valid at least six months beyond his/her date of entry into the United States. If your passport will expire in less than six months, you must renew it prior to travel (see below).
Also, you must obtain a travel signature on your I-20 prior to leaving the United States. If you are traveling during the summer or winter break, we must receive your
- grades for the current semester
- proof of full-time enrollment for the following semester
- travel itinerary that includes your name and dates of departure from/return to the United States
If you are traveling during the semester, we must receive your itinerary and written confirmation from your professors confirming that they are aware of your impending absence and that you will be able to make up the work you will miss a result of your absence. Students may use the same travel signature any number of times up to twelve months following the date of signing.
While not required, we recommend you pay for your classes for the next semester and be ready to show customs officials proof of payment and enrollment for the following semester to further prove your intent to resume study upon return to the United States.
Note: In response to the public health threat posed by COVID-19, the President of the United States instituted entry bars to foreign nationals who were present in specific countries within two weeks of their requested admission to the United States. It is recommended avoiding traveling to these countries if you plan to seek entry to the U.S.
N.B. Upon your return to the United States, be sure to check your I-94 record for any inaccuracies. If you see any errors on the record, be sure to contact the Deferred Inspections Unit that serves your port of entry. If there are no errors, please forward us a copy of your I-94.
What is an I-94 record?
An I-94 is a record kept by the Department of Homeland Security for aliens visiting the United States. It tracks your travel history to and from the United States, your class of entry into the U.S., and how long you are permitted to remain in the U.S. legally, among other basic demographic information.
I have encountered difficulties reentering the United States the last several times. Is there anything I can do to resolve this?
Students who have had difficulty with travel screening at transportation hubs can submit a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security's Travel Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP).
My passport is damaged/lost/expiring. What do I do?
If your passport is lost, damaged, or will expire within the next six months, you must replace/renew it. To renew your passport, please contact the consulate of your country of citizenship. Once you have renewed your passport, please forward us a copy of the new passport identification page.
I am currently in the United States on a visa other than F-1. Can I study at Queensborough?
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) maintains a list that specifies which visa classes permit study. Broadly speaking, with the exception of visitors (B), aliens in transit (C), and crewmen (D), pursuing study does not present a status violation for non-immigrants. Visitors who wish to study must apply for an I-20 and F-1 visa overseas (see above).
Are there scholarships/financial aid for international students?
Unfortunately, financial aid is not available for F-1 students. However, there are scholarship opportunities offered by Queensborough, CUNY, and external organizations.
Do you assist undocumented students or students seeking to acquire U.S. citizenship?
Our office focuses on F-1 visa students. Other immigration-related services can be found at CUNY Citizenship Now!
Don’t see an answer to your question? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 731-6611.