Congratulations on your acceptance to Syracuse University! You are about to join a diverse, global community of students and scholars representing 124 countries. We look forward to meeting you and assisting you with your transition to Syracuse.

We encourage you to arrive in Syracuse during the week before International Student Orientation.   This will allow enough time for you to check-in with the Center for International Services, attend orientation and complete the clearance process before classes begin. Some graduate students may need to arrive even earlier to attend orientation sessions held by their academic departments.

Please make sure to check your Syracuse University email (i.e. on a regular basis as well as the Syracuse University Stay Safe webpage.

To assist students in need of quarantine options in New York, the University worked with hotels in the area to provide reduced rates for Syracuse University students. You can access the list of hotels here.

If you have financial concerns associated with your arrival, please know there may be financial assistance available. Please review information about emergency funding and complete the financial appeal for international students to apply. These requests will be reviewed quickly and based on financial need or hardship.

Please know we are here to support you and provide a safe and welcoming environment upon your return to campus. If you have any questions, please email the Center for International Services or call 315.443.2457.

After You Are Admitted

If you indicated on your application form that you will be applying for an F-1 or a J-1 visa, you should receive your I-20 or DS-2019 form approximately two to three weeks after you are notified of your admission to Syracuse University by the Admissions Office (undergraduate students) or by the Graduate School (graduate students).  If it has been three weeks since you were notified of your admission and you have not yet received your I-20 or DS-2019, please email the Center for International Services.

When you receive your I-20 or DS-2019 form, review it carefully and make sure the information is correct. Your name on the I-20 or DS-2019 must be entered in the same format as it appears in your passport. If you have any questions, please email the Center for International Services  or call 315.443.2457.

If a mistake involves your name or date of birth, please attach a scanned copy of your passport and email the Center for International Services.

If the mistake was due to information you entered incorrectly in your application for admission, you will need to pay for a corrected I-20 or DS-2019 to be shipped to you. For shipping instructions, please visit the Document Shipping Options page of our website.

If you need to apply for a visa, the most important thing is to apply as early as possible. F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors are considered non-immigrant visas.

Required Documentation: Please refer to the U.S. Department of State website for documentation requirements for F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors. You should also consult your U.S. Embassy or Consulate to see if there are any additional country-specific visa application requirements.

Visa Application Process: You may apply for a visa up to 120 days prior to your program start date. You should apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. Prior to scheduling your interview, you can check visa appointment waiting times. Please note that depending on your country of residence and field of study, visa processing times can exceed one month, so apply early.

Expedited/Emergency Appointments:  If you are having difficulty scheduling an appointment for a visa interview, check the Consulate’s website to see if you may request an expedited/emergency appointment.  Not all U.S. Consulates are able to accommodate requests for emergency/expedited appointments.  Each Consulate will have their own specific criteria and procedures that you have to follow.  In general, an emergency/expedited appointment may be requested by a student who needs a visa to begin or resume a program of study in the U.S. within 60 days of the request when no regular visa appointments are available.  Some  U.S. Consulates may have a shorter time frame.

You will need to:

  • Pay the visa application fee.
  • Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.
  • Schedule an appointment online for the earliest available date. Please note that you must schedule an appointment before you can request an expedited date.
  • Follow the instructions for requesting an expedited/emergency appointment on the Consulate’s website.  Specific instructions will vary from Consulate to Consulate.

The only documentation you will need from Syracuse University is your Form I-20 or DS-2019 indicating a start date of your academic program within 60 (or fewer) days.  No additional letters are required.

Visa Interview: Student visa applicants must establish, to the satisfaction of the consular officer, that they have binding ties to a residence in a foreign country, which they do not intend to abandon, and that they will depart the U.S. when they have completed their studies. For certain countries, the U.S. Consulate will take from 20-30 days before issuing a visa. You will need to include this delay in your travel plans.

Follow Instructions for Admitted Students

Incoming Syracuse University students are asked to complete the following. If you have any questions, please email the Center for International Services  or call 315.443.2457.

The Center for International Services works closely with the Admissions Office, the Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs, and schools and colleges to assure students can achieve their academic objectives and become part of the Syracuse community.

As part of your arrival to Syracuse, the international student orientation program will cover topics on immigration, adjustment and a variety of other subjects. It will give you time to take care of necessary paperwork and important issues such as purchasing cellphones, opening bank accounts and shopping for daily necessities before classes begin. More importantly, you will have the advantage of becoming familiar with college life and campus resources to ease the transition to college in the U.S.

Your time at Syracuse will be exciting and exhilarating as you explore your interests, study and learn, make friends and take advantage of the many opportunities provided on campus to interact with students, scholars and faculty from around the world.

Here is some helpful information to review in advance of your arrival:

Whether it is your first time studying in the U.S., you are transferring from another institution in the U.S., or you are returning to the U.S. after previous study here, the staff of the Center for International Services is here to assist you with your transition to graduate studies at Syracuse University. You are joining a vast community of international graduate students and scholars!

The center works closely with the Graduate School and academic departments to assure that graduate students can achieve their academic objectives and become part of the Syracuse community. We hope that you will take advantage of the many opportunities provided on campus to interact with students, scholars and faculty from around the world to fulfill your potential and make the most of your time at Syracuse University.

In preparation for your arrival to Syracuse, here is some helpful information to review:

Incoming law students are asked to explore the Admitted Students College of Law webpage.

SEVIS Transfer In

Students who are attending other schools in the U.S. and who are in F-1 or J-1 status can request that their SEVIS records be transferred to Syracuse University by following instructions in this section.

  • Receive an admission letter from Syracuse University.
  • Complete Section A of the transfer-in form. Please have your international student advisor at your current school complete Section B.
  • Scan the transfer-in form and e-mail it to with the subject line "Transfer-In Form."
  • After the transfer-in form is received and it is past your SEVIS release date, Syracuse University will issue a new “Transfer Pending” I-20 or a new DS-2019.
  • If you indicated on the form that you will remain in the U.S., you can pick up the document from the Center for International Services when you arrive at Syracuse University to check in.
  • If you indicated that you will travel out of the U.S. after completing/leaving your previous school or university and before attending Syracuse University, you can arrange for express shipping of your document.

If you will be traveling outside the U.S. before beginning your studies at Syracuse University, you will need a valid visa to re-enter the U.S. unless you are a Canadian citizen.

  • Unexpired Visa  F-1 Students: You do not need to apply for a new visa stamp if your current one is still valid. You will be able to use your current visa to re-enter the U.S. when using your Syracuse University “Transfer Pending” I-20, despite the fact that your visa stamp has your previous school’s name on it.
  • Unexpired Visa  J-1 Students: You will need to apply for a new visa stamp even if you have an unexpired J-1 visa in your passport. The program number and university name on your visa must match the program number and university name on the DS-2019 you will be using to enter the U.S.
  • Expired Visa: If you are going to travel outside the U.S. before beginning your studies at Syracuse University and if you do not have a valid F-1 or J-1 visa, you will need to apply for the visa type that matches the document that you are requesting (F-1 visa with an I-20 form or J-1 visa with a DS-2019 form). Please contact the U.S. Consulate in your home country for application procedures. Be prepared to present financial documentation with the I-20 or DS-2019 when you apply for the visa. As a transfer student, you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee again. You should carry all of your previous I-20 or DS-2019 forms to your visa interview and when entering the U.S. in the event that you are asked questions about your previous status.

Receive Your Continued Attendance I-20: If you have checked in with the Center for International Services and are registered as a full-time student, we will register your record in SEVIS. Approximately two to four weeks after classes begin, we will issue you a "Continued Attendance" I-20. You will be notified by email when the updated I-20 has been printed. You must pick up the “Continued Attendance” I-20, as it will be the most current I-20 and will be the one you use to travel, fill out I-9s, obtain a driver’s license and apply for a social security number.