This college is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.
This information is for students who plan to enter the United States for the first time to study.
If you are currently in the U.S. on an F-1 visa and have a valid I-20 issued by another school, please complete the I-20 transfer process.
Further details are available at the U.S. Department of State.
SEVIS ID: listed on the upper left corner of your I-20, starting with “N.”
SVA's SEVIS School Code: NYC214F00731000.
New international students who are entering the U.S. for the first time on an F-1 visa can only enter the country 30 days prior to the start of classes. This 30-day rule does not apply to returning students who already have a valid F-1 visa.
The U.S. government has issued coronavirus-related travel bans to limit international travel to the U.S. (Reference: COVID-19 Restrictions on U.S. Visas and Entry.)
It is difficult to speculate when these restrictions will be lifted, as the duration and severity of the pandemic are still unknown. SVA’s International Student Office (ISO) is closely monitoring information related to travel and visas and will inform international SVA students of any updates. You can also refer to this frequently updated summary of worldwide entry information here.
English and the Visual Arts Program (EVA), Summer 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mandatory summer semester of the English and the Visual Arts (EVA) program will be delivered online instead of as an in-person session. The mandatory online summer session will run from July 6 - September 4, 2020, employing both synchronous and asynchronous elements to optimize student engagement.
If you are currently outside of the U.S. and require a new I-20 and F-1 visa, your I-20 will be issued for the Fall 2020 semester. If you are currently studying in the U.S. and have a valid I-20, you may have it transferred to SVA for the Summer 2020 semester.
Following successful completion of the online summer term, your in-person studies at SVA will begin in New York City starting with the Fall 2020 term. As announced on May 8, the Fall 2020 semester will begin on September 28, 2020. Students may enter the U.S. beginning August 29, 2020, and should arrive no later than the start of classes on September 28, 2020.
Summer Pre-College Program 2020
For recent updates about the Summer 2020 Pre-College Program, click here.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
MFA Art Practice, Summer Residency
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer semesters for the MFA Art Practice program will be held online. I-20s will not be issued for international students participating in this program for Summer 2020.
MFA Visual Narrative, Summer Residency
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer semesters for the MFA Visual Narrative program will be held online. I-20s will not be issued for international students participating in this program for Summer 2020.
Fall 2020 semester
As announced on May 8, the Fall 2020 semester will begin on September 28, 2020. Students may enter the U.S. beginning August 29, 2020, and should arrive no later than the start of classes on September 28, 2020. Details regarding orientation will be announced closer to date.
Spring 2021 semester
Students may enter the U.S. beginning December 12, 2020 and should arrive no later than the start of classes on January 11, 2021.
Canadian citizens are required to obtain F-1 status in order to legally study in the U.S. but do not need to apply for the visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In order to obtain F-1 status, you must show the I-20 form issued by SVA, proof of SEVIS fee payment and supporting financial documentation to the Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry when you enter the U.S. Do not enter the U.S. as a visitor, the Visa Waiver Program or as a B-1/B-2 Visitor because full-time study is prohibited under the visitor visa status.
See "Pay the SEVIS $350 Fee" section under Application Requirements below.
If you already have a valid F-1 visa and are enrolled in another SEVP-approved institution in the U.S., you must have your I-20 sponsorship transferred to SVA.
Download the I-20 Transfer Form. Have the international student advisor at your current or previous school fill out and sign the form. Upload the completed form in the Terra Dotta Student Portal when requesting your new I-20 from SVA
Your SEVIS record will be transferred to SVA when the release date is reached. The release date is determined by your previous school. If you are in valid F-1 status, SVA will issue the transfer I-20.
Incoming new students for 2020: Request your I-20 here
Please refer to the I-20 request email invitation sent to your SVA email account within a week of enrollment. You must have a valid myID user account to log in. Do not create a user profile using a non-SVA email. User profiles created with a non-SVA email will be deleted.
The Certificate of Eligibility, Form I-20 or DS-2019 is issued to enrolled students within a few weeks upon the enrollment fee payment and completion of required questionnaires in the Terra Dotta system. See below for how to access the Terra Dotta student portal. Please expect the FedEx tracking notice sent to your SVA email as well.
Accessing the Terra Dotta system:
Only new students who have paid the enrollment fee have access to the Terra Dotta system using MyID credentials, on the following business day after the enrollment fee payment is processed. Login here. If your login returns an error message, "SIS Data Not Found" - please allow one business day for your data to load.
If you experience technical problems logging into Terra Dotta using your MySVA information, please do the following to ensure access to MySVA first.
1. Go to myaccount.sva.edu
2. Click on the 3rd option, "Secure my Account"
3. After securing the account, choose option 1, "Reset my password."
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Once you have successfully changed your password and logged into myid.sva.edu, please click on the Terra Dotta icon, which should appear on your dashboard.
I-20 Shipment Timeframe
Once you have submitted all required information, ISO will review your materials and contact you if further information is needed. If the documents are deemed sufficient, an electronic copy of your I-20 will be provided as an exception during the COVID-19 pandemic. The original Form I-20 will be shipped by FedEx later only if required by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Please allow two to three weeks for processing and monitor your SVA email account for updates.
Schedule an interview appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country. The F-1 student visa can be issued up to 120 days before the program start date, but please do not schedule an appointment until you receive the I-20.
Follow the instructions on your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate's website to pay the $160 visa application fee.
If your I-20 is marked for initial attendance, you will need to pay the $350 SEVIS fee.
If you are transferring your I-20 from another school, applying for an F-2 dependent visa, or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last twelve months, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.
Note: the SEVIS I-901 fee increased from $200 to $350 on Monday, June 24, 2019. For more information, please see www.studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2019/06/sevp-fee-rule-what-students-should-know.
To Pay Online:
It is strongly recommended that you pay your SEVIS fee online and not by mail.
Access the Form I-901: www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/
Enter SVA's SEVIS School Code: NYC214F00731000. Your SEVIS ID Number starts with an N and is listed on the top of your I-20.
Complete the form online and supply the credit card information. You may use credit cards that were issued in the U.S. or in your country. Be sure to write your name exactly how it appears on your I-20. You must enter the Credit Card Security code prior to Credit Card authorization. The Credit Card Security code is a security feature for credit card transactions, for protection against credit card fraud. For Visa or MasterCard, the Credit Card Security code is the last three digits printed on the back of the card. For American Express, the Credit Card Security code is a four-digit number that is printed above the credit card number on the front of the card. (Please refer to the samples sent with your I-20.)
Print a copy of the receipt.
You must bring the SEVIS fee payment receipt to the interview.
- Passport valid for at least six months
- Certificate of Eligibility, Form I-20 (You must sign the form)
- SVA's letter of admission
- Completed visa application form (DS-160 online)
- Two 2" x 2" photographs in the specified format (See the www.travel.state.gov website)
- A receipt of the visa application fee payment
- A receipt for the SEVIS fee payment. Print the payment confirmation screen upon payment. A paper receipt will not be mailed.
- Financial evidence of sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses. You must bring the original and sufficient letter/statement from you or your sponsor’s bank.
- Any information to prove that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof that your family members live in your home country, or that you have a job to return to or other ties to your community.
The visa stamp will be affixed to your passport after a short interview.
If your visa is delayed or denied:
Please contact the International Student Office immediately and email us a copy of the denial letter. The most common reasons for visa denial are failures to prove sufficient ties to your home country or the lack of sufficient proof of financial support.
New York, NY 10010
Walk-ins: Mon.–Thurs., 12:00–3:00pm
Phone Advising: Mon.–Wed., 10:00am–12:00pm
Fridays are Closed for Processing