Mrs. Ines Ramirez serves as the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Assistant Director of Intercultural Student Life and International Student Support. She processes the initial I-20 visa forms and serves as the primary point of contact on visa issues. Mrs. Ramirez can also provide important information on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) options.
She can be reached by phone at +1717-815-1786 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is in the Iosue Student Union, Room 101C
Applying For a New F-1 Student Visa
If you are not a U.S. citizen, a U.S. permanent resident, or hold other legal status, you need an F-1 student visa to study in the United States. Visas are issued by United States embassies and consulates not York College of Pennsylvania. You cannot be issued an I-20 until after you have been admitted to York and submit the proper paperwork.
Once you schedule your visa interview appointment, remember that you must bring the following documents to present to the consular officer:
A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you qualify for a student visa. The officer may request additional documents, which you may bring to your interview, such as evidence of:
- Your academic preparation, which may include transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended and standardized test scores required by your U.S. school,
- Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of your program of study,
- Demonstrate you have access to at least $42,200 for a bachelor seeking student and $34,000 for a master level seeking student per academic year to support your studies, live, and travel. If you require a dependent F-2 visa, please certify an additional $7,000 for each dependent such as a spouse or child. Please refer to the documentation requirements if an I-20 for your F-2 dependent is needed.
- You must provide bank statements for anyone listed on the Certification of Finances form as well as tax forms, or pay stubs, or a letter from an employer stating your parent / sponsor's position, title, salary and how long they have worked at their current place of employment.
When you receive the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) I-20 form you will sign Line 11 on Page 1, then take all three pages of Form I-20 to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest you to apply for an F-1 student visa. Since you may need to provide certification of financial support when applying for a student visa we recommend that you obtain duplicate certifications of all financial documents.
If your visa is approved, you will receive an F-1 stamp in your passport. Some U.S. Embassies will place your I-20 in a sealed envelope and staple it to your passport. It is recommended that you do not open this envelope. The immigration officer at the U.S. port-of-entry will open the envelope and check your documents when you arrive. Check your visa for errors, such as your date of birth or before you leave the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
You may not enter the U.S. on your F-1 visa more than 30 days prior to the report date on your I-20.
Upon entry into the U.S., a Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBPO) will create an electronic I-94 record of the non-immigrant arrival. The CBPO will also provide an admission stamp directly in the passport which will be annotated with the date of admission, class of admission and admitted until date. It is very important to keep the original I-20 with you during your travels as the CBPO may ask to see it upon your arrival to the United States.
Evidence of Financial Ability
A prospective student must have financial evidence showing that they or a sponsor has sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses during the period of intended study. Evidence of financial ability includes but is not limited to:
- Family bank statements.
- Documentation from a sponsor.
- Financial aid letters.
- Scholarship letters.
- Tax forms or letter from an employer showing annual salary.
- Scholarship documents showing your financial guarantee (if you are being supported by a scholarship). If you are a SACM student, you would need a valid financial guarantee letter.
- If you have a sponsor who will support your education, you will need to complete the Affidavit of Support and provide bank statements as discussed previously
- Please upload the copy of financial documents as part of complete your I-20 application
Preparing for Your Visa Interview
Apply for you visa as soon as you get your I-20: The process of getting a visa can take some time. Check for visa wait times in your home country. If there are no appointments available in your area, you may wish to pursue an expedited appointment.
Practice Conversational English: You need to be comfortable explaining yourself and having a conversation. For example, be able to tell the interviewer where York College is located. Whatever happens, stay calm and positive.
Dress Professionally: Make it clear you care about the interview and its outcome.
Know Your Course of Study: Be able to explain why you want to study in the United States as well as why you chose Yorke and your particular course of study. You also want to clearly state how your degree will help you with your career goals.
Have Your Documents Ready and Organized:
- Acceptance letter
- Financial documents or proof of financial support
- Passport valid fort at least 6 months
- SEVIS payment receipt
- Photos for visa
- Completed visa application (DS-160)
- Transcripts or mark sheets, and diploma
- Test scores such as Duolingo, TOEFL, IELTS, SAT
Have a Financial Plan: You will need to pay for tuition, housing, food, transportation, books, and so on. Therefore, have a reasonable plan that will allow you to explain how you will pay for your education and living costs, such as you or your family’s savings, and any scholarships you may have received.
Explain Your Ties to Your Home Country: Since you are applying for an F-1 student visa, you want to explain you will be returning home after studying in the USA. For example:
- Your family
- Property/businesses you may have
- Long term professional goals
Other Important Forms
On Campus Employment
On-campus employment is available for domestic and F1 students. Jobs may be available in Dining/Catering Services, Admissions, Tutoring and other areas. Please note there are more students than jobs, so apply early! Opportunities can be found online at…
The Tuition Payment Plan allows students to pay a semester's tuition and fees over a four- or five-month period. Monthly payments are deducted from a checking or savings account or by credit card.
How to Get an SSN
Call York Social Security Administration
2670 Industrial Hwy, York, PA 17402
Phone: (888) 329-5732 (automated system)
You can speak to a Social Security representative by calling toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am – 7:00 pm., Monday through Friday.
Bring your I-94 or I-551 or I-766, I-20, and passport. Bring the original documents, not copies or images on a phone.
For More Information
Ines M. Ramirez, PDSO
Assistant Director of Intercultural Student Life and International Student Support
Student Union, Room 101C