Frequently Asked Questions

Visa Documentation

As an undocumented student, am I eligible for financial aid?

Yes, Columbia is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all students admitted as first-years or transfer students pursuing their first degree, regardless of citizenship status.

For admissions purposes, undocumented students are evaluated in a need-blind manner, which means we evaluate admissions applications without regard to financial need.

Undocumented students are not eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, so we meet their need entirely from Columbia funding

Do I need to hold DACA status to apply to Columbia?

No, students do not need to hold DACA status to apply to Columbia. Columbia admits students without regard to citizenship status and meets 100% of demonstrated need for all first-year and transfer students pursuing their first degrees. For admissions purposes, undocumented students are evaluated in a need-blind manner, which means we evaluate admissions applications without regard to financial need.

As an undocumented student, can I apply to Columbia?

Yes, Columbia admits students without regard to citizenship status and meets 100% of demonstrated need for all first-year and transfer students pursuing their first degrees. For admissions purposes, undocumented students are evaluated in a need-blind manner, which means we evaluate admissions applications without regard to financial need.

What kind of visa or documentation do I need to study in the US?

Full time students must acquire an F-1 (student) entry visa.

What steps do I need to take after being admitted to Columbia in order to receive the appropriate documentation?

There are steps that both Columbia and the student are responsible for in order to receive an F-1 entry visa to the United States.

Columbia University will:

  • Upon acceptance provide you with an Application for Visa Certificate (AVC), otherwise known as Form I-20
  • Issue an authentic I-20 after AVC has been approved.

The student must:

  • Hold a current passport valid at least six months into the future at all times
  • Officially register with Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Pay the $100.00 USD fee and print the receipt
  • Make a visa appointment at a United States Consulate. Bring your official letter of acceptance, any financial aid award letter and funds validation letter from your bank, Columbia issued I-20, SEVIS receipt and a passport sized photo.
  • Review the visa once issued to check for correctness. Make sure you have the original copy of the I-20 for entry to the U.S.

Please visit the International Students and Scholars Office immigration website for more information.

Are international students eligible to work in the United States after graduation?

If you are in the United States on an F-1 Student visa you could be eligible to work in the US pending employment status. Please visit the US Citizen and Immigration website to become more familiar with your legal options.