Student Academic Services Logo 2014  Student Academic Services (SAS)

Visa Information


Visa Information (F-1) for newly enrolled students

We want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your recent acceptance to Skidmore College. We know this is an exciting time and that you have important decisions and a busy and exciting year in front of you. 

As an international student and non-U.S. citizen, you are required to apply for and obtain an F-1 student visa (except citizens of Canada, who do not need a visa to enter the US) in order to enter and pursue your education in the United States.  American colleges are required by U.S. federal law to obtain several documents before we can issue a SEVIS I-20 (visa eligibility document) to the international student. Please complete the attached 1) Application for Certificate of Eligibility/Biographical Data Form, and 2) Foreign Student Certification of Finances forms and return to us with the documents requested, so that we can issue SEVIS I-20 to you.

  With complete forms, please also send the following documents:

  1. A photocopy of the identification page from your passport.
  2. Original or copies of official bank statements, or other appropriate official documents certifying available funds to cover a minimum of your first year's expenses. This can be in the form of a signed letter from a bank official on the bank's letterhead citing the availability of the funds as outlined later in this letter.

  Form Completion Instructions

  Application for Certificate of Eligibility/Biographical Data Form

  1. Check to see that your name is spelled exactly as it appears on your passport. If you do not have a passport, please apply for a passport immediately.
  2. If you have dual citizenship, note both countries and indicate which passport you plan to use when you enter the United States.
  3. If you are currently studying in the United States, please attach a copy of your current I-20 and I-94. 
  4. Please write the month of your date of birth in words, e.g., January, February, etc.
  5. A person who enters the United States in "B" visitor status (including Visa-Waiver) cannot attend a college, unless they file for and obtain a change of status prior to start of program. Please consult with an immigration attorney.
  6. Canadian citizens do not need a visa, however, they do need an I-20, passport and financial documents to enter the United States to attend college.

  Foreign Student Certification of Finances

Higher education in the United States is an expensive investment, and colleges are required by federal law to obtain documentation of available funds to cover your education in the United States. It is advisable to plan your finances accordingly. The following chart will help approximate costs. (It would be best to err on the high side).

The cost of attendance for the academic year is as follows:

Tuition and fees__________________________________________$52,614

Living expenses (room, board, and books)_____________________$14,004

Other (travel, health insurance*), miscellaneous/personal_________$3,000

(*You must be covered by a U.S. based health insurance provider)

Total (approximate)   $69,618

Please note that the "other" costs, i.e., travel, miscellaneous, vary from student to student and are not listed on the Bursar's website (

Please provide accompanying, documented evidence to cover expenses for the first year of study, with the completed form.

Examples: Personal funds & parents' contribution: Provide an accompanying bank statement, securities report, employment documentation, etc.


If sponsored by an organization or person other than a parent (e.g., aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.), please note the organization (e.g., information from your Student Aid award letter) or individual and provide documentation from the organization or individual for the specific amount of funding. If the sponsor is an individual, then please provide a letter or statements from the individual's bank showing funds available.


If sponsored by a government agency, please name the agency and provide documentation from the agency for the specific amount of funding.

The total should cover the approximated costs for your education in the United States. 

Please project the costs and coverage for the full four years of your education; keep in mind that we only need documentation for the first year. If you intend to attend the Summer ESL program, please factor at least $7,000 more in your budget plans. 

Please acquire the appropriate signatures and forward the forms and accompanying documentation to Mr. Mir Subhan Ali, international student and scholar advisor, at the address on the Certificate of Eligibility/Bio Data form. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 518-580-8150 or email Mir "Subhan" Ali ( or Darren Drabek ( 

As we receive this completed information, we will mail you your Skidmore SEVIS I-20. You may then follow the remaining steps to apply for your F-1 student visa (except Canadians) and prepare for your entry into the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security maintains a thorough website called Study in the States to guide you through these steps.