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See JCC: International Students

International Students

International students are warmly welcomed to apply to SUNY Jefferson. Our college hosts many international students, who come from every corner of the globe – from Australia, to Vietnam, to Malawi. SUNY Jefferson is located only 30 miles from the Canadian border and has many students attend from Canada. We are on the approved list for the Canadian OSAP program (Ontario Student Assistant Program). 

An international student is a student who needs an F-1 student visa to study in the U.S. International students should complete the International Student Application, provide academic records, and submit proof of meeting the English proficiency requirement. Since international students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid, financial documentation must also be provided to show that the student has the funding for all necessary tuition, fees and living expenses. 

As an international student, you should complete your application to SUNY Jefferson at least 3 months prior to the start of the semester for which you wish to enroll. You must complete all steps listed below before your application can be reviewed and an admission decision can be made. Canadian applicants do not require a student visa so they may apply up to 3 weeks prior to the start of classes.

The recommended application deadline for the Fall admission is June 1st. For Spring admission it is November 1st. Canadian applicants: Fall admission deadline is August 11.  For Spring admission it is January 11.

Upon acceptance, an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for non-immigrant (F-1) students will be issued along with an official acceptance letter to the College.

International Student Admissions

  1. Complete the International Student Supplemental Application (ISSA) and submit all requested documentation (proof of English proficiency, transcripts, financial documentation: see below)
  2. Submit a translated copy of all your academic records including any post-secondary courses.
  3. Send all documents to the SUNY Jefferson admissions office:
    • Email:
    • Fax: 315-786-2349
    • Mail: Enrollment Services, Jefferson Community College, 1220 Coffeen Street, Watertown, NY 13601

Checklist for International Applicants

  1. Application Form: Supplemental International Student Application
  2. Academic Records: Official secondary school (high school) and any post-secondary school records (transcripts). Your academic records should include the grades/marks of all subjects completed and the results of any external examinations. Your records should also indicate any diplomas, degrees or certificates earned. If your academic records are not in English, a word-for-word translation should be attached to the official copy of the academic document being translated.  A course-by-course evaluation from a NACES accredited evaluation agency will be required for any international college coursework. In some cases, an evaluation may also be requested to verify that your high school diploma is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma
  3. Demonstration of English Language Proficiency: If your native language is not English, you must demonstrate an acceptable English language proficiency to be considered for admission. This requirement can be met by submitting a minimum TOEFL score of 61 or higher on IBT or IELTS score of 6.
  4. Financial Documentation: If you plan to attend SUNY Jefferson as an F-1 student, you must demonstrate that you have the financial means/support to cover your educational and living expenses while attending the College. Appropriate financial documentation is required to show that you have enough funding for at least one year of tuition and living expenses. 
  5. Autobiographical Statement: Enclose a statement that describes why you wish to study in the United States and more specifically, at Jefferson Community College. Also, indicate reasons for selecting the field of study that you have chosen and any plans for further study after completing your studies at SUNY Jefferson. This statement must be written by the applicant and should be in English.
  6. Provide copies of official vaccination records from a physician or health clinic with an English translation.  These records must show proof of two past measles, mumps or rubella (MMR) vaccinations.  In place of a vaccination proof, lab work which shows immunity to measles, mumps and rubella is an acceptable alternative proof.
  7. For F-1 transfer students only: If you are currently attending a high school or college in the United States as an F-1 student, you should contact your current school to request a transfer of your SEVIS record once you are admitted to SUNY Jefferson. We can then issue you a transfer I-20. 
  8. Mailing information: If you are not in the U.S. or Canada, we recommend you set up express shipment for your I-20. SUNY Jefferson has partnered with an online service that allows students to easily pay for express mail with a credit card or paypal, and track their shipment. To set up delivery, follow these instructions: 
    1. Go to: (works best with Internet Explorer & Mozilla Firefox browsers).
    2. Click on "Sign up" under the Students section.
    3. Register for an account by completing the online form. Have the your SUNY Jefferson student number, your mailing address, e-mail address, phone number and credit card information ready.
    4. Email with your J number and Order number so we know to look out for your shipment information. 
    5. For any difficulties, use the “Help” link in the eshipGlobal site for step-by-step instructions. 

Applying for the Visa

When you receive your acceptance letter and the I-20 from the College, you will need to pay the SEVIS user fee in advance at You can enter the U.S. as an F-1 student up to 30 days before your program start date. 

Canadian students do not require a visa for entry to the U.S., but should bring their I-20 and supporting documents to the border to request entry as an F-1 student. 

For all other students, you will need to apply for an F-1 visa stamp in your passport at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

  1. Students should visit the consulate or embassy with the following documents:
    1. I-20 
    2. Valid passport
    3. Financial documentation
    4. Letter of admission from the college
    5. Proof of payment for your SEVIS fee
  2. Every U.S. embassy/consulate works from the same set of regulations and laws but may adapt different procedures for their location. Some require a person to have a personal interview; some give an appointment and ask the student to come back with documentation; some conduct the entire process by mail. The visa is a stamp in the passport indicating where the visa was issued, the date the visa was issued, the date of expiration, the number of entries, the type of visa, the visa number and in the F-1 case, the school the I-20 was issued from. The visa gives you permission to lawfully enter the United States.
  3. You will need both copies of your I-20 and your passport with the visa stamped inside to enter the U.S. as an F-1 student.

Frequently Asked Questions: International Students

Who is an International Student?

Any student who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, and wishes to study at the College under an F-1 nonimmigrant student visa is considered an international student.

What is the timeline for admissions and application for International Students?

International student applicants should complete the application process by June 1 for the fall semester (September) or November 15 for the spring (January) semester, except in the case of Canadian applicants.  Canadian students do NOT need a student visa, so the deadline is 3 weeks prior to the start of classes each semester. The SUNY Jefferson application and international student applications must be completed before an admission decision can be made. An I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for non-immigrant (F-1) students will be issued concurrent with an acceptance letter to the College.

Does an International Student have to attend full-time?

Yes, international student must maintain full-time status (unless granted an exception by the International Student Advisor at SUNY Jefferson in advance). If a student drops below full-time attendance they are considered “out of status”.

Can an International Student enroll in online coursework?

The intention is for international students to enroll in campus based coursework.  At least 9 credits MUST be campus base each semester.

Does an International Student need health insurance in order to attend JCC?

Residence hall students will automatically be billed a mandatory health insurance plan fee.  International students not living in the residence halls who wish to purchase health insurance through the college may arrange payment with Financial Services to activate this health insurance option. 

How much will it cost to attend Jefferson Community College?

Estimated annual educational and living expenses associated with attending JCC is $22,750, U.S currency.  International students are required to submit certified documentation showing financial support to cover educational expenses for one year. All documentation must be dated within 6 months of the date of application.

Is there Financial Assistance available for International Students?

International Students are not eligible for financial assistance or scholarships while attending SUNY Jefferson. However, our tuition is very affordable compared to most U.S. colleges.

Can International Students work while attending college?

International Students entering with an F-1 visa are allowed to work on-campus. The student must obtain an employment opportunity through student aid funds and request employment permission through the International Student Advisor. There are some options for off-campus employment and internships, usually only available after one year of full-time study. 


Refer to the following websites for additional information: