Short-Term International Student FAQ
This page was last updated January 20, 2022.
Recently admitted to a short-term program at NYU (for example, a visiting or exchange program or a modular degree program)? Please review the below FAQs specifically meant for students in your situation. Note the information applies to both degree and non-degree students participating in a short-term program. You can also find more general information on our newly admitted students FAQ page.
Do I need a student visa to enroll at NYU?
International students should hold an immigration status that permits study in the United States to attend classes at NYU. If you require sponsorship from NYU to apply for your visa, we can assist you in obtaining F-1 or J-1 student status. Please note that NYU advises strongly against a B-1/B-2 visa or Visa Waiver (ESTA) for short-term students as study is considered a violation of B-1/B-2 or ESTA status.
I will only take online classes, can I travel to the United States on a student visa?
Unfortunately no, your program must have an in-person component to be eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa status. NYU cannot offer visa sponsorship for programs that are 100% online.
What is the difference between the F-1 and J-1 student visa?
You can find a comprehensive overview of the F-1 and J-1 visa categories on our website.
Note that students participating in a formal exchange program attend NYU on the J-1 visa only and are waived from the non-personal funding requirement.
Exchange students only need to demonstrate funding for living expenses and health insurance as tuition and fees are waived per the exchange agreement between NYU and your home school.
NYU cannot offer J-1 sponsorship for programs fewer than three weeks long. If your program is fewer than three weeks long, you will need to apply for an F-1 visa.
How do I apply for my I-20/DS-2019 from NYU?
You will need to obtain an I-20 (F-1 status) or DS-2019 (J-1 status) from NYU before you can apply for your student visa. Most short-term students apply for the I-20/DS-2019 via our standard online application form.
Please be sure to pay special attention when selecting your admitted program on the I-20/DS-2019 online application form so that our office knows that you are applying as a short-term student. Your academic program will provide instructions regarding the appropriate option to select on the form.
Students starting academic programs in one of the below categories should NOT apply via the online application form. Instead, you must follow the instructions your school and/or department provided you because they will apply for your immigration document on your behalf.
Visiting students from NYU Abu Dhabi and Shanghai
MBA exchange students at NYU Stern
J-1 graduate visiting students
I am currently an F-1 student in the United States but would like to take classes at NYU over the summer. Am I required to transfer my SEVIS record?
If you are currently in the US in F-1 status and will participate in a short-term summer program at NYU but return to the school listed on your I-20 for the fall semester, it is possible you do not need to transfer your record to us.
We recommend that you first contact your current F-1 sponsor to verify that you may pursue summer study at NYU while maintaining your current F-1 record. You may also contact us if you have questions about whether you should transfer your record to NYU to participate in a short-term summer program.
I am enrolled in a modular or low-residency degree program, will my I-20 cover the full duration of my program?
If you are enrolled in a modular or low-residency graduate program that holds short-term classes based at an NYU campus, it is important to note that the I-20 can only be issued for each module and one F-1 record cannot be maintained for the entirety of the program. You will need to obtain a new I-20 with a new SEVIS ID and pay the corresponding SEVIS fee for each module based in the United States.
Can I enter the United States with my unexpired student visa even if I have a new SEVIS ID number?
The US Department of State (the government agency issuing visas) Consulate Field Advisory Manual states that students should get a new visa. In practice, however, US Customs and Border Protection (the government agency you interact with when traveling into the US) has not indicated that this will be a problem and remains consistent in admitting students who are in this situation into the United States without issue.
I am a visiting non-degree student, how many classes can I take?
F-1 and J-1 students sponsored by NYU must enroll in a full course of study to be eligible for student visa sponsorship. Full-time enrollment for visiting students over the fall and spring is typically defined as a minimum of 12 credits/units per semester, or 9 credits for students studying at the graduate level. Failure to maintain a full-time course load is considered a violation of legal immigration status and can negatively impact your ability to stay and study in the United States.
If you are a visiting student admitted to a summer program, full-time enrollment for the summer is defined as a minimum of:
6 credits for a 6 week session
3 credits for a 3 week session or
12 credits for a 12 week session
Or, you may take non-credit courses that meet a total of at least 18 hours per week.
If you have questions about full-time enrollment requirements or are not sure if your program qualifies as full-time, please contact us and/or your program administrator.
I heard I need health insurance coverage as an international student, how does that work, and can I waive it?
Most students in F-1 and J-1 status are automatically enrolled in and billed for the NYU-sponsored student health insurance comprehensive plan upon registration each semester. F-1 and J-1 students may elect to instead take the basic coverage, which provides more limited coverage, or waive coverage if they are able to secure coverage that meets the University's criteria. More information about health insurance can be found on the Required Health Insurance page of the OGS website.
When can I enter the United States and how long can I stay?
All F-1 and J-1 students, including those admitted to short-term programs, may enter the United States up to 30 days before the program start date on the I-20 or DS-2019. F-1 students can stay in the United States for up to 60 days after their program end date, while J-1 students can stay in the United States for up to 30 days.
Is there anything I should do once I arrive in the United States?
The US government requires all international students in F-1 and J-1 status to report their arrival to their schools. You officially report your arrival to NYU through the OGS arrival form. You should do this immediately after arriving in the United States, especially if your short-term program is less than one week.
Special note for visiting non-degree summer students: you may have a specialized check-in coordinated by your academic program. If this applies to you, please follow the instructions provided by your program to attend the OGS check-in. If you have not received instructions to attend an in-person check in, please submit the OGS arrival form to complete your immigration requirements.
I am a visiting student and want to extend my I-20/DS-2019 to stay at NYU for another semester. Can I do that?
It may be possible to extend your I-20/DS-2019 if you have received permission from your academic program to study at NYU for an additional semester. Please contact OGS after you have received academic permission to learn more about the process to extend your I-20/DS-2019 depending on your program.
Can I work in the United States during or after I complete my program?
F-1 students attending a short-term program in the United States generally cannot obtain work authorization in the United States because F-1 status must be maintained for two full consecutive semesters before students are eligible.
J-1 students participating in a short-term exchange or visiting program may be eligible for a special type of work authorization known as Academic Training. Please reach out to your NYU program administrator and OGS to learn more about this option.