Admission of Border Commuter Students Policy

Admission of Border Commuter Students Policy


Office of Admissions


Director of Admission and International Student Liaison


Student Affairs



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

Revised on January 2009; July, 2004; November 2003. Previous policy, Admissions of Students on F-1 Visas (approved November 25, 2003) is no longer valid due to this policy.


Border commuter, F-1, I-20, Canadian, international, TOEFL

Background Information:

Previous policy, Admission of Students on F-1 Visas (approved Nov. 25, 2003) is no longer valid due to the adoptoin of this policy


Empire State University is authorized under federal law to admit and issue 1-20 forms for Canadian citizens that are border commuter students.


TOEFL –Test of English as a Foreign Language

SEVIS – Student Exchange Visitor Program.


Canadian citizens are not required to apply for or hold an F-1 student visa in order to study in the U.S. They are required to hold a valid passport and an I-20 from the Department of Homeland Security-approved school they plan to attend.

Canadian students who wish to maintain their residence in Canada and travel to the U.S. for required residencies or meetings with their mentors are considered part-time border commuter students. These students are required to show their I-20 each time they enter the U.S. A new I-20 is issued each term.

Canadian border commuter students are not eligible for financial aid, university-sponsored scholarships or employment while studying in the U. S. International students must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to fund their first year of study at Empire State University before they are issued an I-20, and that they have insurance coverage equivalent to SUNY insurance plan.

Border commuter students, F-1 international students that have their I-20s from other institutions, or students on other kinds of visas who have learned English as a second language must demonstrate proficiency in English.   Students may take any version of the TOEFL exam that suits their needs. Undergraduate students must achieve a score of 550 on the paper-based exam (PBT), 213 on the computer-based exam or 80 on the TOEFL (iBT) Internet-based exam.

Graduate students must achieve a score of 600 on the paper-based exam or 250 on the computer-based exam and 100 on the TOEFL iBT internet based exam.

Score reports must be sent from ETS directly to the university and are valid for two years. Photocopies of a score report sent to the university from the student will not be accepted.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Department of Homeland Security -

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices