International Student Timeline

Step 1: Review admission requirements and submit your application online*
*Applications open August 1st for the following academic year.

Step 2: Prepare documents for your student visa*
*All documents can be uploaded via your applicant portal.

Complete the Certification of Finances (COF) form.

Click here for the Undergraduate Students COF form.
Click here for the Graduate Students COF form.

  Be sure to include the following:

  • Assured financial resources for the first year of study with official bank statements
  • Projected financial support for the remaining academic years

Along with your completed COF and financial supporting documents, you will also need to submit a copy of your passport ID page via the applicant portal.

Step 3: Submit the deposit to secure your spot!

Once you have been accepted, you will receive an electronic acceptance letter which includes information on how to make your deposit. Your deposit can be paid online using the username and password in your electronic acceptance letter. Your deposit confirms your acceptance of your offer of admission and reserves your place in the incoming class. 

To make international payment more convenient, Canisius University has partnered with TransferMate, Flywire and NorthStar Currency in order to streamline the process of international payments for tuition and fees (either international payment provider can be used). You can find instructions on Financial Aid's International Payment page.

  • Undergraduate Students: Once you have been accepted, you will receive an electronic acceptance letter with information regarding cost information.  If you have been awarded a merit scholarship you will be notified electronically.  Click here to make your deposit of $400 (US). 
  • Graduate Students: Click here to make your deposit of $100 (US). 

Step 4: Work on I-20 paperwork

Once Canisius University receives your financial information and tuition deposit, the Office of International Student Programs will create and send you your I-20 Form via email. This paperwork must be completed in order for you to apply for your student visa. Along with the I-20 Form, you will also receive:

  • Instructions on how to pay your visa fee (this is called the SEVIS I-901 Fee)
  • A fact sheet on visa procedures
  • A Canisius Housing Preference form
  • A Canisius Course Preference form
  • A second copy of your acceptance letter to take with you to your visa interview
  • A copy of your Sources of Financial Support form to also take with you to your visa interview

Step 5: Obtain your student visa

Upon receiving the Immigration packet (I-20 Form, etc.), you should make an appointment to visit the U.S. Consulate in your country.  Before visiting the Consulate, you must pay the I-901 fee. For more information on this refer to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program SEVIS I-901 Processing Website

Documents you should plan to bring with you to your visa interview include:

  • Receipt for paid I-901 fee
  • Official bank statements showing sufficient funds to cover educational expenses
  • A copy of your acceptance letter from Canisius
  • Your valid passport, with expiration date at least 6 months after the end of the first year of study
  • Your Canisius issued I-20 form
  • View tips to remember for your visa interview

Step 6: Prepare for your arrival to the United States

It is important to have the following information in hand when entering the US:

  • Your valid passport
  • Your I-20 form
  • Completed I-94 Immigration card records
  • Customs Declaration (which is also issued during flight)
  • Your official bank statements showing sufficient funds to cover educational expenses
  • Evidence of your admission to Canisius
  • Name and contact information of your “Designated School Official” (DSO) - Brian Smith, Director of Study Abroad & International Student Programs, Canisius University, +1 716.888.2191

*Don't forget to register for the mandatory international new student orientation before your arrival. This orientation will take place during your first few days on campus. You will get the chance to meet other talented students who will without a doubt become friends for life!

**Students can arrange to be picked up from the Buffalo International Airport through the International Student Services Office (@email or +1 716-888-2400).