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Info for International Admitted Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the BAC!  We look forward to welcoming you to our community.  Now that you have been admitted, here are your next steps to finalize your enrollment, including paying your registration fees, applying for your student visa, and deciding where to live.

What are the Next Steps in the Enrollment Process?

  • Pay your Deposit of $250 and International Student Fee of $300 via International Payment or U.S. Payment to secure your spot at the BAC, as applicable:
    • Students enrolling in an onsite program in Boston, please pay both fees for a total of $550
    • Students enrolling from a distance in fully-online program, please pay just the Deposit fee of $250, as F-1 advising does not apply to you

  • Register for both the International New Student Orientation and New Student Orientation (NSO). NSO is intended for students enrolling in an onsite program in Boston; orientation for Online M.Arch students will occur separately, on the first day of the 8-day intensive.

  • Submit I-20 documents to the International Admissions Counselor so they may process an initial or transfer-pending 1-20. After all I-20 documents are submitted and approved, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, using your SEVIS ID as shown on your initial or transfer-pending I-20.

  • Apply for the F-1 Student Visa via the online DS-160 Form and then schedule an appointment at your local U.S. Embassy.

  • Review Tuition Information and Payment Options.

  • For incoming Architecture students who worked in a design firm or design-related position prior to the BAC, submit your Prior Practice Hours application (pdf) to apply to transfer in Prior Practice hours into your program (optional).

  • Get around Boston on our public transportation systems! Submit your order form for MBTA Discounted Student Pass.

  • Explore your housing options

  • Submit your immunization and health record (pdf).

  • All BAC students are required to have U.S.-based health insurance. Sign up for health insurance or submit a waiver.

  • Check out your schedule! All students are pre-registered for their first semester of courses by our Advising team, based upon their preferences listed within their BAC application. Students will be notified by email when their schedule is ready to view.

Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) Process

Admitted international students pursuing their BAC degree in Boston must obtain an F-1 visa in order to seek admission to the U.S. for full-time studies. However, before you apply for an F-1 visa to study at the BAC, you must receive an immigration form called the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) from us; the form I-20 is processed and maintained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This process will be completed with the International Admissions Counselor, Jennifer Stanley. 

To receive a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20), please submit the following to Jennifer Stanley at jennifer.stanley@the-bac.edu:

  1. Copy of your valid passport
  2. Copy of bank statement(s)/letter(s) valid within 6 months that show proof of funds for one academic year at the BAC
  3. Certificate of Finance

Please note for transfer students: Students transferring from another U.S. institution or U.S.-based English language program must submit the following in addition to the above. If you are a transfer student from another U.S. institution, you must complete the I-20 process and have your transfer-pending I-20 in hand prior to any travel outside the United States:

  1. SEVIS Transfer-In Form
  2. Copy of current Form I-20
  3. Copy of current visa
  4. Copy of your most recent I-94

It is important that you submit the requested I-20 documents as quickly as possible to ensure enough time to schedule a visa appointment and to enter the U.S. before BAC courses begin.

After carefully reviewing your financial documentation, the BAC will determine whether we will issue an initial or transfer-pending I-20. Please note that we will not review financial documentation until a student is fully admitted to one of our degree programs.

Finally, be sure to keep copies of all documents sent to the BAC. You will need these documents to apply for your student visa from the U.S. Consulate.

Certificate of Finance

As part of the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) process, international students must prove that they can comfortably pursue their degree at the BAC by providing financial documentation which showcases that they can afford a minimum of one year of academic and living costs at the BAC. To showcase this financial proof, students must complete a Certificate of Finance.

To begin, please download and review the Certificate of Finance that applies to your BAC program:

As noted within the Certificate of Finance packets above, students must showcase different funds dependent on their program. The funds to be showcased are currently as follows:

  • Undergraduate Onsite Programs: $48,939.00 USD
  • Graduate Onsite Programs (Except MDS-RED): $49,306.00 USD
  • Online Master of Design Studies Programs: $13,641.00 USD
  • Onsite MDS in Real Estate Development Program: $46,118.00 USD

Accessible funds may come from personal funds, scholarships, fellowships, individual sponsors or sponsoring agencies, and/or student loans or lines of credit. Funds may be verified by an official stamped and signed certified bank statement or bank letter. It is important to note that any sponsor funds must be submitted alongside a completed and signed Affidavit of Support for each sponsor (found in Certificate of Finance packet). Please follow the below guidelines for provided financial documents, such as bank statements or bank letters:

  • Must be in English
  • Must be on bank letterhead
  • Must be stamped and signed by a bank representative
  • Bank account number must be indicated
  • Bank account type must be indicated (i.e. checking, savings, approved credit)
  • Currency can be in USD (preferred) or in local currency
  • Document must be valid within the past 6 months

You may find a sample bank statement (PDF) and sample bank letter (PDF) here for your reference. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the International Admissions Counselor, Jennifer Stanley, with any questions regarding this documentation.

Applying for the F-1 Student Visa

Once your initial or transfer-pending I-20 is approved and processed by the BAC, you may apply for the F-1 student visa. To do so, please complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the SEVIS I-901 Your SEVIS ID will be required and can be found on your form I-20.
  2. Complete the DS-160 form online.
  3. Schedule an appointment at your local U.S. Embassy. You may reference visa appointment wait times as needed. Please confirm your visa appointment date with the International Admissions Counselor at the BAC.
  4. Prepare documentation required for your visit to the consulate:
    • Your Form I-20
    • Passport
    • Statement of Funds
    • Printed confirmation page from DS-160 form
    • Any documents required by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country

If approved or denied the visa, please inform the International Admissions Counselor at the BAC right away for next steps.

F-2 Status (Dependents) for Spouses and/or Children (Under the Age of 21)

The spouse or child (under the age of 21) of an F-1 student may apply to enter the United States on F-2 status and may be admitted into the United States for the same length of time as the F-1 student. However, as per visa regulations, individuals on F-2 status are never allowed to be employed and cannot study full-time at post-secondary level. F-2 minor children must comply with compulsory education requirements in attending kindergarten through 12th grade. Any student wishing to bring a spouse and/or children to the U.S. will be required to showcase further financial proof during the I-20 process, as follows:

  • Spouse: $5,250.00 USD
  • Children (under the age of 21): $2,625.00 USD per child

In addition to this financial proof, please submit a copy of the spouse’s and/or childrens’ passports to the International Admissions Counselor. Once enrolled at the BAC and once successfully in Boston, F-1 students and their F-2 dependents will have advising support from the BAC’s International Student Advisor, Maria Polyanskaya.

Canadian Citizens

After the initial I-20 is processed, Canadian citizens will not be required to schedule a visa appointment at a U.S. Embassy. Rather, the visa interview will occur at the U.S. Port of Entry (at airport or on the U.S. border) on the day you travel to the United States. Therefore, be sure to have all Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) and other required documentation in-hand when travelling.

It is very important that you use your Form I-20 to seek admission to the US on F-1 status; you cannot enter the US on a B-2 tourist visa and change to F-1 visa status after you arrive. You also cannot enter the U.S. on a visa waiver and change to F-1 status after your arrival. Therefore, please double-check the visa stamp you receive at the Port of Entry. Should you enter on a B-2 status or another status other than F-1, please visit the International Student Advisor, Maria Polyanskaya, at the BAC right away.

Traveling to the United States

International students who are approved the F-1 student visa may seek to enter the United States as early as 30 days prior to their program start date as listed on the initial I-20.

On the day of your travels to the United States, please ensure to have a valid F-1 visa, passport, and the form I-20 in-hand and easily accessible when traveling; if flying, you will wish to carry these documents on your person – do not put them in checked luggage. You may be requested to present these documents to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the U.S. Port of Entry. Please refer to this Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guide on travel/re-entry on an F-1 visa for the more information. Be sure to check the CDC guidance on international arrivals for the most up-to date travel restrictions/requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

#YouAreWelcomeHere

Any questions?

Jennifer Stanley, International Admissions Counselor

jennifer.stanley@the-bac.edu or +1.617.585.0278