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International Transfer Students

If you are in F-1 status and you plan to continue your studies or work at another U.S. institution after leaving Ramapo College, the ISSS will need to complete the immigration transfer procedure so that your new institution will be able to issue a Form I-20.

Please complete the appropriate “Transfer Out” form and return to ISSS.; You must request the transfer no later than the end of your program plus applicable grace period.; If you would like to discuss the transfer out process in more detail, please visit ISSS office.

If you are in F-1 status and are transferring in to Ramapo College from another institution you should complete the appropriate “Transfer In” form and return to the ISSS.

Application Process

Only those students with either an “F-1″ (student) visa or “J-1″ (exchange) visa qualify for the international student designation. A special application is available from the Office of Admissions. Students should apply at least six months before planning to enroll. To be eligible for enrollment, you must have completed course work equivalent to American high school requirements and possess a reasonable fluency in English. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all international students. Transfer applicants must submit all official secondary and post-secondary records. Students who are transferring from colleges abroad must submit the above credentials as well as official college transcripts. It may be necessary for students to have their college transcripts evaluated by World Education Services ( in order to receive credit for course work completed in other countries. Students who are transferring from colleges in the United States must also submit official transcripts and financial documents. However, if the student has passed English composition with a grade of C or better, a TOEFL score is not required.

For more information please go to:

Eligibility For F-1 Visa

To obtain an F-1 visa, either an F-1 visa from the Department of State, or F-1 status from the Department of Homeland Security, a student must show the government:

  • An I-20 properly issued in SEVIS by a school designated by DHS;
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months;
  • Intention to stay in the United States “temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study;”
  • Proof of a residence outside the U.S. to which the student intends to return after completing the temporary period of study;
  • Financial ability to cover the cost of education and living expenses in the U.S.;
  • Proof of having paid the SEVIS fee, if required.

Eligibility for In-State Tuition

Residency Policy for New Jersey Tuition Assessment

The College’s policy on legal residency is governed by New Jersey Administrative Code 9A:5, which requires that individuals be domiciled in the state for 12 months before becoming eligible for in-state tuition.

Domicile is defined as the place where a person has his or her true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, he or she has the intention of returning. Individuals domiciled in New Jersey for a period of 12 months before first enrolling at Ramapo College are presumed to be legal residents of the state for tuition purposes. Dependent students under the age of 24 are generally presumed to be domiciled in the state in which their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are domiciled. In those cases in which a dependent student with out-of-state parent(s) or legal guardian(s) has resided in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment, the student may petition on his or her own to establish domicile in the state. Persons residing in New Jersey for less than 12 months before first enrolling at Ramapo College are presumed not to be domiciled in the state for tuition purposes.

Individuals residing in New Jersey for less than 12 months or who will become legal residents of New Jersey prior to enrollment at Ramapo and plan to establish a legal domicile in New Jersey must complete the New Jersey Residency Petition.

Non-citizens who are in the United States with valid resident immigrant visas or special refugee visas (i.e., holders of either the Permanent Resident Card [green card], I-551, I-551C or I-94 with refugee status, asylum granted, or public interest parole) or eligible visa classifications (A, E, G or T-visa) will be considered the same as United States citizens for purposes of assessing tuition. Other non-citizens who are in the United States on temporary visas (not permitted to establish a legal domicile in the U.S.) such as B, C, D, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, R, TD, TN, and NATO classifications or holders of the Employment Authorization Card are classified as nonresidents for tuition assessment regardless of how long they have been residing in New Jersey.

Dependent students born on or after January 1, 1989 (for fall 2012 applicants) or January 1, 1988 (for spring 2012 applicants) are generally presumed to be dependents of their parent(s) or U.S. court-appointed legal guardian(s). You may declare New Jersey residency based upon your New Jersey parent/U.S. court-appointed legal guardian if that individual has maintained a legal domicile in the state for one or more years immediately prior to your anticipated enrollment and will have filed a New Jersey resident income tax return for 2011 or is a legal resident non-filer. In cases of legal guardianship, you must provide a certified copy of the U.S. court document granting guardianship. A certified copy must come directly from the court. Guardianship papers issued by your school are not acceptable. Dependent students who have resided in New Jersey for at least 12 consecutive months prior to initial enrollment but whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) reside out of state may petition for New Jersey residency based on themselves.

In addition, at least one of the following statements must be true for either yourself or your parent/U.S. court-appointed legal guardian:

  • You/They are a U.S. citizen.
  • You/They hold a valid Permanent Resident Card (green card).
  • You/They have an approval stamp in your/their passport showing valid I-551, I-551C, or I-94 with refugee status, asylum granted, or Public Interest parole.
  • You/They are the holder of a valid A, E, or G visa.

Independent students are those individuals who were born before January 1, 1989 (for fall 2012 applicants) or January 1, 1988 (for spring 2012 applicants). You may declare New Jersey residency as an independent student if you are a citizen or eligible non-citizen and have maintained a legal domicile in New Jersey for one or more years immediately prior to your anticipated enrollment and will have filed a New Jersey resident income tax return for 2011 or are a legal resident non-filer.

We reserve the right to audit the residency information provided by any student who intends to enroll at Ramapo College. 

Entering The U.S. On F-1 Visa

You will need a Ramapo College I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status, a valid F-1 visa (the visa stamp in your passport) issued by the U.S. embassy/consulate overseas and a valid passport. To enter the U.S. as an F-1 student, Canadian citizens do not need U.S. visas. Please be advised that you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date in section 5 on your I-20 (refer to “Travel”, later on this page). When you enter the U.S., you will receive an I-94 card marked “F-1″ and “D/S” (duration of status).

Plane Tickets

Once you receive your F-1 or J-1 visa, it is time to buy your plane ticket to the United States! Arrange for transportation to this country well in advance. If possible, arrange for a flight arriving at Newark International Airport in New Jersey, since this airport is much closer and more convenient to Ramapo College. If arriving at Newark is not possible, flights can be arranged for Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Inform the Office of International Students and Scholars as early as possible the name of your airline, flight number(s), time of departure and arrival, and names of both departure and arrival airports. The easiest way to do this is via email:

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for your arrival in the U.S.:

  1. Do not plan to arrive in the United States any more than thirty days before the program start date on your I-20. If you arrive too early, you will most likely be denied entry to the U.S.
  2. Always carry your passport, SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019, student visa, and I-94 card on your person. Do not put these documents in your luggage.
  3. In addition to the above documents, USICE recommends that you bring with you:
    • Evidence of financial resources;
    • Name and contact information for your International Student Advisor at your school.

For more detailed information about your arrival in the U.S., please review this fact sheet on the ICE website:

Directions To Ramapo

Transportation options from the airport to the college are:
Air Brook Limousine Service or Bus 
Driving Directions

Your destination:
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Road (also called Route #202)
Mahwah, New Jersey

Please read the following carefully.

1. Kennedy International Airport
Most overseas flights to this region use Kennedy International Airport. However, if you are able to arrange to arrive at Newark International Airport in New Jersey, your trip will be considerably shorter and less complicated.
Public Transportation

Air Brook Limousine Service:
Be prepared to pay in US currency or Traveler’s Checks. (212) 244-7250.

By Bus: the most inexpensive way to get to Ramapo College from Kennedy International Airport is by bus. At Kennedy Airport, inquire at the Gray Line Bus Line counter which will take you to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The telephone number is 1-800-451-0455. This service is located near baggage claims. Upon arriving at the Port Authority Terminal, do not be discouraged by its large size. Ask a police officer to direct you to the Short Line Bus Line counter. Buy a bus ticket to the bus terminal in Mahwah, New Jersey. At the bus terminal in Mahwah, phone Ramsey Taxi Company at (201)-327-0147. After 10:00PM, it is necessary to phone the Ridgewood Taxi Company at 1-800-445-8294.
Public Transportation

2. LaGuardia Airport
Follow the instructions for Kennedy Airport in Making reservations. Phone Air Brook Limousine Service at 1-(212)-244-7250. Follow the directions to Mahwah described above to take the bus to Mahwah, New Jersey. Be prepared to pay in US currency or Traveler’s Checks.
Public Transportation

3. Newark Airport
Phone (201)-379-6900. Your destination is Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Road (also called Route #202), Mahwah, New Jersey, off of Route #17. Be prepared to pay the driver in US currency or Traveler’s Checks.
Public Transportation

Air Brook Express offers convenient, low cost shuttle between Ridgewood, N.J. and Newark Airport with up to 54 trips daily. More Info
This shuttle will bring you to a location on Route 17, close to campus. From there you can call a cab, or arrange for a friend or International Education Staff member or orientation leader to pick you up.


We strongly urge International Students to live on-campus!!

Unless arrangements have been made to live with relatives or friends, finding off-campus housing at a reasonable price in Bergen County is very difficult. Ramapo College does not arrange off-campus housing. In addition, living off-campus will require the purchase of an automobile. Transportation to and from the campus is available but sparse; i.e. only from places like the train station and local malls.

To make arrangements for on-campus housing, contact our Office of Residence Life.

Money Issues and Bank Accounts

During International Student Orientation and before registration for classes, international students will be taken to a local bank to open accounts and convert currency. As an alternative, students can arrange for a transfer of funds directly to a local bank. The most convenient bank is TD Bank in the Interstate Shopping Center on Route 17, Ramsey,

It is very important that students have at least $500.00 in US currency or traveler’s checks to use for the first two weeks of their stay. Students may use Visa, Master Chard, Discovery card or check or cash to pay for tuition and on-campus housing. There can be no deferment of payments.


You will need a variety of clothing while living in New Jersey, because temperatures vary from 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) during the summer months to 10 degrees F (-12 degrees C) during the winter months.

In June, July, and August, very light clothing is needed (shorts, skirts, t-shirts, sandals). However, you should bring at least one sweater and/or light coat.

From September until late November, we experience moderate temperatures. Students usually wear pants, sweaters and a light coat. A raincoat and umbrella is also needed.

From November to early April, heavier clothing such as a heavy coat, gloves and boots (total cost around $150) are needed. Students wear very casual clothing on campus. Pants, blue jeans, shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and parkas are worn by men and women; women also wear dresses and skirts.

Although men rarely wear suits, if you have one, it would be useful to bring for special occasions.


For on-campus housing, students will need towels, sheets, blankets, a pillow, an alarm clock, and toiletries.

Those living in an apartment (on or off-campus) and cooking their own meals will need a few utensils: pots and pans, plates, cups, glasses, and flat ware. These items may be purchased at a nearby shopping center during International Student Orientation. You should budget about $150 USD.

Textbooks can be purchased in the Campus Store in the Student Center. Cost varies, however, and students should plan on spending at least $200 USD per semester. Some laboratory courses will require a fee of from $25-$50 per semester.

Of course, students will need funds to cover expenses for personal items, transportation, and entertainment as well.

Holidays and Vacations

Fees for housing and meals do not cover the winter break between semesters or the summer vacation period. All students, including international students, must vacate their campus housing assignments by the last day of each semester, unless they have special permission to stay on campus. It is the responsibility of the student to find alternative housing over winter break and summer vacation.

International students often use this vacation period to return home, to visit with friends and relatives in the US or to travel in our country. Students are not permitted to check into housing again until the beginning of the new semester. It is important to make plans in advance and budget money to cover these additional expenses.

Transportation on Campus

  1. The Ramapo Shuttle– will take you to local shopping centers and train stations in the area.This service is free. To see the shuttle schedule, please go to:
  2. The Short line Bus-Goes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City every day. Tickets are $6 for Ramapo Students.
    Please see:
  3. Taxi- If no other options are available, you can always call a taxi!!
    Ramsey Taxi: (201)-327-9000

Resources in Mahwah, NJ

You will find an elaborate guide of hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and local activities in the Mahwah area in The Colleges Online Regional Guide

Please make note of the list of Ethnic dining experiences in Northern New Jersey in that guide.

You should also check for information on places of worship on and off the Ramapo campus in the Regional Guide.

Health Information

All F-1 visa holders must be enrolled in the College’s Health Insurance Plan, unless they hold an alternative insurance plan. In order to obtain a waiver of the College’s insurance charge, the international student must present the following documentation to the Office of International Students / Scholars:

  1. A copy of the health insurance policy in English with the name and address of a representative in the United States.
  2. The following two items must be included in the health insurance policy or the policy will notbe accepted for a waiver:
    • Coverage for repatriation (return of remains to the home country) in the amount of at least $7,500. US
    • Coverage for medical evacuation to the home country in the event of serious illness in the amount of at least $10,000. US

Benefits for Ramapo College’s Health insurance are detailed at the following web address:

Student Health Insurance Waiver Information


All students enrolling in Ramapo College must bring written proof in English from a doctor or health clinic of immunization for measles, mumps, rubella or written proof in English from a doctor or health clinic that you have had these diseases, as well as proof of a PPD (tuberculosis) test given within the last year. Dates must be indicated. If you do not have this written proof to present to the College’s Health Services Office, you will not be able to register for your classes. The following immunizations are required:

Measles: 2 injections after the first birthday or a “blood titer” to prove immunity.
Mumps: 1 injection after the first birthday or a “blood titer” to prove immunity.
Rubella: 1 injection after the first birthday or a “blood titer” to prove immunity.

These immunization records must be submitted to the Ramapo College Health Services Office before you will be allowed to attend class.

To read more about this topic or download an immunization form, go to:

New NJ Meningitis Law

The NJ Meningitis Law requires that specific groups of students must receive the meningitis vaccine before they can move into campus housing. Act now to secure your campus housing!

This Law applies to you if you will reside in campus housing AND you are a:

  • new freshman
  • new readmit
  • new transfer
  • new graduate student.

Your Responsibility:

  • Arrange with your healthcare provider to receive the meningitis vaccine.*
  • Submit proof of vaccination.

DEADLINE: Proof of Vaccination Must be Received by July 1st

Send to:

Center for Health and Counseling Services
Coordinator of Health Services
Ramapo College of NJ
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430-1680