International Students

All applicants are required to follow the Admissions Procedure established by the Office of Admissions at the School of Nursing. All students that have studied outside of the US must provide the additional information:

  • An official detailed transcript from your university. Copies are not acceptable.
  • A minimum TOEFL score expected of 600 (written) or 250 (computer version). The exam must be current (no later than two years of your application).
  • All students requiring an international visa MUST be enrolled in a full-time program.

For further information, please visit the International Students and Scholar Office.

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is a non-profit, internationally recognized leader in the education, registration, and licensure of healthcare professionals worldwide. CGFNS protects the public in relation to evolving healthcare policies and standards of professional practice for migrating healthcare professionals.
http://www.cgfns.org/

CGFNS was established as a non-profit, immigration neutral organization with a commitment to protect the public by ensuring that nurses educated in countries other than the United States (US) are eligible and qualified to meet licensure and other practice requirements in the US. Throughout its history, CGFNS has demonstrated its commitment to excellence and quality in the healthcare arena and to fostering equitable treatment of healthcare professionals.

Credentials Verification Service

CGFNS has created a new service, the Credentials Verification Service for New York State (CVS), to independently verify credentials of foreign-educated healthcare professionals who are seeking licensure in New York State (This new service went into effect February 19, 2001).

The New York State Education Department requires that foreign-educated registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, and occupational therapy assistants obtain independent verification of the authenticity of their credentials from a State Education Department approved credentials verification service. CGFNS, a world leader in evaluation of international healthcare credentials, was authorized by the New York State Education Department to provide such a service.

The CVS program independently collects and verifies the authenticity of an applicant's educational and licensure/registration credentials. Once verified, the credentials are forwarded to the New York State Education Department to be evaluated as part of the applicant's licensure application. CGFNS assumes no responsibility for, and makes no analysis or determination as to the comparability or sufficiency of the applicant's education or that the applicant has met any licensure requirements.

For additional information about CGFNS and the Credentials Verification Service for New York State program, contact: Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, PO Box 8628, Philadelphia, PA 19104-8628 USA; telephone: (215) 349-8767; fax: (215) 349-0026; or e-mail: empire@cgfns.org.

**Notice** This service is currently ONLY being offered to foreign-educated registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants who are applying for licensure with the New York State Education Department.

CVS Application Instructions for New York State

Obtain a CVS Application Packet from CGFNS. To request a packet contact CGFNS at: Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, PO Box 8628, Philadelphia, PA 19104-8628 USA; telephone: (215) 349-8767; fax: (215) 349-0026; or e-mail: empire@cgfns.org.

Fill out the application, as well as the enclosed authorization forms, for each license you hold and each education program you attended. All forms, the application, and payment must be returned to CGFNS in the return envelope provided.

Columbia Resources for International Students

The staff of the International Student and Scholars Office, 525 Riverside Drive, provide advice and counseling to foreign students on such matters as housing, personal and financial problems, and regulations of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (visas, extensions of stay, work permission, temporary departure from the United States, transfer from Columbia to another school, termination of study). Information about the various international student clubs at Columbia and about opportunities to attend conferences, travel in the United States, and participate in community and cultural activities may be obtained from this office. Maps of New York City and discount tickets to Broadway plays are available. The staff also provide information and counseling on University admission, advanced standing, English proficiency examinations, and academic placement. The staff evaluate all foreign transcripts for equivalency to American education.www.columbia.edu/cu/isso/isso.html

The Immigration Affairs Office (IAO)
There are two immigration offices at Columbia University serving the international students and scholars in F-1, J-1, H1B, O-1, and TN status. The Immigration Affairs Office (IAO) serves the immigration-related needs of students and scholars on the Health Sciences Campus (with the exception of students in the Mailman School of Public Health and GSAS). The ISSO serves the immigration-related needs of international students and scholars on the main campus and students in the school of Public Health and GSAS. Staff members of the IAO assist prospective and enrolled international students and scholars with initial and continuing visa documentation. Throughout the year the IAO sponsors informative programs and workshops. The IAO broadcasts monthly announcements updating students on immigration issues and inviting them to join programs, workshops and activities. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of social, cultural, and other activities offered by the ISSO. They can be contacted at: Health Sciences Immigration Affairs Office, 630 West 168th Street, Box 27, New York, NY 10032. (212) 305-5455.

617 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

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