International Student Services (ISS) is here to support you throughout your entire time at the UA. Follow the tabs below from top to bottom to learn exactly how to start your academic and personal journey. We’ve provided everything you need to know – from immigration and housing details, to travel arrangements and orientation.
Request Your I-20 or DS-2019
Now that you have been admitted to the UA, please upload your documents to UA International, ISS’s online system for submitting electronic forms (e-forms) for immigration requests. You will need your UA NetID and password, so please create your UA NetID and password now. Your NetID is the personal identifier that you will use for your email address and logging into secure university websites. It will go before "@email.arizona.edu" to become your UA email address. After you create your NetID, you must wait 48 hours before logging into UA International.
To get your I-20/DS-2019 you need to submit these items for review:
Passport biographical page(s)
Funding documents (bank statements from checking or savings accounts, loan approval documents, etc.) - review the Cost of Attendance to find out how much funding you need to show.
Declaration of Support (for students submitting funding from family/friends)
Name and email address of the designated school official (DSO) at your current or previous school if you are transferring your F-1 SEVIS record from another school in the United States. You can find your DSO's name printed on your current I-20 under "School Attestation." The SEVIS school code for the UA is PHO214F20092000.
If your spouse and/or children plan to join you in the United States as your F-2/J-2 dependents, then you also need to submit copies of their passport biographical page(s) and a copy of your marriage certificate with a certified English translation.
After you submit your documents in UA International, an international student advisor will review them. We will send you an email if we need additional information. Do not submit additional copies of your documents by email unless requested by ISS. We will not review documents that have been emailed or mailed to us instead of uploaded to UA International.
Sponsored Students: Please upload your documents in UA International in the Newly Admitted Sponsored Student Document Submission e-form instead. More information for sponsored students is available under Resources: Sponsored Students.
Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
After you receive your I-20/DS-2019 and before you apply for a visa, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
Apply for a Student Visa
Locate a nearby U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a student visa. Learn how to apply for an F-1 Student visa or a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. After you apply, check your visa status online. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are exempt.
For more information, read 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa.
Complete the Placement Tests
Take the Math and Writing Placement Tests in the Next Steps Center by Tuesday, January 1, 2019 (if required – see below). If you do not take the placement tests by the deadline, you may not be able to enroll in writing or math courses during your first semester at the UA.
The Writing Placement Questionnaire is required for all incoming international students who intend to obtain a degree from the University of Arizona (including CESL students).
Students who have taken English 106, 107 or 108 in University Track do not need to take the Writing Questionnaire.
Students who are transferring from U.S. institutions must complete the Writing Placement Questionnaire (this is where you will be asked to report any previous English writing/composition courses you may have taken).
If you have questions about Writing Placement or First-Year Composition, please email email@example.com.
All freshman (first year) students are required to have a math placement through SAT I MSS, ACT MATH, or the ALEKS PPL Math Placement Test. Access the test through the Next Steps Center. Read through the Math Placement section of the Next Steps Center before testing.
Transfer students should read the information in the Math Placement section of the Next Steps Center to determine whether the test is required.
If you have college math credits from a school outside of Arizona, you need an evaluation. In the Math Placement section of the Next Steps Center click "Click here..." to submit your course information online. You can also bring your course information with you to orientation. You must provide official catalog course descriptions (not personal translations), even if you already sent them to the UA.
If you are dissatisfied with your score you can retest when you arrive the UA. If you have questions about Math Placement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply for Housing
The University of Arizona has two offices on campus dedicated to helping students find housing.
Residence Life assists students with undergraduate on-campus housing options. The Residence Life website includes information on choosing a hall, the selection and assignment process, and a special section for international students. If you wish to live on-campus, you must complete the application through the Next Steps Center.
Off-Campus Housing provides students with off-campus living options and resources. The OCH resource page contains sample budget spreadsheets, apartment checklists, roommate contracts, emergency contacts and other resources for international students (go to International Students under Resources for more information).
Upload Your Immunization Records
All University of Arizona students are required to have proof of 2 Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines. Medical records should be in English (translations are accepted) with legible dates that the MMR's were administered.
Upload your medical records online in PatientLink on the Campus Health website.
If you do not submit your immunization records, there will be a hold on your account that prevents you from registering for classes during orientation.
Enter the United States
You can enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20/DS-2019.
We recommend that you hand-carry the following documents to present at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the U.S. Port of Entry:
Passport with valid visa (if applicable)
Entry to the U.S. is at the discretion of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and CBP may require you to go through Secondary Inspection and/or choose to inspect your electronic devices to further verify information. Since this may cause delays at your initial port of entry to the U.S., make sure you have enough travel time between any connecting flights.
Read more about entry to the U.S. on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website: Student Process Steps: How to Navigate the U.S. Immigration System.
Print Your I-94
Your entry to the United States is recorded by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. The I-94 records the date you entered the United States, your immigration status and the date your stay in the U.S. expires.
If you enter by air or sea, your I-94 record will be electronic. When you go through the port of entry, a CBP officer will stamp your passport. You can use the information from your passport to access your electronic I-94 record from U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. If you enter by land, CBP will stamp your passport and issue a paper I-94 in your passport.
You are required to carry evidence of your admission (entry) to the U.S. at all times. You can carry your passport with admission stamp, a print out of your electronic I-94, or your paper I-94 to satisfy this requirement.
Arrange Airport Transportation
The University of Arizona campus is about 10 miles from the Tucson International Airport and there are several transportation options.
ISS provides new international students with free airport pick-up service. A shuttle can take you from the Tucson International Airport to the UA campus or within a 10-mile radius of the UA. Free shuttle pickup is not available Friday evenings from 4:00 pm through Saturday 7:00 pm.
A taxi ride from Tucson International Airport to the UA will be approximately $25-$30. Most taxis will accept credit or debit cards in addition to cash.
App Ride Services
Download Uber or Lyft to arrange for a ride service to the UA. If you have arranged a ride, you can meet your car and driver outside the Car Rental Facility, which is a short walk east from baggage claim. Cars and drivers do not wait at the stop but will arrive when ordered through the mobile app.
For other options, go to Tucson International Airport: Parking & Transportation.
Purchase Health Insurance If You Are Arriving Early
The Student Health Insurance Plan is effective January 1, 2019. If you will be arriving to the United States prior to January 1, we encourage you to purchase health insurance to cover your first days in the U.S. You can apply for early enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan through Campus Health.
J-1 students are required to carry health insurance that meets the minimum coverage required by immigration regulations for J-1 Exchange Visitors at all times while in the U.S. (read more under J-1 Students: Health Insurance).
Register for Orientation
International Student Orientation is a mandatory 2-day program for all new Spring 2019 international admits. Orientation for all students begins Thursday, January 3 at 8:00 am in the North Ballroom of the Student Union.
Each day is mandatory, and you will not be permitted to register for classes if you do not attend.
Register for International Student Orientation through the Next Steps Center.
The cost for orientation is included in the $395 Enrollment Fee.
Temporary housing is not available during the spring orientation. If you have a permanent assignment in the residence halls, the earliest you can check-in is January 6. You can find the full Spring 2019 calendar on the Residence Life website.
There are several hotels located within 1-2 miles of the Student Union, the main location for the orientation program. International Student Services does not endorse or support of any of the businesses listed below.
Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel –10 minute walk to Student Union
Aloft Tucson University – 20-minute walk to Student Union
Best Western Royal Sun Inn and Suites –1.5 miles from Student Union
Sahara Apartments – 1.5 miles from Student Union, offers shuttle service to Student Union (call to confirm)
What to Bring
You must present your original immigration documents (I-20/DS-2019 and passport) at the Document Review session at orientation (see Document Review below for more information).
If you have college-level math or English composition credits:
Attend the Math Placement and/or Writing Placement advising session at orientation.
If your English composition credits are from a college or university in the U.S., bring your unofficial transcript and copies of the course syllabus(es).
If your math credits are from a school in the U.S., bring your unofficial transcript and submit the Math Transfer Credit Approval Form.
If your math credits are from a school outside the U.S., bring official course catalog descriptions in English. These need to have a stamp or something official from the transfer institution.
There is no dress code for orientation. Because there is a lot of walking, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes.
Submit the Document Review E-Forms
In preparation for orientation, upload the following documents to the Document Review e-forms in UA International (located under Orientation on the menu):
Page one of your signed I-20/DS-2019
Visa (if applicable)
I-94 or port of entry stamp
If you will arrive to the U.S. by Tuesday, January 1, submit the required Document Review e-forms to have your documents reviewed early. If there are no problems, we will send you an approval email to exempt you from attending the Document Review session at International Student Orientation.
If you do not submit the e-forms by Tuesday, January 1, or you do not receive the approval email, you are required to attend the Document Review session at orientation
Request Approval to Arrive Late
Review of late arrival requests begins November 19.
If you are not arriving in Tucson until after January 3, you must complete the following steps:
Submit the Late Arrival Request e-form in UA International (located under "Orientation" on the menu) and wait for approval. If you are approved, you will receive an email with instructions for completing the check-in with ISS.
Even if you are arriving late and will miss the orientation program, you are still required to register for orientation in the Next Steps Center.
Complete the Immigration Tutorial online. Submit the Immigration Tutorial e-form (link provided at the end of the tutorial).
Bring your immigration documents (I-20/DS-2019 and passport) to International Student Services during regular business hours to complete the in-person portion of your late arrival check-in. Please arrive at least one hour prior to close.
Know the Consequences
ISS will accommodate your late arrival, but you may face the following consequences:
Late registration for courses (it may take up to 1 business day after check-in to be granted access to register)
Limited class availability
Late registration fees (review Dates and Deadlines on the Bursar's Office website)
You must enroll full-time for immigration purposes to maintain your immigration status. If you do not enroll full-time after checking in, your SEVIS record may be terminated, and you may be required to abandon your program and depart the U.S.