International Student Services (ISS) is here to provide resources to make your time at the University of Arizona as beneficial as possible. Please follow the tabs below from top to bottom to learn exactly how to transition to life at the university. We’ve provided everything you need to know – from immigration and housing details, to travel arrangements and check-in.
Apply for a Student Visa
After receiving your I-20, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, then apply for your F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visitor visa. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee but do not need to apply for a student visa.
Apply for Housing
The university has 2 offices dedicated to helping students find housing:
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).
Watch the Pre-Arrival Tutorials
Watch the Pre-Arrival Tutorials.
Upload Your Immunization Records
Submit proof of 2 Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines to Campus Health through PatientLink. If you do not submit your immunization records, there will be a hold on your account that prevents you from registering for classes. Medical records should be in English (translations are accepted) with legible dates that the MMR's were administered.
Apply for Early Enrollment in Student Health Insurance
All international students registered for at least 1 unit must purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan. You will be automatically enrolled in the health insurance plan after you register for classes. The effective date of the date for Fall 2020 is August 16, 2020.
If you will be in the United States before the effective date of the Student Health Insurance, we strongly recommend applying for early enrollment or purchasing private health insurance so you have coverage during the gap.
Campus Health offers 2-week and 4-week early enrollment options.
Students arriving before July 19: Apply for 4-week early enrollment coverage (July 19 - August 15) by July 19
Students arriving on or after August 2: Apply for 2-week early enrollment coverage (August 2-15) by August 2
Enter the United States
You can enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20 or 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:
I-20 or DS-2019
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.
Students Living in La Aldea (On-Campus)
Contact La Aldea at (520) 621-6501 or firstname.lastname@example.org to determine a move-in date based on availability.
Students Living Off-Campus
If you choose to live off campus, the University of Arizona has an Off-Campus Housing department which offers free services for students. On the Off-Campus Housing website, you can search for places to live, learn about apartment contracts and questions to ask your roommate.
The closest hotels to campus are the Marriott Tucson University Park and the Aloft Tucson University. With a variety of lodging and dining options, the Visit Tucson website is another good resource for finding accommodations.
All new international graduate and professional students have to complete 4 online check-in requirements. A hold will block class registration until you have completed requirements.
If you are admitted for Summer 2020, the deadline to complete all requirements is start date of your I-20 or DS-2019. The deadline for Fall 2020 admits to complete all requirements is September 7 at 9:00 am.
The hold will be removed within 2 business days of completing these items:
New Student Information e-forms in UA International
Document Review e-forms in UA International (cannot be completed until after you have entered the United States)
Apply for Your CatCard
After you have completed your orientation and check-in requirements and registered for at least one unit, you are eligible to apply for your student ID, or Catcard. To obtain your CatCard you must visit the CatCard Office located in the Student Union. Please be prepared with the following:
A government or state issued photograph identification such as a driver's license, state identification card, or passport
A completed and signed CatCard Terms and Conditions Form
When you apply for your CatCard, you will need to provide your 8-digit student ID number to verify your status at the university. This number will not appear on the face of your CatCard, but it will be encoded electronically on your card, to be used for necessary university internal purposes only. The number will not be provided to outside entities without your prior consent.
If you have on-campus employment, such as a student worker position or graduate assistantship, follow these steps to apply for a Social Security card and get ready to work. If you do not have on-campus employment but are receiving a cash scholarship, you may be eligible to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead.
Step 1: Complete Your Orientation & Check-In Requirements
You cannot apply for a SSN or complete the E-Verify process until at least 10 days after entering the U.S. and 2 days after your SEVIS record has been registered. Your SEVIS record cannot be registered by ISS until you complete the orientation and check-in requirements and enter your UA Street Address in UAccess. SEVIS registration may take up to one week to be completed. You can confirm that your SEVIS record is active by logging into UA International and checking the “SEVIS Status Information” box on your home page.
Step 2: Request a Letter from International Student Services
J-1 Students: Submit the On-Campus Employment Authorization e-form.
Step 3: Apply for a SSN at at the Tucson Social Security Office
Immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019, passport, and I-94)
ISS Social Security Letter
University Employer Letter (F-1 students only)
Your application may take 2-3 weeks to be completed, but you can begin working before receiving the SSN. After you apply at SSA, you will be given a receipt, which you can show to your employer so that you can begin to receive your paychecks. After you receive your SSN, you must present it to your employer within 60 days to continue to receive paychecks.
Step 4: Complete E-Verify
Before you can begin working, your employer will use E-Verify to confirm your employment eligibility. Present your immigration documents to your on-campus employer and complete hiring paperwork upon arrival.
Step 5: Create a GLACIER Account
After your department completes the new hire process, email the UA Payroll Office to request a GLACIER account. GLACIER is an online tax compliance software system for nonresidents that determines tax residency and tax treaty benefits. If you do not create a GLACIER account, you will be taxed at the highest rate.