International Student Services (ISS) is here to provide resources to make your time at the UA as beneficial as possible. Please follow the tabs below from top to bottom to learn exactly how to transition to life at the UA. We’ve provided everything you need to know – from immigration and housing details, to travel arrangements and orientation.
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.
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. The on-campus housing option for graduate and professional students is La Aldea.
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
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. Law students will be automatically registered when your I-20 is issued.
The cost for orientation is $75. The fee will be posted directly to your UAccess account after the semester begins.
Temporary housing is not available during the spring orientation. If you have a permanent assignment in La Aldea, the earliest you can check-in is January 1. 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).
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 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.
The latest date you can check in is Wednesday, January 23 at 9:00 am. If you cannot check in by that time, contact your academic department to discuss deferring your admission to a future term.
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)
Even if you do not attend orientation, you will still be charged the $75 orientation fee for Late Arrival Check-In.
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