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.
Create Your NetID
Once you have received your admission decision and accepted your admission in GradApp, your next step is to create your NetID, NetID+ and password. To create your NetID, NetID+ and password, use the student ID number and PIN you are provided in your Certificate of Admission in GradApp. After you create your NetID, you must wait 48 hours before logging into MyGlobal.
Calculate Your Financial Guarantee Requirement
Review the financial guarantee requirement to determine the amount of funding you will be required to show. Contact your department if you have any questions about university funding.
Submit Your I-20/DS-2019 Request in MyGlobal
Upload your documents in MyGlobal (under "Newly Admitted Students") to request your I-20/DS-2019.
Passport biographical page
Funding documents (bank statements from checking or savings accounts, or proof of scholarship/sponsorship)
Declaration of Support (for funding from family or friends)
University funding (you will be asked to enter the name and email for your department contact in the e-form so they can upload a Graduate International Student Award Letter (GISAL))
If you are transferring your F-1 SEVIS record from a school in the United States, you must also submit the Transfer Request e-form to provide the name and email address of the designated school official (DSO) at your current or previous school. You can find your DSO's name printed on your current I-20 under "School Attestation." SEVIS school codes:
- Main Campus (Tucson): PHO214F20092000
- Chandler: PHO214F20092011
- Phoenix: PHO214F20092001
If your spouse or children plan to join you in the United States as your F-2 / J-2 dependents, you must submit copies of their passport biographical pages and proof of relationship such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate or passport listing the parents' names (for children).
After receiving your I-20 or DS-2019, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online. Print a copy of your receipt to bring to your visa interview.
Visa processing times vary. F-1 visas can only be issued up to 120 days before the start date start date. Use the State Department website to find the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy, then submit the online DS-160 form to apply for your F-1 or J-1 visa.
Review these resources to learn more about applying for your student visa:
- Check visa processing times
- (F-1) Student Visa Overview & How to Apply
- (J-1) Exchange Visitor Overview & How to Apply
- 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa
SEVIS transfers are only required to apply for a new visa if you are outside the U.S. and your current visa has expired.
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are not required to apply for a student visa.
Visa Delays and Expedited Appointments
Information about requesting an expedited appointment is available on the State Department website. You can use the Spring 2023 Visa & Entry Letter to try to request an expedited appointment. We cannot contact the embassy or consulate to request an expedited appointment on your behalf.
If you are outside the U.S. and unable to enter for your starting term, please contact your academic department to discuss options for beginning your program from home or deferring to a future term.
Students with a new initial I-20 or DS-2019 can enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the start of the semester.
After you have made travel plans, submit the Travel Update e-form to let us know.
IMPORTANT Please check the Announcements page regularly for the latest information about COVID-19 vaccination requirements for entry.
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 (don't forget to sign!)
Passport with a valid visa (if applicable)
SEVIS I-901 Fee receipt
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 the 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.
Customs and Border Protection creates an I-94 record for every nonimmigrant who enters the U.S. The I-94 shows your date of entry, visa category, and D/S for Duration of Status. "Duration of Status" means you may remain in the United States so long as you are maintaining your I-20/DS-2019 SEVIS record. It also gives you a grace period to leave the U.S. at the end of your program (60 days for F-1 students and 30 days for J-1 students).
Students Entering By Land: Within 7 days of entry through a land port of entry, you can apply and pay $6.00 for your I-94 online. Please be aware that the I-94 you obtain online is temporary and just the first step in completing the I-94 application. To obtain the final, legal-for-travel Form I-94, you will need to appear at a port of entry in person with your immigration documents. If you are entering via an airport, you do not need to apply for an I-94 in advance in order to access your record at the CBP website.
To access your electronic I-94 record after entry:
Go to the I-94 website.
From the menu at the top, click “Get Most Recent I-94.”
Enter all information exactly as it appears on your travel documentation you used to enter the U.S.
Click “Next” to get your most recent I-94 record.
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.
If you received a University of Arizona I-20 or DS-2019, you must complete a check-in with International Student Services by your I-20/DS-2019 start date, even if you plan to study remotely or defer. If you do not check-in by the deadline, a hold will be placed on your account blocking enrollment changes.
Students Enrolling in the U.S.:
- Submit the Check-In e-form in MyGlobal (under "Orientation & Check-In")
- Complete the Immigration Tutorial
Students Enrolling Remotely or Not Enrolling:
- Change of Plans e-form in MyGlobal (under "Orientation & Check-In")
All University of Arizona students are required to have proof of 2 Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines. You may receive your immunizations in your home country, however the immunization documentation you submit to Campus Health must be translated into English with Western calendar format dates. Please review the New Student Immunization Requirements page for details about MMR vaccination criteria.
Campus Health acknowledges the current pandemic can present challenges to meeting university immunization requirements. You are encouraged to submit any immunization documents you may have. Medical Records staff will review the documents and contact you via your PatientLink portal regarding the status of your immunization hold and to establish a plan to meet any outstanding requirements.
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.
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 for students arriving before the effective date.
La Aldea Graduate Housing residents enjoy the best of both worlds: the security, convenience, and unparalleled experience of living on campus, combined with the space and amenities of apartment life! Enjoy walking to class, your research lab or the library in just minutes. Plus, major public transit routes are just outside your door
To make it easier for you, utilities are included in your monthly rent.
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, Aloft Tucson University and Graduate Hotel. With a variety of lodging and dining options, the Visit Tucson website is another good resource for finding accommodations. In general, hotels require guests to be at least 18 years old to reserve a room.
After you have registered for classes, you are eligible to apply for your student ID, or Catcard. To obtain your CatCard, you can visit the CatCard Office 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 are in the US and 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 check-in requirements. SEVIS registration may take up to one week to be completed. You will receive an email once it has been completed.
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
To apply for a SSN, you must submit an application and present the following original documents at the Tucson Social Security Administration Office:
Immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019, passport, and I-94)
ISS Social Security Letter with original ink signature
University Employer Letter (F-1 students only) with original ink signature
Employment Authorization Letter (J-1 students only) with original ink signature
You are not required to have a Social Security number before you start work. The Payroll office will still release checks without the SSN, but you must provide a receipt to show you have applied.
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.
Verify Lawful Presence refers to a referendum approved by Arizona voters in November 2006. The referendum provides that university students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, or who do not have lawful immigration status, are not eligible for in-state tuition status or financial aid that is funded or subsidized by state monies.
Your tuition award will not be disbursed to your account until after your Lawful Presence has been verified and FLP hold has been removed.
If you will be entering the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, your lawful presence will be verified after the Check-In e-form in MyGlobal (under "Orientation & Check-In") is submitted and approved (3 business days).
If you are enrolling remotely on Main Campus, submit the Change of Plans e-form MyGlobal (under "Orientation & Check-In") so we can take action on your I-20 and update your visa type to show that you are enrolling remotely as a distance learner. Next, submit the Attestation of International Lawful Presence and supporting documentation demonstrating lawful presence in your current country of residence in UAccess. Additional instructions are available on the Registrar's website.
While you're waiting for the VLP hold to be removed: