International Student Services 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
After accepting your admission in GradApp, the first thing you should do is create your NetID, NetID+ and password using the 8-digit student ID and PIN in in your Certificate of Admission. Your NetID will also be used for your university email (Catmail) in the format: NetID @arizona.edu. As an admitted student, this is the official means of communication between you and the university.
After you create your NetID, you must wait 48 hours before requesting your UArizona I-20.
Submit Your I-20 Request
Open appropriate e-form under "Newly Admitted Students."
Upload your passport biographical page.
Upload your funding documents (bank statements from checking or savings accounts, or proof of scholarship/sponsorship).
Upload your Declaration of Support (for funding from family/friends).
If you are receiving university funding, enter the name and email for your department contact so they can upload a Graduate International Student Award Letter (GISAL).
For funding documents, review the Financial Guarantee Requirement. Contact your department if you have any questions about university funding.
Transferring your F-1 SEVIS record from a school in the United States?
Provide the name and email address of the designated school official (DSO) at your current or previous school so we can send them an email with transfer instructions. You can find your DSO's name printed on your current I-20 under "School Attestation."
Our office is paperless, and we do not have a transfer-in form for your DSO to complete.
SEVIS school codes
- Main Campus (Tucson): PHO214F20092000
- Chandler: PHO214F20092011
- Phoenix: PHO214F20092001
Are your spouse or children planning to join you in the U.S. as your F-2 or J-2 dependents?
You’ll need to submit copies of their:
Passport biographical pages
Proof of relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate or passport listing the children’s parents)
SEVIS I-901 Fee
The SEVIS I-901 fee, paid to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), is separate from visa application fees. After receiving your I-20 or DS-2019, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Print a copy of your receipt to bring to your visa interview.
- Students with a country of birth/citizenship of Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, or Gambia cannot pay online and must pay by mail or Western Union Quick Pay. Mail service varies throughout the world, allow at least 2 weeks for delivery.
- The fee is not required for SEVIS transfers or F-2/J-2 dependents.
- If you already paid the SEVIS I-901 fee on a different SEVIS ID that you did not use, you can request a transfer of the fee to your new SEVIS ID within 12 months of the initial SEVIS fee payment. Learn more at I-901 SEVIS Fee Frequently Asked Questions ("How Can I-901 SEVIS Fee Paid on One SEVIS ID be Moved to Another SEVIS ID?").
Visa processing times vary. 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. Depending on your start date, you can use either the Summer 2023 Visa & Entry Letter or the Fall 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.
After you have scheduled your visa interview, submit the Visa Appointment Update e-form to let us know.
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.
Free airport rides will be available for new international students arriving between 2 pm and 10 pm, Arizona time between August 8-18th.
You can request a free ride from the Tucson International Airport if you meet all of the criteria below:
You are a new international student for Fall 2023
Your arrival date is between August 8th-18th.
Your arrival time is between 2pm and 10pm, Arizona time
Our Global Wildcat Welcome Team will be at the airport to help with your arrival and coordinate your ride. If you are arriving outside these dates or times, please check the Tucson International Airport website for other options.
Submit this form by Tuesday, July 25th.
Requests submitted less than 72 hours before arrival are not guaranteed.
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
Summer 2023 Visa & Entry Letter / Fall 2023 Visa & Entry Letter (depending on admit term)
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.
If you're entering the U.S. for the first time, Customs and Border Protection may check that you plan to attend the school specified on your F-1 visa. This requirement only applies to initial entry in F-1 status.
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 UArizona I-20 or DS-2019, you must complete a check-in with International Student Services by your I-20 start date, even if you plan to study remotely, defer or transfer out. 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
- Complete the Immigration Tutorial
Students Enrolling Remotely or Not Enrolling:
- Submit the Change of Plans e-form
Your deadline to check-in is your I-20/DS-2019 start date. Submit the Late Arrival Request e-form to request approval to arrive late.
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.
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
F-1 Students: Upload the International Student Employment Letter (printed on department letterhead) or Graduate International Student Award Letter to the Social Security Letter e-form.
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 Sprintax Calculus Account
After your department completes the new hire process, email the University Payroll Office to request a Sprintax Calculus account. Sprintax Calculus is an online tax compliance software system for nonresidents that determines tax residency and tax treaty benefits. If you do not create a Sprintax Calculus account, you will be taxed at the highest rate.