Graduate Students

I-20/DS-2019 Request Deadlines

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: November 20
  • Summer I: May 1
  • Summer II: June 1

Important Considerations:

  • If you are a SEVIS transfer, you must still submit your request by the deadline, even if your record will not be released to the University of Arizona until a later date.
  • Visa wait times vary by embassy/consulate. Submitting by the deadline does not guarantee that you will be able to receive a visa in time to travel to the U.S.

International Student Services (ISS) is here to support you throughout your entire student experience and beyond. We office immigration and adjustment support, along with opportunities for connection. As your advocates, we ensure your voice is heard and your needs are met. 

We provide international student advising and mental health counseling virtually and in-person at the Global Center.

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.

Travel

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

Instructions

  1. Launch MyGlobal.
  2. Open appropriate e-form under "Newly Admitted Students."
  3. Upload your passport biographical page.
  4. Upload your funding documents (bank statements from checking or savings accounts, or proof of scholarship/sponsorship).
  5. Upload your Declaration of Support (for funding from family/friends).
  6. 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)

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.

Special Considerations:

  • 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. 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:

Special Considerations: 

  • 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 the Visa & Entry Letter to try to request an expedited appointment. We cannot provide customized letters or contact the embassy or consulate to intervene in your visa application in any way. 

If you are outside the U.S. and unable to enter for your starting term, please contact your academic department to discuss options, then submit the Change of Plans e-form.  

Visa Denials

Receiving a visa denial can be frustrating, but that doesn't necessarily mean you’re at the end of your academic journey in the U.S. If your application is denied, the U.S. consulate or embassy will issue a letter explaining the denial reason. Common reasons for visa denials include insufficient financial support, missing or incorrect documentation, and failure to establish non-immigrant intent.  

If your visa application is denied, you may be able to reapply for the visa after addressing the reasons for denial mentioned in the letter. If you’re not able to get another appointment before the start of the term, contact your academic department to discuss options, then submit the Change of Plans e-form.  

 Learn more about visa denials on the U.S. Department of State website. 

You are allowed to enter the U.S. 30 days before your program start date.  If you are transferring your SEVIS record from another school in the U.S., the 30-day rule does not apply to you and you may enter earlier.

After you have made travel plans, submit the Visa and Travel Update e-form to let us know.

VISA AND Travel Update e-form

Request a Ride from the Airport  

Free airport rides from the Tucson International Airport will be available for new international students arriving for the fall 2024 semester.  

You can request a free ride if you meet all of the criteria below:

  • You are a new international student for fall 2024
  • Your arrival date is between August 15-23, 2024
  • Your arrival time is between 12pm and 10pm, Arizona time

Our Global Ambassadors will be at the airport to help with your arrival and coordinate your ride.  

Submit this form by August 1st.

If you are arriving outside these dates or times, know that the Tucson airport is easy to navigate and that taxis and app-based rides such as Lyft and Uber are also available. If you are arriving into Phoenix, you can pay to reserve a shuttle to Tucson from the Phoenix International Airport.

Sign Up

IMPORTANT Please check the Announcements page regularly for immigration updates.

You should hand-carry the following documents to present at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the U.S. Port of Entry:

Required

  • I-20/DS-2019 (don't forget to print and sign!)
  • Passport with a valid visa (if applicable)

Recommended

  • Funding documents
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee receipt (required for citizens of Canada and Bermuda)
  • Visa & Entry Letter

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:

  1. Go to the I-94 website.
  2. From the menu at the top, click “Get Most Recent I-94.”
  3. Enter all information exactly as it appears on your travel documentation you used to enter the U.S.
  4. 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.

Check-In & Tutorials

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 or DS-2019 start date:

  1. Check-In e-form: Please complete this as soon as you arrive in the U.S. 
  2. New Student Tutorials: You will have access to these tutorials 30 days before your I-20 or DS-2019 start date.

IMPORTANT Failing to meet these requirements by the deadline may jeopardize your immigration status and will result in a hold on your account, blocking registration changes. 

Need Help or Have Questions? 

If you cannot arrive by your I-20 or DS-2019 program start date, we strongly suggest you contact your academic department to discuss deferral to a future term. However, if you do decide to arrive late, the latest you should arrive is three weeks after your program start date (departmental support required). 

If you plan to arrive up to three weeks after your I-20 or DS-2019 program start date, you can apply for a late arrival support letter. To request this letter, please complete the Late Arrival Letter Request e-form in MyGlobal by the first day of classes. While this letter doesn't guarantee entry, it may help to reduce the chances of being denied at the U.S. Port of Entry.

Campus Health Requirements

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.

Learn More at Campus Health

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.

Learn More About Using Your Health Insurance

Accommodations

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.

Get Started

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.

Other

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
  • $25

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
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 will determine how your university payments should be taxed. If you do not create a Sprintax Calculus account, you will be taxed at the highest rate. Sprintax Calculus has a different purpose from Sprintax Tax Prep, which is used for the yearly tax filing process.

After receiving your SSN, upload a copy to your Sprintax Calculus account and the Payroll office

Learn More About Taxes