I-20 Request Deadlines
- Fall: July 1
- Spring: November 20
- 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.
This page is for current students who are entering the U.S. to attend classes on the Main Campus in Tucson, Arizona, including:
- Students changing from Arizona Online or Arizona Global Direct
- Students previously enrolled remotely on Main Campus from outside the U.S.
- Students previously enrolled at a Microcampus location
Follow the tabs below from top to bottom to learn exactly how to start your academic and personal journey. We’ve provided everything you need to know — from immigration and housing details, to travel arrangements and check-in.
Meet with an Arizona Online advisor to learn more about the program you’re interested in and find out if a campus change makes sense for you. Your advisor will help you with the campus change process.
You will not be able to register for classes until your campus change has been processed and you have spoken to a Main Campus academic advisor. This process usually takes about 2-3 weeks. You will receive an email from the Registrar’s office once the change has been approved.
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).
For funding documents, review the Financial Guarantee Requirement.
Are your spouse or children planning to join you in the U.S. as your F-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, 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 F-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?").
Review these resources to learn more about applying for your student visa:
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 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.
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 advisor to discuss your options, then submit the Change of Plans e-form.
You can enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the start of the semester.
After you have made travel plans, submit the Visa and Travel Update e-form to let us know.
Request a Ride from the Airport
Free airport rides from the Tucson International Airport will be available for new international students arriving for the spring 2024 semester.
You can request a free ride if you meet all of the criteria below:
You are a new international student for spring 2024
Your arrival date is between January 5-9, 2024
Your arrival time is between 12pm and 10pm, Arizona time
Our Global Wildcat Welcome Team will be at the airport to help with your arrival and coordinate your ride.
Submit this form by Monday, January 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.
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:
- I-20 (don't forget to print and sign!)
- Passport with a valid visa (if applicable)
- 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 SEVIS record. It also gives you a 60-day grace period to leave the U.S. at the end of your program.
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.
We will email information on how to attend an optional virtual orientation.
If you received a University of Arizona I-20, you must complete a check-in with International Student Services by your I-20 start date:
Submit the Check-In e-form: Please complete this as soon as you arrive in the U.S.
Complete the Immigration Tutorial: Required for learning how to maintain your status as an international student.
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 program start date, we strongly suggest you contact your academic advisor to discuss options for enrolling online or taking a leave of absence. However, if you do decide to arrive late, you must enter by the late arrival deadlines:
- Undergraduates: 1 week after the start of classes
- Graduates: 3 weeks after the start of classes (departmental support required)
If you plan to arrive after your I-20 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.
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.
Living on campus in the dorms is a great way to become part of the University of Arizona community. Our dorms offer a great way to meet people, live close to your classes and campus activities and provide a strong support system to help you adjust to life in America and our university campus. Did you know that students who live in a dorm on campus at least one year have a 50% higher 4-year graduation rate than students who never live in a dorm?
Choices for Living On Campus
Academic year (August – May, closes during winter break)
Academic year and winter break (August – May, open during winter break)
Summer housing for students attending Summer school
Most of our dorm rooms are doubles (for two people). We also offer some single rooms (one person) and apartment-style options (up to four people). Most of the dorms have community bathrooms on their floor or wing, which are shared by students of the same gender. We also have a few dorms with different types of bathrooms: a suite-style bathroom, where two rooms of students of the same gender share a bathroom; and a private bathroom inside the room, where the students in the room share a bathroom. All of our buildings have a community kitchen which is mostly used for cooking small meals or snacks.
Rooms include all furniture, utilities (water, electricity, gas, air conditioning/heating), local telephone service (phone not included), and internet and Wi-Fi access.
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.
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.