Newly Admitted F-1 Students


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Pre-Arrival Information

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SEVP Student Process, newly admitted students who are not citizens or residents of the U.S. seeking F-1 (Student) Visa status must request for a UCLA Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Student Status) and apply for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before traveling to the U.S. to begin their degree program.

Please follow the steps below to prepare for your entry to the U.S. in F-1 Visa status:

Step 1: Request for a UCLA I-20

To request for a UCLA I-20, you must first submit the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to confirm acceptance of your admission to UCLA. Once you have submitted your SIR, you will be emailed with instructions on how to request for a UCLA I-20 online.

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

After you receive your UCLA I-20, please remember to pay the mandatory, one-time SEVIS I-901 Fee online here. Print a copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt and have it with you when applying for your F-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate and when entering the U.S.

Step 3: Apply for an F-1 Visa

Apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country. Only schedule a visa appointment after you receive your UCLA I-20. The SEVIS ID Number on your UCLA I-20 is required to schedule a visa appointment. For more information regarding visa application requirements and to schedule a visa interview, please visit travel.state.gov

Please Note: Canadian citizens are exempt from Step 3, but must present their valid passport, UCLA I-20, SEVIS fee payment receipt at the port of entry to the U.S., and will hold F-1 status in the U.S. during their degree program at UCLA.

Step 4: Arrival to the U.S.

You may enter the U.S. with your F-1 Visa and UCLA I-20 up to (but no earlier than) 30 days before the start date indicated on your UCLA I-20.

Please Note: Students transferring from another U.S. school (item 3 on UCLA I-20 states “Transfer pending from…”) are not subject to the 30 day arrival limitation and may re-enter the U.S. at any time with a valid F-1 Visa and UCLA I-20.

Step 5: Complete iSTART@UCLA

iSTART@UCLA is programs that assist international students transition to their new life at UCLA and in Los Angeles. Required components of iSTART are the Visa Check-In and the DCISS Online Pre-Arrival Orientation which include the following modules: Getting Started at UCLA, Getting Started in L.A., Cultural Adjustment, F-1 Visa Workshop, and Academic Integrity Workshop.

F-1 students are required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to complete an F-1 Visa Workshop and a Visa Check-In to validate their F-1 status in the U.S.

If you do not complete the mandatory components of iSTART, a Hold will be placed on your student record which will affect your course enrollment, eligibility to receive services from DCISS and University resources. Failure to timely complete your check-in requirement will also result in severe consequences for your visa status within the U.S.

Please Note: If you do not complete the mandatory components of iSTART, a HOLD will become effective your student record which will affect your course enrollment, eligibility to receive services from DCISS and University resources.

Failure to timely complete your check-in requirement will also result in severe consequences for your visa status within the U.S.

Online I-20 Request Process Guideline
Pre-Arrival Instructions for Initial Students
Pre-Arrival Instructions for SEVIS Transfer Students
Locate a U.S. Embassy/Consulate
FlyAway Bus Service to/from LAX to UCLA