Newly Admitted F-1 Students

Welcome to UCLA! You have been admitted to UCLA as a degree-seeking student. Navigate this site for assistance on what you must do prior to arriving to the U.S., how to obtain your required legal documents to study at UCLA, steps you must take to complete your mandatory immigration check-in and visa workshop requirements upon arriving to UCLA, and how to maintain your F-1 student status during your UCLA degree program.


Click below to get started!

Pre-Arrival Information

Step 1: Obtain a UCLA I-20

Request fro a UCLA I-20

To request a UCLA I-20, you must first submit your 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 to request a UCLA I-20 through our online Portal.

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

Regulations require all prospective F-1 students to pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee before the U.S. Department of State issues you a visa.

After you receive your UCLA I-20, pay the mandatory, one-time SEVIS I-901 Fee online before you schedule your F-1 visa interview. Print a copy of your payment confirmation to present to the visa officer during your F-1 visa interview and when entering the U.S.

Step 3: Apply for an F-1 Visa from a U.S. Embassy/Consulate

If you are outside the U.S. and do not have a valid F-1 visa, follow the steps below to apply for a F-1 Visa (Canadian citizens exempt):

  • Identify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that is most convenient for you to visit.

  • Visit the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you will visit and follow the instructions on the site to pay your visa fee, obtain acceptable photographs, complete your online DS-160 visa application, get a list of all of the required documents you must bring, and schedule your visa interview appointment.

For more information on submitting a U.S. F-1 visa application, visit the official Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Step 4: Prepare for Your Arrival to the U.S.

You must enter the U.S. no later than the start date indicated on your UCLA I-20. The earliest date you may enter the U.S. in valid F-1 status is the Earliest Admission Date (30 days prior to your program start date) indicated in the Program of Study section of your I-20. Keep this in mind when planning your travel and housing arrangements.

Step 5: Complete iSTART@UCLA

iSTART is an orientation program designed to assist international students with their visa reporting requirements and transition to life at UCLA. Required components of iSTART are the Visa-Check-In and the DCISS Pre-Arrival Orientation which include the following modules: Getting Started in L.A., Cultural Adjustment, F-1 Visa Workshop, Academic Integrity Workshop, Legal Information for International Students, and DCISS Programs. There is a mandatory fee of $59 to access iSTART.

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

Check-in & Orientation

Mandatory Visa Workshop

All newly admitted F-1 students are required to complete the mandatory F-1 Visa Workshop requirement. The F-1 Visa workshop is only offered online through iSTART@UCLA: Pre-Arrival Orientation. The orientation will provide you with information on how to maintain your F-1 status at UCLA, apply for F-1 benefits and request for services provided by DCISS. 

All newly admitted F-1 students must complete the F-1 Visa Workshop online and pass the F-1 Visa Workshop Quiz to successfully meet this requirement.

Mandatory Visa Check-In

Upon arrival to UCLA, all newly admitted F-1 students are required to check-in with DCISS. The mandatory Visa Check-In requirement can only be completed in-person at Bradley International Hall at ONE of the designated DCISS Visa Check-In Sessions. 

Please bring the following documents to your designated Visa Check-In session:

  • Completed DCISS F-1 Check-In Form

  • Copy of page 1 of your UCLA I-20

  • Copy of your I-94 Admission Record

    • Electronic I-94: After your arrival to the U.S., access and print online at i94.cbp.dhs.gov

    • Paper I-94 Card: If you have been given a paper I-94 Card instead of an electronic I-94, please make a copy of both the front and back sides of the card.

  • Copy of your F-1 Visa (Canadian citizens exempt)

  • Copy of your Most Recent U.S. Entry Stamp Inside Passport

  • Copy of your Passport photo page

  • Original Passport and UCLA I-20

Please Note: Only make copies of the documents listed above AFTER your arrival to the U.S. DCISS does not provide photocopy or print services. Please plan accordingly. You will not be able to complete the visa check-In if you do not have the documents listed above.

Fall 2018 Visa Check-In Sessions

Early Start, College Summer Institute (CSI), and Anderson MBA Students:

AUG 03 | 10AM – 2PM

Law School Students and AUD M.Arch.II Students

AUG 03 | 10AM – 2PM 

AUG 24 | 12PM – 4PM

Degree and Exchange Students:

AUG 03 | 10AM – 2PM

AUG 24 | 12PM – 4PM

SEPT 14 | 12PM – 4PM

SEPT 21 | 12PM – 4PM

SEPT 26 | 12PM – 4PM

Anderson MFE:

SEPT 14 | 12PM – 4PM

SEPT 26 | 12PM – 4PM

 

All check-in sessions will take place at Bradley International Hall.

Mandatory Address, Phone Number, and Email Reporting

All F-1 students are required to maintain a valid local U.S. address, overseas address, U.S. telephone number, overseas telephone number, and e-mail at all times during their studies at UCLA. Upon arrival to UCLA, please log in to MyUCLA, click on “Settings”, then click on “Official Email/Address/Phone” at the top right hand corner to update your contact information in the UCLA system. Update your contact information as follows:

  • Email: Must reflect a verifiable email address that you check on a daily basis.

  • Mailing Address: Must reflect your local U.S. address within the Los Angeles area.

  • Permanent Address: Must reflect your overseas address outside the U.S.

  • Primary Phone Number: Must reflect a valid 10-digit U.S. phone number. Input numbers only. No special characters, spacing, or parentheses (Example: 3109876543).

Please Note: Updating your contact information in MyUCLA is very important. DCISS cannot validate your arrival and F-1 status with U.S. Department of Homeland Security until your information has been updated.

DCISS HOLD

To ensure that all students complete the check-in requirement, DCISS has placed a future HOLD on your records. The HOLD will be completely removed once the following are complete:

  • iSTART Online Orientation

  • Visa Check-In

  • Updating Address, Phone Number, and E-mail in MyUCLA

If you do not complete the F-1 Visa Workshop and the Visa Check-In requirement by the end of Week 2 of your first Quarter at UCLA, an all-services hold from DCISS will become active on your Student Record which will affect your eligibility to receive services from DCISS and UCLA departments, restrict your course enrollment, and restrict your access to UCLA campus resources. 

Failure to comply with visa check-in requirements in a timely manner will result in termination of your F-1 status.