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UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars

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.


Check out our Newly Admitted F-1 Students FAQs. For additional inquiries, please email:

Pre-Arrival Information

Step 1: Obtain 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.

* For SEVIS Transfer Students: DCISS cannot issue your new UCLA I-20 until your SEVIS record has been released to UCLA. UCLA's SEVIS School Code is: LOS214F00297000.

Step 2: 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: Arrival to the U.S.

You may only 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.

* F-1 SEVIS Transfer Students are not subject to the 30 day arrival limitation.

Check-in & Orientation


iSTART @UCLA is a program that helps international students transition to their life at UCLA and in the U.S. The required components of iSTART are the Online Visa Check In and the DCISS Online Orientation which includes: F-1 Visa Workshop, Academic Integrity, Getting Started at UCLA, Getting Started in LA, and Dimensions of Culture. There is a mandatory orientation fee of $59 that will be charged to your BruinBill account.

F-1 students are required to complete an orientation and visa check-in to validate their F-1 status in the U.S.

If you do not complete the required components of iSTART, a DCISS hold will be placed on your student record which will affect your eligibility for course enrollment, campus services, and access to University resources. Failure to complete your check-in requirement will also result in severe consequences for your visa status.

Mandatory Online Visa Check-In

All newly admitted F-1 students are required to complete the Online Visa Check-In by the end of week 2 of their first quarter. More information to come soon.

Mandatory Online Orientation

All newly admitted F-1 students are required to complete the the mandatory DCISS Online Orientation. The orientation includes the following components: Getting Started at UCLA, F-1 Visa Workshop, and the Academic Integrity Workshop.

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 email 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: Maintaining valid address information in MyUCLA is required for maintaining your F-1 status. DCISS cannot validate your arrival and/or F-1 status with U.S. Department of Homeland Security until your information has been updated.


If you do not complete the mandatory DCISS Online Orientation and the Online Visa Check-In by the end of Week 2 of your first quarter at UCLA, an all-services DCISS hold will become active on your student record which will affect your eligibility to receive services from DCISS and UCLA departments and restrict your course enrollment and 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.