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ISO Immigration Check-In for International Students

Upon arrival to the United States, all international students MUST complete a mandatory immigration check-in with the International Services Office (ISO). ISO is required by Federal immigration law to report your arrival at the University and verify your nonimmigrant status through the SEVIS database. You will need to submit required information and document copies to complete this process.

Due to temporary adaptations surrounding COVID-19, these processes and requirements are subject to change; please check this site again as needed. 

  • Check-In Timing & Other Considerations

    You should complete the required Immigration Check-In within your first week of arriving in the United States.  If this form is submitted prior to entering the US, your information will be incomplete and ISO will reject your check-in so that you can submit it again once you arrive. Additionally, the check-in is only required at the beginning of a new program of study or new SEVIS record; returning students with an Active SEVIS record do NOT need to complete this process every year/term.

    Please review the considerations below if you belong to any special populations:

    • Immigration Transfer: For a transfer of your SEVIS record from another US school, you must submit your check-in details no later than 15 days after your UR program start date.
    • Change of Level: If you are beginning a new program at UR, you must wait until all authorized activities associated with your previous degree level are complete. 
    • Change of Status: If you have applied through USCIS to change your immigration status, you must wait until that application is approved before completing your check-in.
    • Dependent Spouses should also complete the Immigration Check-In with ISO upon their arrival. For additional details, see our Dependents section.
  • Preparing your Check-In Materials

    Prior to completing the ISO Immigration Check-In forms, you will need to verify your address and contact details are accurate in UR Student. Note: You can NOT complete your check-in without a valid US address or current UR housing assignment in the student information system.

    You will also need to take images of your immigration documents. When preparing these images, please note that file size cannot exceed 30MB and file names cannot include restricted characters (i.e. "/", "*")  for uploads to URcompass. Please optimize or compress those files, as needed. Document uploads will include: 

    • Form I-20 or DS-2019, with your signature
    • Passport ID page, current & unexpired
    • F-1 or J-1 Visa sticker, if applicable
    • I-94 Arrival/Departure record (available only after entry to US)
    • I-94 Travel History (accurate only after entry to US)
    • US Port of Entry stamp, if provided upon entry
    • Dependent documents, if applicable
  • Electronic Check-In Tool

    Our office has implemented a virtual check-in process, which you will access via our URcompass client portalBased on your scheduled program start date on the I-20/DS-2019, you will receive a separate communication from ISO prompting you to submit your Immigration Check-In details online.

    ACCESS to ISO's Immigration Check-In tool

    NOTE: In some instances, students may need to contact ISO to request an earlier check-in. Please send an inquiry to isop@rochester.edu

    -- Change of Educational Level --
    The Immigration Check-In will be used to activate your new level of study at UR. This should happen only after you have completed all activities associated with your previous program of study, including off-campus CPT/OPT authorization. However, if your current program ends and you plan to participate in any UR activities in advance of your new program, especially paid research or other employment, the Immigration Check-In must be completed before engaging in any work in order to retain active on-campus permissions. Please consult with ISO to strategize your timing.

    -- Immigration Transfer --
    If you are arriving to campus prior to the academic term and will engage in UR activities or services (research, campus employment, housing, etc.), it is best to activate your SEVIS record upon arrival, even if your program of study begins later. Please request an early check-in using the email above.

  • After your Check-In

    ISO will review your information and document copies to ensure that your immigration records were processed correctly, your SEVIS record is activated, and University systems are appropriately updated. This process can take a few weeks, especially during peak periods of high volume. We will help to correct any Port of Entry issues and contact you if additional information is needed. For students completing an Immigration Transfer from another school, you will be notified when a new I-20 or DS-2019 is available documenting your completed transfer. Other students will typically not require an updated document following check-in.

    In preparation for and upon arrival, you will receive important information and reminders about getting settled in Rochester and at the University. Report to your school or department right away for assistance and to satisfy other program requirements. We look forward to welcoming you to UR!

Please explore our additional information on the International Student Orientation Program, guidance on Arriving in the US and Rochester, and resources for Living in Rochester and at UR.