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International Student Orientation Program (ISOP)

As you prepare to join the University of Rochester community, it is important that you understand US immigration requirements and availability of campus services. The International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) is designed to provide essential information on maintaining your valid F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status while in the United States, as well as other important details about life at the University and in Rochester. You will also be prompted to satisfy important reporting obligations.

Your participation in ISOP is required to coincide with your matriculation at UR, both before and during your arrival at the University. Throughout these programs, our staff will provide critical support and resources covering:

  • ISO services and programs for the University’s international students
  • Immigration regulations and requirements to maintain valid status in the US
  • Employment authorization options and US hiring practices
  • Traveling within the United States and abroad 
  • US tax obligations and important legal considerations
  • Cultural adjustment issues, student life, and classroom expectations


ISOP & Arrival Services

The ISO's International Student Orientation Program and related arrival services comprise four main functions. Please see details and access additional instructions below. 

  • Pre-arrival Orientation, via Blackboard

    Our office maintains a video series called TIPS On-Demand: Tools for Immigration and Preparation Support to share relevant information specifically with incoming international students. This program is made available online prior to your scheduled arrival and engagement with designated content is required of all new international students sponsored by ISO. Since the details covered in TIPS On-Demand directly align with other ISO programming, you must complete these online modules in advance of attending the ISOP Orientation Meeting.

    To access this online training, log into Blackboard (using your University NetID and password). Then, visit the ISO Pre-arrival Orientation organization under “My Organizations.” We hope these tools will be useful as you prepare for your arrival, and will monitor participation.

  • Immigration Check-In, via URcompass

    All international students must complete a mandatory Immigration Check-In with the ISO upon arrival to the United States in F-1 or J-1 student status. 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 provide required information and document copies during the check-in process to satisfy this reporting obligation promptly upon your US entry and arrival to Rochester.

  • ISOP Orientation Meeting

    Attendance is mandatory for new international students throughout all University divisions, who anticipate arriving for the Spring 2021 term. The ISOP Orientation Meeting is designed to supplement your online Pre-arrival Orientation by providing opportunities to engage more critically with key aspects of the immigration requirements and benefits you may encounter during your studies at the University of Rochester. 

    Students arriving for Spring 2021

    ISO will deliver the ISOP Orientation Meeting virtually, via zoom:

    Friday, January 8, 2021 - 8:30AM Eastern time
    A recording of this session is available in ISO's organizations in Blackboard, ISO Pre-Arrival Orientation & International Services Office.
    This orientation program is mandatory for students who intend to begin a new program of study in Spring 2021 from within the United States, including students who will arrive prior to the start of classes and students who will arrive later within the Spring 2021 term. Additionally, students who began a new program of study in Fall 2020 from abroad must attend this meeting if they intend to arrive in the United States at any time in Spring 2021. Attendance is mandatory for new international students throughout all University divisions, including those transferring their immigration record via SEVIS from another US institution. We appreciate and look forward to your participation! 

    Students arriving for Summer 2021 or later

    ISO will deliver an optional meeting virtually, via zoom:

    Friday, January 29, 2021 - 9:00AM Eastern time
    A recording of this session is available in ISO's organizations in Blackboard, ISO Pre-Arrival Orientation & International Services Office.
    This optional session with ISO is intended to help students take appropriate immigration steps while planning for an arrival to the United States in Summer or Fall 2021. Students who have not yet arrived in the United States and will either enroll online from abroad for the entirety of Spring 2021 or who will defer enrollment to a later term are advised to attend this meeting.


    F-2 and J-2 dependents are welcome to attend the scheduled ISOP Orientation Meeting. Dependent spouses will also be invited to participate in additional Dependent Orientation resources to learn more about their status and opportunities available to them in the Rochester area. This will take place after the start of the academic term and will be communicated at a later date. 

  • SSN Enumeration Support

    Students who are eligible to obtain a US Social Security Number (SSN) upon their arrival at UR will need to obtain necessary documentation and detailed instructions from ISO before applying. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, revised processes are still under development for physical document distribution, in-person application submission, and completion of UR requirements. More information will be shared during our ISOP Orientation Meetings and made available here as determined.


Contact Us

ISO would like to congratulate you on your admission to the University and we look forward to welcoming you to campus! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.