international student checklist

Complete the following checklist prior to the start of classes. Some of these items can be completed before International Student Check-In. Not all items are applicable to all students. If you have questions, please contact us!
Please note that in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, most offices have transitioned to virtual or alternative services. Make sure to contact any office listed below by phone or email before visiting in person.

You may be eligible to submit your photo online and receive your card via mail. Please check the I-card website for more details.

You will need to obtain your NetID and set your password online in order to have computing access on campus. You will be asked for your name, UIN, and date of birth.

Students in F-1 and J-1 status are required by federal law to report a local address upon arrival to the United States and within 10 days anytime they move.  This can be done via iSTART. Please visit the Address Update page for more information on how to update your local U.S. address.

  • Graduate Students should report to their departments and attend any required orientation sessions.
  • Undergraduate Students should schedule an appointment with their academic advisor to discuss their academic plan if needed.

Course registration is done online, through U-I Integrate. For assistance, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

In order to maintain your F-1/J-1 nonimmigrant status, you must be registered for a full course load each semester. In the Fall and Spring semesters, the minimum credit requirement is 12 credit hours. If Summer is your first semester of study, then a full course load is 6 hours. With permission, you may be granted a reduce course load prior to registering below full time. For more information and exceptions, please consult the Guidelines to a Full Course of Study page.

All International Students are required to complete a tuberculosis (TB) screening and provide immunization records.  Please follow the instructions on the McKinley Health Center website. You can download and submit forms online for both Immunizations and TB testing.

New students are required to complete this online training. You must claim your NetID before you can access the training.

All registered students are automatically enrolled in and billed for the Illinois Student Health Insurance Plan. If you wish to be exempt from the insurance or add a dependent to your plan, please contact Student Health Insurance. You may also visit their website for information about enrollment/change dates and coverage dates. You are strongly encouraged to purchase health insurance for any accompanying family members during the Enrollment/Change Period.

Additional information may be found on our website's Student Health Insurance page and Student Health Insurance FAQ page.

Students are often required to register for the English Placement Test (EPT). Review your admission letter to confirm if you are required to take the test. Failure to complete EPT testing may result in a hold being placed on your course registration for future semesters.

Complete I-9 Form

If you have on-campus employment, you must complete Section 1 of the I-9 via the Tracker system no later than your first day of work for pay (access provided by hiring unit). You will need your I-94 in order to complete the form. You can use the paper Form I-94 (front and back) OR the Electronic Form I-94.

Temporary Control Number (TCN)

If you have on-campus employment and you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) at this time, you will need to request a TCN from the i-Card office. You will need to provide your hiring department with the TCN to process your employing paperwork. This is a temporary number and will be replaced with your SSN once it is obtained.

Social Security Number (SSN)

If you have on-campus employment, you will be eligible to apply for an SSN. For information regarding Social Security eligibility and application procedures, visit the Applying for a Social Security Number page.

J-1 Work Authorization Letter (J-1 Students Sponsored By Illinois Only)

J-1 students must obtain a work authorization letter from their program sponsor prior to beginning any employment on-campus. J-1s sponsored by Illinois may obtain this letter at ISSS. Students with sponsorship other than the Illinois must contact their program sponsor to obtain this letter.

Plan to attend ISSS Orientation for all new interational students.

ISSS offers exciting programs at the beginning of the semester and during the year for international students. Come join us!