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STEP 1 - REQUEST YOUR IMMIGRATION DOCUMENT

 

Meet All Admissions Requirements

The International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) congratulates you on your admission to the University of California, San Diego! Once you've been admitted, complete the Online Admission Checklist (Applicant Portal). This includes: 

Interested in applying for admission to study at UC San Diego? Visit our Prospective International Students information page for more information about how to become a Triton! 

Set Up All Required Accounts

Please wait at least 72 hours after accepting admission to complete this step. In some cases, it may take up to a week to generate your PID.

It is important that you set up your password for your Personal Identification number (PID) to enable you to access resources such as class registration and financial tools. You will need your PID which can be found on your application portal.

 


New incoming students can follow these steps to activate and access their new UC San Diego email account. In additional to email, this student account is used for other ITS-supported services and systems such as computer labs, WiFi network, VPN, and the Canvas learning management system.

 


 

Please note the difference between your Personal Identification Number (PID) and your Active Directory username.

  • Personal Identification Number (PID) is provided in the form of A00000000. 
  • Active Directory username consists of your name or initials (for example, if your name is John Jacob Smith, you may have an AD username of jsmith, jjsmith, jjs001, etc).

Using Active Directory Username for Single Sign-On (SSO): Your Active Directory username is used as your email address and as your username to log into any UC San Diego site that requires Single Sign On. Your PID will not work as a log on username unless it is explicitly stated to enter username or PID.

The TritonLink page  provides further information regarding the Active Directory account lookup tool (under Set Up an Account), which allows students to look up their Active Directory username by inputting their PID and last name. From there, students can go to password.ucsd.edu  to set the password for their Active Directory account.

 


  Creating a DUO Account

DUO is required for all UC San Diego affiliates, including new students. DUO Two-step login is a security feature that reqires verification of identity when loging into UC San Diego protected systems. After setting up your Active Directory credentials, you must register for Duo before you can access any UC San Diego Single-Sign On (SSO) based site or application, such as iPortal .

The DUO app is accessible through the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. For further support, please reference the primary DUO information page  and the Service Desk provides full support for DUO if needed.

Duo.PNG

 


Things to Keep in Mind

  • Using Correct Credentials: Please make sure you are using your correct AD credentials (not PID) and are registered with DUO to access UC San Diego Single Sign-On sites.
  • VPN: If there are additional issues connecting to UC San Diego sites, please use the UC San Diego VPN. Instructions for installing the VPN can be found here. The VPN also uses DUO, so the student must be registered with DUO before using the VPN. Instructions for logging into the VPN using DUO can be found here
  • Information Technology (IT) Services: Information Technology Services is UC San Diego’s central IT organization, providing information technology services to support business systems, messaging and collaboration, information security, campus infrastructure, educational technology and researcher needs. More information on IT Support can be found here

Determine your Form I-20 (F-1 Students) or Form DS-2019 (J-1 Students) Program Start Date

International students who receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019 will have a program start date listed on the document to reflect the first day of the quarter you were admitted for. This will correspond to the quarter start date listed on UC San Diego's Academic and Enrollment Calendar.


When Might I Receive a Different Program Start Date?

The first date of the quarter will be the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. However, there are exceptions to this rule  for certain students: 

  • Special Start Programs: Students who have been admitted into a Special Start Program (with an early start date).
  • Summer Start Students: Students deemed eligible to receive a Summer Session Start Date through iPortal.
  • Beginning Your Program Remotely: Due to impacts of COVID-19 on travel, international students may also request to change the program start date listed on their Form I-20 or DS-2019 to the quarter start date they will physically enter the U.S. to enroll in on-campus or hybrid courswork. This is a later quarter than the quarter they were admitted for. 

  • Deferring Admission:  If you are planning to defer your studies to the 2022 - 2023 academic year (that is, you plan to delay the start of your program until Fall 2022), you will need to apply for a new, initial I-20/DS-2019 via the iPortal once ISPO opens up the application for the 2022-2023 academic year. This application will be available around February 2022. If you plan on deferring admission, your current I-20/SEVIS record that you requested for Fall 2021 will need to be cancelled and will not be valid for entry into the U.S.

Campus Activities Before Program Start Date: Students who wish to partake in campus activities such as orientation, research, or other events in the 30 days PRIOR to the program start date listed on their Form I-20 or DS-2019 may do so without adjusting the program start date. 


What does it mean to receive a New Form I-20 or DS-2019 with a NEW SEVIS ID Number? 

When UC San Diego issues you a Form I-20 or DS-2019, we are able to create a new SEVIS Record associated with a unique SEVIS ID Number or transfer in a SEVIS Record with an existing SEVIS ID Number from your previous institution. All SEVIS ID numbers start with the letter N. On the Form I-20, the number is on the top right hand side of the first page under the words Student's Copy and above the barcode. On the DS-2019, the number is on the top right hand side of the page in the box above the barcode.

When you receive an I-20 from UC San Diego with a NEW SEVIS ID Number, the following applies: 

  • I-901 Fee: You will need to pay a new I-901 fee to activate the new I-20. Note, you may be eligible to transfer the fee to your new record or request a refund if you paid the fee twice.
  • You may require a new/updated visa: If you have a valid F-1 visa or J-1 Visa, your new Form I-20 or DS-2019 will not match the SEVIS ID on your valid visa. You will need to check with the embassy or consulate about whether you can use this visa for travel or not or if you need to obtain an updated one. Students are generally able to use a valid visa to enter the U.S. even if the SEVIS ID or school name does not match the Form I-20. However, it’s best to check with the embassy or consulate that issued you your visa.
  • Employment Eligibility: International students must enroll for a minimum of 3 quarters on the SAME SEVIS ID Number upon arrival to the U.S. in order to be eligible for off-campus employment authorization (for F-1 CPT or OPT).  Since you will be issued a new SEVIS ID number, the “eligibility clock” restarts. Students who have less than 3 quarters to complete their program of study may be ineligible for CPT or OPT.

See the next section, "Transfer your SEVIS Record to UC San Diego (if applicable)" for more information.

Request your Form I-20 (F-1 Students) or Form DS-2019 (J-1 Students)

The deadline to apply for your Form I-20 or DS-2019 in iPortal for Winter 2022 is November 1, 2022*.

*Requests for visa documents will be accepted and processed after November 1st; however, to ensure timely issuance, you are urged to submit before this deadline.

Requesting your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 in iPortal:

  1. LOG INTO iPORTAL.
  2. SELECT AN iPORTAL SERVICE.
    • For students who have never requested a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from UC San Diego before:
      • Under the Services Tab, start the NEW ADMIT: I-20 or DS-2019 Request
      • COMPLETE YOUR REQUEST. The iPortal will help you determine what is the appropriate status and visa for you (see: F-1 or J-1: Selection of Visa Classification).

 


How much funding do I need to show?

  • F-1 students must show 9 months of financial support to obtain an I-20.
  • J-1 students (including EAP students) must show financial support for the entire duration of their program of study to obtain a DS-2019.
  • For exact figures for your specific program of study, see our Funding Requirements Page.

 


How long will it take to receive my document?

The processing time for your I-20/DS-2019 document is 15 business days from the date of a complete submission; incomplete requests will cause a delay in processing.

For students transferring their SEVIS Record to UC San Diego, 15 days will begin from your SEVIS release date or date of complete submission, whichever is later. If your application is incomplete or invalid, you will be contacted via email directly after an advisor has thoroughly reviewed your request.

Remember, you can check the status of your request by logging in to the iPortal at any time!

Making Changes to your Form I-20 or DS-2019 (if applicable)

Once you've requested and received your Form I-20 from UC San Diego, you are able to request changes (also known as 'amendments') to your document, report changes in your admission or enrollment, or request a reprint. Depending on the type of amendment you'd like to make, you may be directed to a different service (or form) within iPortal: 

Change Requested  Service to Use in iPortal

Updated Program Start Date to reflect quarter of entry into the U.S. 

NEW ADMIT: I-20 or DS-2019 Amendment/Reprint Request
(Instructions below)

Deferring Admission to a future quarter

Declining Admission to UC San Diego (cancellation of Form I-20/DS-2019) 

No changes, just a reprint of your Form I-20 or DS-2019

Adjusting Biographical Information, Program Major*, Program Level, or Funding Reflected on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 for yourself (or for any of your dependents)
Transferring your SEVIS Record to another school due to declining admission or deferring admission:
Taking a Leave of Absence (Gap Quarter)
Adding New Dependents

 

*Why is the UC San Diego major different from the major listed on my Form I-20 or DS-2019? UC San Diego Major Names are classified by corresponding CIP Codes. The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity. Classifications are not determined by ISPO. Note that though some CIP Codes may sound different from the major name listed within TritonLink, it does not mean it is incorrect. For example, the CIP Code for Master of Business Analytics is Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods, Other (52.1399). Though this CIP Code may seem incorrect since the major's name, 'Business Analytics', is not clearly listed within the CIP Code, it is indeed correct. A full list of CIP Codes established by NCES can be found on their website.

Requesting Amendments or Reprints for Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 in iPortal:

  1. LOG INTO iPORTAL.
  2. SELECT AN iPORTAL SERVICE.
    • Under the Services Tab, start the NEW ADMIT: I-20 or DS-2019 Amendment/Reprint Request.
    • UPLOAD REQUIRED DOCUMENTS. Depending on your request, you will be prompted to upload supporting documents.
    • COMPLETE YOUR REQUEST

Winter 2022: Understand your Date of Arrival

When Can I Enter the U.S. with My Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from UC San Diego?

Restrictions on entering the U.S. once you've received your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from UC San Diego will depend on two things: Your SEVIS ID Number and Program Start Date. 

  1. Receiving a NEW SEVIS ID NUMBER from UC San Diego:
    You may enter the U.S. 30 days prior to the Program Start Date listed on your Form I-20/Form DS-2019, no earlier. You should plan to enter the U.S. no later than Friday of Week 2 of your admit term, which is the final day to add courses. If you are unable to enter the U.S. by this date, please contact an International Student Advisor.
  2. Receiving the SAME SEVIS ID NUMBER from UC San Diego: 
    If you receive the same SEVIS ID Number, you successfully transferred your SEVIS record to UC San Diego from another institution in the U.S. Unlike students who receive a NEW SEVIS ID, there are no restriction on entering anytime prior to 30 days before the start date.This means you may enter any time before the program start date but should only re-enter the U.S. with your I-20/DS-2019 from UC San Diego in hand.

WINTER 2022: Understand your Earliest and Latest Date of Entry to the U.S.

Students may use their Form I-20/DS-2019 issued with a WINTER 2022 program start date to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before but no later than 30 days after the program start date listed on their Form I-20/DS-2019*.


Winter 2022 Starts: If your date of entry to the U.S. is after February 2nd, which is more than 30 days after the Winter 2022  program start date listed on your Form I-20/DS-2019, your must submit a NEW ADMIT: I-20 or DS-2019 Amendment/Reprint request within the iPortal to receive an updated I-20/DS-2019 with a future program start date reflecting the next available term, Spring 2022. You can then use the Form I-20/DS-2019 issued with a Spring 2022 program start date to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start of classes for Spring 2022.

*Note that students must consult with their college (undergraduates) or department (graduate students) for permission to begin their in-person or hybrid classes anytime after the official start of Winter quarter, 2022.

Transfer your SEVIS Record to UC San Diego (if applicable)

Note that if your last date of enrollment or last date of authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT) at another U.S. institution is within 5 months of the quarter start date at UC San Diego, you may be eligible to request to transfer your SEVIS Record to UC San Diego. Please note the information below is ONLY applicable for F-1 students.   J-1 Students seeking a SEVIS Transfer should first contact ISPO .

 


What does it mean to transfer my SEVIS record?

 

Many students think the term ‘Transfer’ only applies to the transferring of academic credits or units from one school to another. For example, transferring 60 units/credits from a Community College to UC San Diego. However, for international students, the terms   ‘SEVIS Transfer’,   ‘Transferring my SEVIS Record’, or ‘Releasing my SEVIS Record’  can actually mean something different!

If you are currently enrolled at another U.S. institution and hold an active SEVIS record and SEVIS ID Number, you may be eligible for a SEVIS Transfer.

  • A SEVIS Transfer occurs when a Designated School Official (DSO) at your current institution electronically sends your SEVIS record (Form I-20) to UC San Diego.
  • Once they electronically release your SEVIS record, UC San Diego can then issue you a Form I-20 with the SAME SEVIS ID Number. The I-20 you receive from UC San Diego will reflect your new program dates and details.
  • A DSO can electronically release your SEVIS record on the same day or schedule a transfer for a future date. The date that the record is released from your current school to UC San Diego is know as your   SEVIS Record Release Date. 
  • UC San Diego does not use a transfer-in form for students transferring into our school. If your current school needs verification of your SEVIS transfer, please contact ISPO via icontact.ucsd.edu .

 


How do I know if I am eligible for a SEVIS transfer?

 

If your last date of enrollment or last date of employment on post-completion OPT is within 5 months of your program start date at UC San Diego, you may be eligible to request a SEVIS Transfer.

  • Eligibility to transfer is decided by your current school that holds your SEVIS Record and Form I-20.
  • Note that SEVIS Transfers are NOT automatic upon Accepting your Offer of Admission from UC San Diego. You must contact your current school to request a timely SEVIS Transfer.
  • The deadline for F-1 students to request a SEVIS transfer from their previous school is 60 days after the program completion date or OPT end date, whichever is later.

 


What’s the process of transferring my SEVIS record?

 

SEVIS Transfers require coordination between you, the DSO at your current school, and UC San Diego.



  1. Schedule a SEVIS Release Date: You’ll need to contact your DSO at your current school and let them know that you wish to transfer your SEVIS record to UC San Diego. Our SEVIS school code is SND214F00088000. Ensure that you obtain written confirmation from your school that your SEVIS record was released successfully in active status. Ensure that your release date is within 5 months of when you wish to begin your full-time program at UC San Diego.
  2. Request Form I-20 from UC San Diego in iPortal: Don't wait until your SEVIS Release Date to request your Form I-20 from UC San Diego! Even prior to your SEVIS Release date, you can log into iPortal and request your I-20 from UC San Diego. We will issue your I-20 within 15 business days of your iPortal Request or your SEVIS Release Date, whichever is later. If your SEVIS Record is not released to UC San Diego on your indicated SEVIS Release Date, UC San Diego will contact you to let you know! However, it is your responsibility to follow up with your current school to ensure the SEVIS record was released successfully on your SEVIS release date to UC San Diego. 
  3. Receive UCSD I-20 from UC San Diego & Begin Program: Once you receive your document from UC San Diego, ensure that the SEVIS ID listed is the same SEVIS ID number listed on your previous school’s I-20. Begin your program at UC San Diego on the program start date listed on your Form I-20.

 


What am I eligible to do during my SEVIS-transfer period?

  • Work on-campus once you receive your Form I-20 or DS-2019 from UC San Diego prior to beginning your program in the Fall. 
  • Exit and re-enter any time before their program start date but may only re-enter the U.S. with a valid F-1 or J-1 Visa and your I-20/DS-2019 from UC San Diego in hand.

 

Pay SEVIS Fee

After receiving your I-20 (F-1 Students) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitors), you must pay your SEVIS fee to activate your document. This fee is paid each time you receive a new SEVIS ID Number. 

Students transferring their SEVIS record to UC San Diego are NOT required to pay the SEVIS fee again since their SEVIS ID Number remains the same.

  • Pay via Internet, via Western Union, or by mail.
  • Keep the Form I-797 receipt in a safe place.
  • Review the FMJ Fee Page for details.