Information for New International Graduate Students

Current I-20 or DS-2019 processing time:

Fall 2017 Admits:  The iPortal will be available for I-20/ DS-2019 requests from March 15, 2017. The International Students & Programs Office will begin reviewing and processing iPortal requests from April 3, 2017. The deadline for graduate students to submit I-20 or DS-2019 requests via the iPortal is August 1, 2017.

The current I-20 or DS-2019 document processing time is 15 business days upon receipt of a complete application via the iPortal. Allow additional time for mailing. You may check the status of your application by logging in to the iPortal.

SEVIS Transfer Students: If you are transferring from another US school, your new I-20/DS-2019 can only be issued AFTER your SEVIS record has been transferred in SEVIS to UC San Diego. Please follow-up with your International Student Advisor at your current school to coordinate the transfer of your SEVIS record.

Request your I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa) through the iPortal

Submit the I-20 or DS-2019 request through the iPortal. Sign on using your UC San Diego Personal ID (PID) to access the iPortal. The iPortal application will help determine what is the appropriate visa and status for you. 

You will need the following documentation to submit your request:

  • Copy of passport information page
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Transfer Students currently studying in the U.S. must also include:
    • F-1 Students: Copy of current I-20 (page 1 only), F-1 visa, and most recent I-94
    • J-1 Students: Copy of current DS-2019, J-1 visa, and most recent I-94 
    • Authorize current school to release your SEVIS record to University of California, San Diego

You can check the status of your request by logging in to the iPortal at any time.

Information for Graduate Students Transferring from a US College or University

When you are ready to transfer from your current school to UC San Diego, please ask your student advisor to transfer your SEVIS record to our institution. Review the SEVIS Transfer Instructions sheet with your International Student Advisor at your transfer out school.  Determine the date that the transfer out school will transfer your SEVIS record to UC San Diego. You will need the transfer out date when completing your iPortal request.  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 ask them to contact ISPO.

The deadline to submit your transfer I-20 or DS-2019 via the iPortal is August 1, 2017.

Download the SEVIS Transfer Instructions sheet

When will I receive my I-20 or DS-2019?

Your I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued after you have submitted all of the required forms and documentation through the iPortal. The current processing time listed above refers to complete applications only; incomplete requests will cause a delay in processing.

Allow the full processing time listed above before emailing any inquiries regarding your I-20/ DS-2019 or documents you have sent. If any items you sent are incomplete or invalid, you will be contacted via email after an advisor has thoroughly reviewed your request.

SEVIS Transfer students:

Your I-20 will be issued after you have submitted all of the required forms and documentation through the iPortal and after your SEVIS record has been transferred from your current institution to UC San Diego. We need to receive the SEVIS transfer from your current institution before we can issue you a new I-20, as only one institution can have access to your SEVIS record at a time.

You can check the status of your request by logging in to the iPortal at any time.

Urgent cases: What if I need my I-20 or DS-2019 sooner than your current processing time?

Due to the high volume of documents received by all incoming international students, it is difficult to process the I-20 or DS-2019 request faster than the processing time noted above. If you have a visa appointment in less than 3 weeks and have submitted all of the necessary documentation to receive your I-20, do the following:
  • Submit a request to iPortal Inquiries with the subject line "GRADUATE I-20: URGENT REQUEST"
    • The body of the email must include the following: 
      • Full name as listed in your passport 
      • Date you submitted all required documents through the iPortal
      • Date of your visa appointment and scanned copy of your appointment confirmation
If you are requesting faster processing for any other reason than your visa appointment, follow the instructions above and explain why you need your I-20 or DS-2019 sooner. This does not guarantee that your urgent request will be granted, but it will be reviewed by an advisor as soon as possible.

I've received my I-20 or DS-2019, what should I do next?

Visit our Arrival Information for Admitted Students website for information on what to do once you have received your UC San Diego I-20 or DS-2019. You may also visit the "FAQ" webpage from the Office of Graduate Students for general information for all admitted students.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

I have a question about: I should contact: Their email address is:
Admission letter Graduate Admissions Office
Immunization/Health Requirements Student Health Services
Enrolling in classes Your Graduate Department Visit your Graduate Department/Program Website
Health insurance UCSD Student Health Insurance (SHIP)
International Student Orientation International Students & Programs Office
Summer school Summer Session Administration

Other frequently asked questions

I am required to have an official letter of admission from UC San Diego. When will I receive my letter?
The Graduate Admissions Office does not mail out official letters of admission.  As soon as you get your admission email, your official letter is available for printing in your application status page.  Please log in to your application and click “View Decision Letter”. 

What are the UCSD admission health requirements? Do I need to get any immunizations before arriving in San Diego?

The California Department of Public Health recommends that all incoming college students be assessed for their risk of developing Tuberculosis (TB). All incoming students are now required to complete the TB Screening prior to the start of their first quarter. Fall admits will need to have testing done and submit the TB Assessment form by mid-summer. Exact date to be announced on the Student Health Services website.

Instructions for submitting your TB Screening Questionnaire can be found on the Student Health Services website.

For more information about TB and TB testing, visit:

Read Student Health Service's TB FAQs (PDF) to review the most commonly asked questions.

For more information, contact Student Health Services at (858) 822-1015 or

When do I enroll in classes? What should I do if I have questions about which classes to enroll in?
You will receive registration information from your department. This is usually given to new students at your department's New Student Orientation. If you have other questions, contact your department through their website. (Department/Program Website)

Do I need medical insurance during my stay at UCSD? How do I get insurance?
The UC Regents made health insurance a mandatory non-academic condition for enrollment. To ensure that all students have adequate health care coverage, including ongoing primary and specialty care, and to satisfy the mandatory health insurance requirement, UCSD automatically enrolls all registered students into the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Additional information regarding SHIP can be found at

Do I need to attend the Graduate Division orientation, Department Orientation and new International Student Orientation? What if I cannot attend the International Student Orientation?
You should make every effort attend both the Graduate Division, Department and International Student Orientation.  Each orientation will cover different and important topics.  The orientation for new international students is therefore highly recommended for all international students. Every effort is made to schedule it on a day that does not conflict with other orientations to enable all international students to attend.

How do I submit my transcripts and or GRE/TOEFL test scores? How do I know when they have been received? 

How do I set up my UC San Diego email account?
Every UC San Diego student is assigned a UC San Diego email account. Upon arrival at UC San Diego, you need to activate your email account. To activate your account, you may either:

  1. Go to UCSD Educational Technology Services (ETS) in the Applied Physics & Mathematics Building (AP&M) in Room 1313 or

  2. Visit the ETS website and follow the directions at You will need your student Personal Identification Number (PID not your application      ID). PID is usually the letter A followed by 8 digits. Use your application ID to login through TritonLink to get your PID.

How do I obtain a UC San Diego Photo ID Card?
All students enrolled for the school quarter are entitled to a Triton Card. This is your official university ID card, and you are issued just one active card.
Most undergraduate and graduate students may submit their photo electronically to the Campus Card office.

For more information visit the Campus Card information page here.

Where can I find information on Housing?
Find information on housing resources.