Information for Newly Admitted International Transfer Students

Welcome! This page provides a comprehensive guide for newly admitted international transfer students (undergraduate juniors only).

Now that you have been admitted to UC San Diego, please carefully review all the information on this page to learn the next steps that will help you start your unforgettable student experience at UC San Diego.

NOTE: For freshmen, graduate students, or EAP-Reciprocity students who wish to SEVIS-transfer their records, please refer to your specific guide on our New Students page.

Wondering where to start? Complete the steps below.


Step 1 - Right Away:

Meet All Admissions Requirements

Complete the online admission checklist (Applicant Portal). This includes:

  • Accepting your offer of admission
  • Submitting your statement of Legal Residence (SLR) (if required)
  • Submitting your transcripts from all institutions attended

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

International students requiring a non-immigrant F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the USA must request and receive a form I-20 (F-1 Student) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitor).  The I-20 or DS-2019 is required to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa

The deadline to apply for your I-20 or DS-2019 is August 1, 2019.

IMPORTANT: Transfer students generally have TWO options for obtaining their I-20/DS-2019 document. Please read through these options carefully to determine which steps you need to take.

How to request the I-20 or DS-2019: 

  • Option 1: Request a SEVIS TRANSFER of your I-20 or DS-2019 document 
    Consider this option if you do have a VALID I-20/DS-2019 that has not passed the end of its 60-day grace period. You will retain the same SEVIS ID on your I-20. Check with your current institution if your SEVIS record is eligible for transfer. NOTE: If you are eligible for a SEVIS transfer and have a valid F-1 or J-1 visa, you will not need to re-apply for a visa.
  • Option 2: Request an INITIAL (brand new ) I-20 or DS-2019 document
    Consider this option if you don’t have a VALID I-20/DS-2019 or if you want a new initial I-20/DS-2019. A new SEVIS ID will be generated for you. NOTE: Regardless of having a valid F-1/J-1 visa stamp in your passport, you will need to apply for a new F-1/J-1 visa stamp with this new initial SEVIS ID.

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 directly after an advisor has thoroughly reviewed your request.

The processing time for an I-20/DS-2019 document is 3 weeks from the date of a complete submission. You can check the status of your request by logging in to the iPortal at any time.

Plan ahead if You Want to Study in the Summer

If you are a Transfer Student transferring your SEVIS record to UCSD from another institution within the U.S., and you would like to participate in programs happening during Summer, please note that incidental study between programs is allowed according to USCIS regulations and your I-20 will correctly reflect a fall start date.

Studying in the Summer while staying in the U.S.

All transfer I-20s for students transferring from a U.S. school to UC San Diego for the Fall 2019 term are marked with a Program Start Date of 9/23/2019. If you have appropriately transferred your SEVIS record to UCSD within the 60-day period from your last school's program end date, then USCIS Regulations permit incidental study (either part-time or full-time) in the interim period before the 9/23/2019 program start date. In other words, you will NOT need an early summer start I-20 to participate in the Summer Session (or any Early-Start/Bridge Program).

Studying in the Summer and traveling out of U.S.

If you will be traveling and re-entering the U.S. prior to the start date of your Summer program, you may do so using a printout of your UCSD transfer I-20. You will need to inform the office that you will need your new I-20 (listing the 9/23/2019 start date) for travel, with the appropriate Travel Signature authorization from the International Center. Please contact our Contact Us eForm to alert our office of your need, as well as if you have any further questions about the process. Please identify your name, PID and your affiliation with the specific name of the Summer Program so help facilitate our response. As a transfer student you may enter the USA earlier than 30 days before the start date identified in #5 of the form I-20. You may attend summer session if you wish.

On-campus employment while transferring schools

Students may be eligible for on-campus work authorization only at the school that controls their SEVIS record. With DSO permission, students may work on campus at the transfer-out school until the transfer release date (students will need to confirm this with the DSO at their previous institution). Work may begin at the transfer-in school after the transfer release date.

Step 2 - Before Arrival on Campus:

Apply for your F-1 or J-1 Visa

ONLY if you are traveling abroad before returning to start your program at UC San Diego and you have an expired visa, must you renew your F-1 or J-1 visa. Make sure to thoroughly review our Applying for a Visa page for detailed instructions and tips on how to obtain a visa.

For SEVIS transfer students: as long as you have followed the proper transfer procedures, you will be able to use your current, unexpired F-1 or J-1 visa to reenter the U.S. even though it has your previous school name printed on it.

Verify your earliest permitted arrival date into the U.S.

Students in F-1 and J-1 status may only enter the U.S. 30 days prior to the start date on their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. This is NOT the same date as your department, college, or international student orientation. It is typically the first official day of the quarter. You must verify this date on your form before booking any air travel. Attempted entry earlier than 30 days before your I-20 or DS-2019 start date can lead to a denial of entry at a U.S. port of entry.

The only exception to this case is for SEVIS-transfer students (those who have had their  F-1 or J-1 record SEVIS-transferred by their previous U.S. institution to UC San Diego). SEVIS-transfer students may enter earlier than 30 days before the start date on their Form I-20 or DS-2019 document.

Make Housing Arrangements Before your Arrival

Pay your Tuition and Fees

Take Pre-Arrival Webinars

Pre-Arrival Webinars will be presented by the UC San Diego International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) and will cover the following topics for newly admitted international students: International Center programs and services, review of immigration documentation,arriving in the U.S., housing and health insurance, campus resources, and frequently asked questions.

Please see our Webinars page for information on our pre-arrival webinars.

Complete the Tuberculosis Screening

Tuberculosis screening is a mandatory University admission requirement for ALL newly admitted students. Screening must be performed PRIOR to arrival to University of California, San Diego.

See the Student Health Services website for submission deadlines.

Complete Immunization Requirements

The University of California is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students. Therefore, all of the UC campuses are implementing procedures to ensure that students are educated about and receive vaccinations to prevent potentially serious and contagious diseases.

All incoming students are REQUIRED to obtain certain vaccines and undergo Tuberculosis testing. Failure to meet these requirements by the states deadlines are subject to registration holds.

Information on these requirements as well as important deadlines for meeting them can be found on the Student Health Services website.

Complete the "We Are Tritons" Online Program

“We Are Tritons” is an online program that introduces incoming you to our student community and your role in maintaining a welcoming campus environment. You will not be able to complete registration for courses until this requirement is met.

For more information, including the deadline for completion, see the Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (OPHD) website.

Sign-up for International Student Orientation

All new international students (including transfer students from other U.S. schools) are strongly encouraged to attend the international student orientation.

Important note, all undergraduate degree-seeking students must attend their mandatory College Orientation, in addition to the International Student Orientation. Parents and family members of newly admitted international students are also encouraged and welcome to attend International Parent & Family Orientation

Sign-up for the Mandatory Undergraduate College Orientations

Complete the iTriton - New International Student Online Training

iTriton Online Orientation

All new international students are required to complete ISPO’s iTriton Online Training Program prior to starting classes at UC San Diego. Information for this training program will be posted during Summer 2019.

If you have any questions of concerns regarding this training program, please contact us via our Contact Us eForm.

Step 3 - When on Campus:

Review What to Do When You Arrive at UC San Diego

Finished with everything above? The link below will redirect you to a comprehensive list of things that will help you get started at UC San Diego. Find detailed information on email set-up, course registration, campus ID cards, housing, cell phones, health insurance, and more.

Additional Information:


Application Cycle: Transfer Students

Application cycle begins

Mid-March to April
Transfer admission decisions are posted

May 11
Transfer Triton Day

June 1
Deadline to accept UC San Diego's offer of admission and submitting the Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) through Applicant Portal.
iTriton International Online Orientation Access Opens 

July 1
Deadline to FINAL transcripts

September 15
Deadline to register for New International Student Orientation (registration information published in Summer 2019)

September 23
Fall quarter begins

September 26
First Day of Classes

Late September
International Student Orientation

October 4
Deadline to complete iTriton International Online Orientation (deadline to be confirmed in Summer 2019)

Frequently Asked Questions

The link below will redirect you to the page where you can find answers to common questions from new international students.

Contact List for Additional Questions

I have a question about: I should contact: Their email address is:
Admission letter Office of Admissions & Relations with Schools
Immunization/health requirements Office of Admissions & Relations with Schools
Student Health Service
Enrolling in classes Undergraduate College Virtual Advising Center (use to contact an advisor at your specific college) or the New Student Site
Health insurance UCSD Student Health Insurance (SHIP)
Orientation International Students & Programs Office Contact Us eForm
Undergraduate College

See links below

Revelle College

Muir College

Marshall College

Warren College

Eleanor Roosevelt College

Sixth College

Summer school Summer Session Administration
Transcripts Office of Admissions & Relations with Schools
Transcripts status: refer to Applicant Portal