UCI International Center

FAQs for New Undergraduate International Students

Section 1

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated on November 28, 2023.

*We will continue to update this page as we learn more information.

Effective March 16th, 2020, the International Center will be available remotely until further notice. For any questions or concerns, e-mail the International Center at internationalcenter@uci.edu.Our office will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and are working diligently to respond to all your questions and concerns.

No, that is all that is required. If the International Center requires any additional information or documents, you will be contacted directly. All Visa Document requests are being processed in the order received. We thank you for your patience.

To check your most up-to-date visa document status, please visit the Check Visa Document Status page and log in with your UCINet ID and password.

For Fall 2024 admitted students, you must submit your complete CFS request through your admissions student portal. Documents sent or emailed to the International Center will not be processed.

Processing time is 15 business days after we receive a complete CFS request from the Admission’s office. All visa document requests are being processed in the order received.

If you plan to transfer your SEVIS record to UCI, processing time is 15 business days after we receive a complete CFS request from the Admission’s office and your SEVIS record from your current school.

Instructions can be found under Release Current SEVIS Record to UCI.

You must check the travel and visa restrictions that may be in place during the time you plan to enter the United States. Please visit our immigration policy updates page for information regarding changes in immigration policies and practice. We also recommend that you visit CDC’s website for the most current guidance on travelers prohibited from entry to the United States.

If you request an I-20, we will provide your I-20 electronically per current SEVP regulation guidance for COVID-19.

If you requested a DS-2019 for a J-1 Visa, we will issue a hard copy of your DS-2019 and mail it to you, since the U.S. Department of State does not permit electronic distribution of DS-2019s.

Visa services have been suspended at most U.S. consulates around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 22, 2020, U.S. Embassies and Consulates may enter a phased resumption of visa services. You can check your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s visa wait times here.

Some U.S. Embassies and Consulates may be able to expedite your visa interview date. The qualification to expedite a visa interview varies by location, so you should refer to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website where you will interview for more information.

Though Immigration and Customs Enforcement released guidelines allowing the issuance of electronic I-20s, we advise that you print the electronic version of your Visa Document and sign it prior to your Visa appointment.

If you are planning on applying for a J-1 visa, your DS-2019 will come in the mail.

Due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19 in the United States, UCI has decided to extend remote learning mode for all undergraduate courses through the Fall 2020 Quarter. Our campus remains open for limited housing and in-person student services, but your courses will be delivered remotely. Students should consult with the academic advising office in their school to determine what courses are appropriate for them given their course placements and major requirements.

iNavigateUCI is the International Center’s electronic visa check-in process. This process is required for all new international students and used to report your arrival to UCI to the Department of Homeland Security and to "activate" your SEVIS record. The iNavigateUCI process is completely paperless. After completing iNavigateUCI, you do NOT need to submit any documents for check-in to the International Center, unless you have received a request from our office. iNavigateUCI must be completed within 5 days of your I-20 program start date.

If you received a transfer I-20 and have not left the United States in between programs, you will still be required to complete iNavigateUCI within 5 days of your I-20 program start date.

The most up-to-date SEVP guidance can be found on our Immigration Policy Updates page. Please continue to check this page for further updates.