Review and sign I-20 or DS-2019
Upon receipt, review the enclosed I-20 or DS-2019 carefully. Sign page 1 after confirming all information is accurate and after reading the information on page 2.
Pay the SEVIS fee.
Newly admitted students who enter the U.S. for the first time in F-1 or J-1 status must pay the SEVIS fee ($200.00) prior to applying for their visa. Payment information is available at www.fmjfee.com.
Obtain the F-1 or J-1 Visa.
If you are currently abroad, visit a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country to apply for a visa. You will have to present your I-20 or DS-2019 issued by Florida Atlantic University (FAU), passport (valid at least sic months into the future), FAU admission letter, and financial documents to prove availability of funds for your education and living expenses. DO NOT ENTER THE U.S. using a B-1/B-2 tourist visa. B-1/B-2 (tourist) visa holders are not allowed to enroll as students. Application procedures for the F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant visa vary among consular posts. Please contact the consular office where you plan to obtain your visa for appointment information, forms, fees, and other application details. Canadian students must pay the SEVIS fee but do not have to apply for the F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy.
Make housing arrangements.
Make housing arrangements before arrival. ISSS cannot make housing arrangements for you. To live on-campus, students should apply far in advance of the semester start date. For further housing information, visit the housing website at www.fau.edu/housing or call 561-297-2880. Additional off-campus housing information is available here.
Prepare for money matters.
You are expected to have sufficient funds for the period of studies as indicated on the I-20 or DS-2019. For your initial arrival bring cash or travelers' checks to cover your initial expenses, medical insurance, tuition/fees, books and supplies, and initial housing arrangements. Individual financial needs vary greatly, but we recommend that you have at least $3000.00 to $4000.00 in travelers' checks or arrange for a wire transfer of funds that can be immediately available. If you are a graduate student with an assistantship, it may take a month or longer after the beginning of the semester to receive your first payment from the university. Thus you will need to have some funds available to cover your initial expenses.
Bring medical and immunization records with you.
Florida State Law requires all students to be immunized against Measles and Rubella. Prior to registration you will have to provide medical certificates in English showing you received the required immunizations, or you will have to receive immunizations upon arriving at FAU (for an additional cost to you).
Prepare for entry to the United States.
At the port of entry (i.e. Fort Lauderdale International Airport, Miami International Airport, etc.) you will need to present the following documents: passport with valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp, FAU I-20 or DS-2019, and Form I-94 (which you will receive on the plane prior to your arrival). Be prepared to answer questions about the purpose of your entry to the U.S., what you will be studying, etc.
- Click here to learn about transportation information for students traveling from Miami International Airport to FAU's Boca Raton Campus.
Arriving at FAU
Visit the ISSS office.
Visit the ISSS office as soon as you arrive on campus. Check the ISSS website for office hours and holiday closings.
- Complete Immigration Check-In and Orientation paperwork.
Purchase required medical insurance.
F-1 and J-1 students are required to have medical insurance that meets state-mandated coverage guidelines. Students have two options:
- To purchase the FAU insurance plan, contact Insurance for Students, Inc. at Insurance for students or contact the Student Health Services office directly (click here). Compliance with the insurance requirement must be verified prior to registering for courses. An insurance representative will be available at the Student Health Services. Please check the SHS website for the date and time.
- Students who wish to use an outside plan must have their insurance company complete the Alternate Insurance Compliance Form (available here under "forms") and confirm that the policy meets all requirement listed on the form.
Provide a local address.
Students must provide a local address within 10 days from arriving in the U.S.
- Provide Immunization records and medical information to Student Health Services.
- Attend the appropriate university-wide orientation.
- Clear any remaining registration holds.
Register for classes.
Consult with your advisor regarding course selection/registration.