Pre-Arrival Information


Pre-Arrival Brochure for F-1 Students

Pre-Arrival Brochure for J-1 Students

Pre-Arrival Orientation Powerpoint Presentation

Immigration Orientation and Check-in / Pre-Arrival Registration Form

Checklist for New International Students

Activate your FAU Account

Your FAUNet ID is generated when you have been admitted to FAU. The FAUNet ID will be provided to you in your Acceptance letter. To begin using your FAUNet ID you must first activate it by going to the FAU Account Self-Services portal:

Request your I-20

International students who wish to study in the U.S. must request a form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for F1 non-immigrant visa)  from the International Services office. Click here for more information.

Obtain your I-20

You can obtain your I-20 in person or via mail. Please note that email copies are not valid.

In person: You can pick up your I-20 in person or have a family member or friend pick it up in your behalf (for security purposes, please send us the name of the person picking up your I-20 via email prior to the pick up day).

Via mail: Our office has available EXPRESS mailing of I-20. Click here for more information.

Review and sign I-20 or DS-2019

Upon receipt, review the enclosed I-20 carefully. Sign page 1 after confirming all information is accurate and after reading the information on page 3.

Pay the SEVIS fee

Newly admitted students who enter the U.S. for the first time in F-1 status must pay the SEVIS fee ($350) prior to applying for their visa. Payment information is available at

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 issued by Florida Atlantic University (FAU), passport (valid at least six months into the future), FAU admission letter, and financial documents to prove availability of funds for your education and living expenses.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Please check this guide for the visa application process:

If you are currently in the U.S. and/or already have an F-1 visa from another university or other visa type, please contact our office for more information.

Make housing arrangements

Make housing arrangements before arrival. The International Services office 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 or call 561-297-2880. International students who already have housing arrangements may check in early (additional cost will apply). Please contact the International Services office if you need more information about earlier arrival on campus.
  • For off-campus housing information please click here.

Register for the new international student orientation AND appropriate university-wide orientation

As a new international student you will need to attend multiple orientations (there are orientations specific to first-year students, transfer students, graduate students, and graduate teaching assistants).

We will lift your "IS hold" once you complete all the documentation needed for I-20 AND register for the new international student orientation and check-in (click here to register and complete the  Immigration Orientation and Check-In Pre-arrival Registration Form)

Click here for more information about the new international student orientation AND appropriate university-wide orientation

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.

Click here for more information about the cost of attendance.

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.

  • How to pay for tuition from abroad?
  • Flywire: Paying tuition with Flywire is safe, fast, and convenient. To learn more about the simple steps to make your payment(s) please visit:

Complete the Student Health Services Immunization form


To submit the FAU Immunization Form and additional immunization documentation, complete the following steps:

  1. Review the immunizations requirements
  2. To complete the Immunization form click here
  3. If you need a medical provider to complete the form, they can send the form in via:
    1. Fax
    2. Mail
    3. Drop Off

Submit immunization records

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).

For more information about this requirement visit:

Required medical insurance information

F-1 and J-1 students are required to have medical insurance that meets state-mandated coverage guidelines.

For more information please visit: 

Students have two options:

  1. FAU insurance plan,

    All International students and scholars with F and J non-immigrant status in the United States are required to have health insurance that meets the guidelines set by the Florida Board of Governors Regulation BOG 6.009 and FAU Regulation 4.009. Beginning with the new policy year, international students will be enrolled in the university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP), and the insurance premium will be charged to the student’s FAU account. Please review information about the insurance benefits and costs.  

  2. Students who wish to use an outside plan:

International students who wish to use an alternate insurance plan must submit a waiver form by the deadline. Students who do not submit a waiver form by the deadline will have the premium for SHIP added to their student account. To submit a waiver, go to and click on “International Student Waiver”.  FAU will be reviewing your waiver form and supporting documentation to ensure you have coverage comparable to the FAU student health plan.

                               The deadline to submit a waiver for students who will begin courses in Summer 2020 is April 30, 2020.

The deadline to submit a waiver for students who will begin courses in fall 2020 will be announced soon and you will be notified via email. 


Clear registration holds that prevent you from registering in classes

For more information about holds, please visit:

Register for classes

Consult with your academic advisor regarding course selection/registration.

International students on student visas must be registered full-time as arranged by the Office of International Services and the student services advisor. Full-time study for graduate (masters/PhD) students is designated as 9 units (credit hours) each fall and spring semester; and 12 units for undergraduate students

We highly encourage you to enroll for classes as soon as possible. Classes get full and close quickly during registration.

For more information about registration and enrollment please click here

Join the International Friends Program!

We have students from all over the world at FAU ready to help you and answer all your questions. They are a great resources before you arrive at FAU and during your studies at FAU. For more information visit:

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.
    • Additional supporting documents:
      • proof of enrollment
      • proof of finances
      • other documents to help you answer questions about the purpose of your entry to the U.S., what you will be studying, etc.


Arriving at FAU

Check-in with the International Services office

Provide a local address

Attend the appropriate Orientation

Finish your course registration if necessary: Consult with your academic advisor regarding course selection/registration.

Information about enrollment!

Once you have registered for classes you are eligible to obtain your OWL card you can do so by visiting the OWL Card center with a photo ID (for example your passport or driver license).


Important Contact Information at FAU

 Last Modified 4/6/20