New International Student Checklist

The New International Student Checklist is divided into two parts: pre-arrival to the U.S. and post-arrival. Use this checklist to keep track of all the important assignments you must complete as you prepare to register for classes.

Pre-Arrival:

PDF downloadable version of the Pre-Arrival Checklist   PDF

Apply to UT Dallas online.
Track your admissions status and accept your admission in Galaxy.
Set-up and access your UT Dallas email. All official communication from UTD will be sent to this account.
Apply for a passport if you do not have one.
Apply for a Form I-20 by completing the UT Dallas Financial Affidavit and submitting financial documents (copy of passport is required).
If desired, opt for express mail to receive your Form I-20. Otherwise, Form I-20 is sent through regular postal mail which takes 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Pay SEVIS I-901 fee online, once you receive your Form I-20.
Register for mandatory International Student Orientation.
Complete Pre-Arrival Modules administered through eLearning. Required for all new F-1 and J-1 students from overseas.
Contact your corresponding US embassy or consulate and schedule your visa interview.
Prepare the required documents for your visa interview. In addition to filling out the Form DS-160 online, check the website for the US consulate/embassy where you will be interviewed to see what documents they require.
Generally, you should take with you:
 Admission Letter.  Form I-20.  Proof of funding / sponsorship as reflected on the Form I-20.  Passport.  Proof of ties to your home country and your intent to return after studying.

  Any other recommendations based on the embassy/consulate’s website.

Take the Meningitis Vaccine (mandatory for all students under 22 year of age) and submit the results to the UTD Registrar Office.
Research housing. There are both on-campus and off-campus housing options.
Enter the U.S. as a student no earlier than 30 days prior to start of classes.
At the port of entry, present your passport, F-1 student visa, Form I-20, and your admission letter
Become familiar with the requirements for maintaining your F-1 status.

Post-Arrival:

PDF downloadable version of the Post-Arrival Checklist   PDF

Attend International Student Orientation.
Take your Tuberculosis (TB) Screening. Required for all new students born outside of
the U.S. and must be administered and interpreted in the U.S. The TB screening results take 3-4 days to process and it MUST be completed prior to registering in classes. The UT Dallas Student Health Center offers screenings for studentsNote: The TB Screening can be done before or after International Student Orientation.
Submit scanned copies of your signed Form I-20, F-1 visa, and I-94 (in English) to [email protected] for Immigration Document Verification.
Update your U.S. local address and U.S. phone number in Galaxy (Orion Student Service Center). Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires you to update your U.S. local address and phone number within 10 days of any change.
Review the Academic Calendar for registration and payment deadlines.
Manage your Holds – You cannot register for classes until holds are removed. Use Galaxy to determine how to clear your holds. Common holds include:

  • Int’l Hold: ISSO – Will be removed after attending International Student Orientation.
  • Enrollment Hold; Office of the Registrar – Submit Meningitis Vaccination Form.
  • Enrollment Hold; Student Health Center – Take Tuberculosis (TB) Screening.
  • Enrollment Hold; Office of Admissions – Submit missing academic documents (e.g. transcripts, degree certificates, test scores).
  • Cannot Register Online – You must meet with you academic advisor to register
    for classes.
  • Enrollment Hold; Stu. Affairs – Attend Freshman Orientation
Meet with your Academic Advisor. Some graduate students may have a mandatory orientation for their major. Academic advising will be completed at this orientation
Apply for your Comet Card (student ID). Take the printout of your class schedule (with your UTD ID showing) and photo ID (USA driver’s license or passport) to the Comet Card Office (SSA 12.324) to apply for your Comet Card 48 hours after registering for classes.
Pay your tuition and fees with the Bursars Office. Tuition and fees will appear in your Orion Student Center, once you have registered for classes.
Make a decision about mandatory health insurance coverage.
Apply for a DART Transit Pass. Once registered for classes, you can apply for a free Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Pass.
Become familiar with the requirements for maintaining your F-1 status.
Attend cultural events and get involved at UT Dallas.
If you are a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant: