New International Student Checklist - Intercultural Programs - The University of Texas at Dallas

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

  • 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 the university will be sent to this account.
  • Apply for a passport if you do not have one.
  • Organize documents.
    • F-1 student: apply for a Form I-20.
    • J-1 student: apply for a Form DS-2019.
    • Note: Both requests require supplemental financial documents and passport copy.
  • Your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 will be sent to you via complimentary express mail shipping. Complete your request through iComet.
  • Pay SEVIS I-901 fee online, once you receive your Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Contact your corresponding U.S. embassy or consulate and schedule your visa interview. List of all U.S. embassies/consulates.
  • Prepare the required documents for your visa interview. In addition to filling out the Form DS-160 online, check the website for the U.S. consulate/embassy where you will be interviewed to see what documents they require.
    • Admission letter
    • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
    • Proof of funding/sponsorship, as reflected on the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
    • 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
  • Inform ISSO about the status of your F-1 visa application by submitting the "Visa Update" eForm located in the "New Admit: F-1 Student" request in iComet.
  • Register for mandatory International Student Orientation.
  • Complete mandatory pre-arrival modules administered through eLearning.
  • Obtain 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 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 or J-1 student visa and Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, as well as your admission letter.
  • Become familiar with the requirements for maintaining your F-1 status or J-1 status.

Post-Arrival

  • Attend International Student Orientation.
  • Take your tuberculosis (TB) screening. Required for all new students born outside of the United States and must be administered and interpreted in the United States. The TB screening takes 3-4 days to process and it must be completed prior to enrollment. The UT Dallas Student Health Center offers screenings for students.
  • Submit scanned copies of your immigration documents to ISSO through iComet.
  • Update your U.S. local address and U.S. phone number in Galaxy (Orion Student Service Center). The 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:
    • International 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.
  • Meet with your academic advisor. Some graduate students may have a mandatory orientation for their major. Academic advising will be completed at this orientation.
  • Pay your tuition and fees with the Bursars Office.
  • Apply for your Comet Card (student ID). Take the printout of your class schedule (with your UTD ID showing) to the Comet Card Office (Student Services Addition, second floor) to apply for your Comet Card after registering for classes.
  • Make a decision about mandatory health insurance coverage.
  • Apply for a free Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) pass after registering for classes.
  • Become familiar with the requirements for maintaining F-1 status or J-1 status.
  • Attend cultural events and get involved at UT Dallas.
  • Teaching Assistants or Research Assistants:
    • Attend mandatory TA/RA Orientation
    • Apply for a Social Security Number