New student checklist
Complete the following checklist prior to the start of classes. Some of these items can be completed before International Student Check-In. Not all items are applicable to all students. If you have questions, please contact us!
Please note that in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, students should regularly review our COVID-19 page for USCIS and SEVP guidance updates, quarantine and testing information, frequently asked questions, and links to additional resources. Please know that most offices have transitioned to virtual or alternative services. Make sure to contact any office listed below by phone or email before visiting in person.
- Graduate Students should report to their departments and attend any required orientation sessions.
- Undergraduate Students should schedule an appointment with their academic advisor to discuss their academic plan if needed.
In order to maintain your F-1/J-1 nonimmigrant status, you must be registered for a full course load each semester. In the Fall and Spring semesters, the minimum credit requirement is 12 credit hours. If Summer is your first semester of study, then a full course load is 6 hours. With permission, you may be granted a reduce course load prior to registering below full time. For more information and exceptions, please consult the Guidelines to a Full Course of Study page.
All International Students are required to complete a tuberculosis (TB) screening and provide immunization records. Please follow the instructions on the McKinley Health Center website. You can download and submit forms online for both Immunizations and TB testing.
All new students are required to complete the Sexual Assault Prevention training. The invitation to complete the training will be sent to the student’s University email and will be from “The University of Illinois System firstname.lastname@example.org” with the subject line: “The University of Illinois System has assigned you training.” This invitation will be sent after the last day to add/drop classes has passed. Any new students who do not complete their Sexual Assault Prevention training will have a hold placed on their account for the upcoming semester that prevents all registration activity until the coursework is complete.
You must claim your NetID before you can access the training. Additional information about this training is available on the We Care website.
All registered students are automatically enrolled in and billed for the Student Health Insurance Plan. If you wish to be exempt from the insurance or add a dependent to your plan, please contact Student Health Insurance. You may also visit their website for information about enrollment/change dates and coverage dates. You are strongly encouraged to purchase health insurance for any accompanying family members during the Enrollment/Change Period.
Additional information may be found on our website's Student Health Insurance page.
Students are often required to register for the English Placement Test (EPT). Review your admission letter to confirm if you are required to take the test. Failure to complete EPT testing may result in a hold being placed on your course registration for future semesters.
English Proficiency for Graduate Teaching Assistants
Graduate students: Non-native speakers of English who wish to be considered for graduate teaching assistantships must provide evidence of spoken English language proficiency, even if an English proficiency score was not required for graduate admission.
For more information about how to fulfill this requirement, as well as possible exemptions, please contact your program of study office or refer to the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) website . Another useful resource is “Becoming a Teaching Assistant at Illinois: A Guide for New International Graduate Students”.
Complete I-9 Form
If you have on-campus employment, you must complete Section 1 of the I-9 via the Tracker system no later than your first day of work for pay (access provided by hiring unit). You will need your I-94 in order to complete the form. You can use the paper Form I-94 (front and back) OR the Electronic Form I-94.
Temporary Control Number (TCN)
If you have on-campus employment and you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) yet, you will need to get your Temporary Control Number (TCN) from the Urbana ID Center in order to give it to your hiring department so that they may process your employment paperwork. This is a temporary number and will be replaced with your SSN once it is obtained.
Social Security Number (SSN)
If you have on-campus employment, you will be eligible to apply for the SSN*. For information regarding Social Security eligibility and application procedures, visit the Applying for a Social Security Number page.
* Please note that the SSA is currently offering limited services. We encourage students to contact their office first to confirm if applying for the SSN is possible at this time.
J-1 Work Authorization Letter (J-1 Students Sponsored By the University Only)
J-1 students must obtain a work authorization letter from their program sponsor prior to beginning any employment on-campus. J-1s sponsored by the university may obtain this letter at ISSS. Students with sponsorship other than the university must contact their program sponsor to obtain this letter.