Choosing Your Arrival Date
Plan your arrival date in Minnesota so you can:
- Rest up from jetlag
- Go to ISSS for Document Check
- Find permanent housing
- Remove “holds” that prevent course registration
- Attend the International Student Orientation Program
- Attend college or university orientation
- Register for classes (undergraduates register at their New Student Orientation)
- Complete paperwork for on-campus employment and assistantships (if applicable)
- Take any exams such as English proficiency or SPEAK test (if applicable)
- Attend Graduate Assistantship training (if applicable)
All new freshmen (first year) students beginning Fall 2012 are required to arrive by Sunday, August 19th, 2012. For all other students, you should plan to arrive in the U.S. approximately 10 days prior to the start-date on your I-20 or DS-2019 document. If you need to secure off-campus housing, then you should arrive 3 weeks prior to the start-date so that you have sufficient time to search for housing.
Undergraduate students (both freshmen and transfers) must attend Document Check at least 1 day before their New Student Orientation. If you do not attend Document Check before New Student Orientation, you will not be able to register for classes at Orientation. If your college has assigned you an early orientation date and you are not able to arrive in Minnesota at that time, contact your college to change the date.
If your arrival date does not give you sufficient time to take care of the above matters, you should request readmission and a new I-20 or DS-2019 for the following semester.
If you hold a graduate assistantship, you must be on campus to begin employment on the starting date indicated by your department. Beginning an assistantship late will result in less salary paid to you and will also affect your tuition and health care benefits. Check with your department to see if you are required to come earlier to attend a special orientation for graduate assistants.
Try to arrive at the University of Minnesota during business hours: Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. To have less difficulty with transportation and temporary housing, avoid national holidays, which are the first Monday in September (Labor Day), the fourth Thursday and Friday in November (Thanksgiving), December 26-27 (Christmas, observed), January 2 (New Year's Day, observed), the third Monday in January (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), the last Monday in May (Memorial Day), and July 4 (U.S. Independence Day).
F-1 Students Only:
Immigration Service regulations allow entry into the U.S. up to 30 days before the "report by" date on the I-20. Entry after the "report by" date is not permitted.
If you are unable to arrive before the report on your I-20, you must defer your defer your admission.
J-1 Students Only:
The DS-2019 has been prepared for the period of time indicated in Section 3 of the form. You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date and up to 25 days after the start date. You must come to ISSS with your visa documents immediately after your arrival because we are required to report your arrival to the immigration service. If we fail to report your arrival within 30 days of the DS-2019 start date, your record will automatically be terminated by immigration, and your documents will be cancelled. If you cannot enter the U.S. and report to our office within 25 days after the DS-2019 start date, contact us immediately.
If you hold a graduate assistantship, you are not allowed to work before your DS-2019 start date. If your DS-2019 start date is later than your assistantship start date, contact ISSS immediately. You are not allowed to work before your DS-2019 start date.
Prepare for inspection at the U.S. port of entry
During your flight to the U.S., flight attendants will give you an “I-94 Arrival and Departure Card” to complete. Make sure to write your name exactly as it appears in your passport and on your DS-2019 or I-20. You must present to the U.S. immigration inspector your passport with entry visa stamp, your I-94 card and your DS-2019 or I-20 document. You may be asked to show additional documents such as proof of financial support, so make sure to carry these documents with you, not in your checked baggage.