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Steps for Newly Admitted Students

Newly admitted international students will follow these steps:

  1. Admission – Congratulations on your admission! Set up your Northwestern NetID, password, and create your G-Suite email (Northwestern email address). See the Information Technology page and follow the links under "Incoming Students."

  2. Tuition deposit – Pay your NU tuition deposit if a deposit is required by your academic program.
    Please note:
    • Undergraduate students are required to make a tuition deposit or using a designated fee waiver.
    • Master's and PhD programs in The Graduate School (TGS) do NOT require a tuition deposit. Students admitted to a program in  The Graduate School need only accept the admission offer.
    • Tuition deposits for Master's programs in other schools outside The Graduate School (for example McCormick, Kellogg, Pritzker, Medill, Bienen School of Music, etc.) VARY BY PROGRAM. Please contact your academic program to inquire if a tuition deposit is required.
    • If a tuition deposit is required, the amount due will appear on your Account in CAESAR. Please see the instructions to make a tuition deposit in CAESAR for more details.

  3. Await notification of access to OISS Portal Admitted students will be granted access to the OISS portal once the Northwestern Student Information System (CAESAR) transmits essential profile information over to the OISS. Your OISS profile includes biographic information, academic level, academic program to which you have been admitted, program dates, program costs, and other essential information. Please be patient as it generally takes at least two weeks from date of admission and receipt of tuition deposit for the systems to sync so that we may grant students access to the portal.  

    Upon receiving access to the portal, you will receive a system generated email sent to your NU email address. You will then be able to log in to the OISS Portal with your Net ID and password to request an immigration document.

  4. Complete I-20/DS-2019 request – Follow the link in the email to log in to the OISS Portal to complete the questionnaires and upload required documents. Be sure to review Financial Document Requirements prior to submitting financial documentation. Transfer-in students should review the Transfer a SEVIS Record to NU resource with detailed instructions.

  5. I-20/DS-2019 issued – Current processing time is up to 4 weeks from the time the request is completed and submitted. You will receive an email alerting you when your I-20/DS-2019 has been processed.

  6. Access and print your I-20/DS-2019 
    Both F and J visa students will access the immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) electronically via the OISS portal. You will need to print and sign the document in blue ink in the "Student Attestation" section of the document. You will receive an email alerting you when your I-20/DS-2019 has been processed and is available in the portal.

  7. Complete the Online F-1/J-1 Student Orientation Course: 
    See Online Orientation for F-1 & J-1 Students webpage for full details and instructions on how to access the course.

  8. Pay SEVIS fee – Go to I-901 Fee website to pay your SEVIS fee

  9. Schedule visa appointment - Canadian students do not need a visa; Canadian students skip steps 9, 10, & 11
    Learn more scheduling your visa appointment
  10. Visa appointment – Attend visa appointment with required documents

  11. F-1/J-1 visa issued – The US Consulate/Embassy will affix your F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in your passport

  12. Travel to the United States - See Preparing for Arrival for additional information.

  13. Complete all items on the Arrival Checklist for students - within 5 days of arrival.

Important Note:

New students should regularly check their Northwestern email address. All communications from OISS will be sent to the Northwestern email address only.