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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 Email

  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.
    • 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

  5. I-20/DS-2019 issued – Current processing time is 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. Receive immigration document -
    F visa students: Access your Form I-20 via the OISS portal, print, and sign in ink
    J visa students: Receive Form DS-2019 in the mail; sign in ink

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

  8. Schedule visa appointment - Canadian students do not need a visa; skip steps 8  -10
    Learn more about scheduling your visa appointment

  9. Visa appointment – Attend visa appointment with required documents

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

  11. Travel to the United States - Review New Student FAQs

  12. Attend orientation and immigration check-in
    Complete the “Student Check-In” request on the OISS Portal within 5 days of arrival to Northwestern.

Important Note:

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