New Student Pre-Arrival Checklist
Follow this pre-arrival checklist for new students to make sure you complete all required steps related to your F-1 status.
Obtain Your Visa and Plan Your Travel to the U.S.
If you are living outside the U.S. you must obtain a passport from your government. Next, you must apply for an F-1 student visa. As soon as you receive your I-20, schedule your visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for an F-1 visa.
Canadian citizens do not need a visa, but simply present the I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, financial documentation, and proof of admission to the University of Saint Katherine (USK) to the immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry. A passport may be required depending on your method of travel. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State’s travel pages.
Apply for the Visa as Early as Possible
Students applying for the initial entry F-1 visa may be issued the visa up to 120 days before the academic program start date as noted in item 5 on the I-20.
You may not enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days before the start date noted in item 5 on the I 20 form. You should make your travel arrangements with this date in mind. The start date is chosen to allow adequate time for you to arrive for orientation.
Your I-20 does not require a travel signature for your initial entry into the U.S. However, you need a travel signature for subsequent trips. ISS advisers cannot sign your document for travel and reentry to the U.S. until you have registered full-time for your first quarter. Do not plan to travel outside the U.S. after your first entry unless you will be able to register first and obtain a travel signature. The ISS requires one business day for issuing travel signatures.
SEVIS Transfer Students
If you are changing schools within the U.S. and transferring your SEVIS record to the University of Saint Katherine, there are visa and travel policies unique to your situation. • You can travel with your current F-1 visa and USK I-20, even if the visa has your previous school’s name on it, as long as the visa is not expired and you are not outside the U.S. more than five months between academic programs.
You can use your USK “transfer pending” I-20 to enter the U.S. once without a travel signature before the start date, even earlier than 30 days before the I-20 start date. The 30-day rule is only for travel with “initial” I-20s, not “transfer pending” I-20s. However, if you wish to travel outside the U.S. after your initial entry on your USK “transfer pending” I-20, you will need a travel signature from an ISS adviser.
It is recommended that transfer students wait to receive a USK “transfer complete” I-20 before traveling outside the U.S. as the “transfer complete” I-20 is issued with a travel signature.
Sign Up for Health Insurance
All international students must maintain adequate health insurance while attending the University of Saint Katherine. Please provide proof of insurance.
If you will arrive in the U.S. before the health insurance coverage begins, you should purchase a separate short-term insurance plan to cover medical needs that might occur before the coverage begins. You may find other options through private insurance companies.
Review Post-Arrival Checklist
Review the Post-Arrival Checklist to be prepared for your arrival in San Diego.