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The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

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  • Autumn semester 2020

    Information for international students regarding returning to campus.

  • Virtual Advising

    Immigration coordinators at the Office of International Affairs are available for virtual advising M-F from 1-4 p.m. via CarmenZoom.

  • Health Professionals

    Health professionals across the globe can sign up for Ohio State's Global One Health initiative's collection of online courses offered for free under the online Canvas Network.

Autumn Semester

International student orientation

COVID-19 Update

While information surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, please know that our highest priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are monitoring the global outbreak and are taking appropriate steps to ensure the well-being of the campus community.

In-person classes will resume autumn 2020. Courses will be offered in different formats—some will be in person, some will be online (“distance learning”), and some will offer a blend of in-person, online and other activities (“hybrid” courses).

As you prepare to gradually return to campus, visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

The Office of International Affairs will conduct international student orientation and mandatory immigration check-in virtually.

Incoming international undergraduate students should review the mandatory immigration check-in and orientation information carefully.

Please note that you can only enter the United States a maximum of 30 days prior to the reporting date on your Initial Form I-20 or DS-2019. We recommend that you arrive at least 2 - 3 weeks before classes startKeep in mind that The Ohio State University still has to decide whether classes will be taken in-person during autumn 2020.

The Office of International Affairs has designed a series of emails to help prepare you for your academic journey at Ohio State. You will be receiving these emails every week and they will be archived below.

Also, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our website for important information about immigration, tuition, academics, cultural awareness and life in the United States.

Pre-Arrival Email Archive 

Below are the archived emails sent to incoming international students for autumn 2020.

Email 1: welcome message and important first steps
Email 2: arrival in Columbus, mandatory immigration check-in and orientation, online ESL Composition Placement Test
Email 3: U.S. visa, vaccination requirement and Tuberculosis test
Email 4: purchasing health insurance and interim health insurance
Email 5: financial responsibility, accessing statement of account and paying tuition
Email 6: mandatory immigration check-in and orientation and housing
Email 7: details on mandatory immigration check-in and orientation, virtual programming and class registration
Email 8: updates on Autumn 2020, placement test reminders, storage options
Email 9: updates on Autumn 2020, immigration check-in registration, Tuberculosis testing and virtual health screening, what to pack and entering the United States
Email 10: orientation reminder, arriving at Ohio State and getting involved

Immigration Check-In 

International students who arrive in the United States are required to attend immigration check-in to complete your enrollment requirements. You will register for 30-minute virtual appointments via CarmenZoom, Ohio State's academic audio and web conferencing solution, where staff will review your immigration documents, discuss important immigration regulations and answer any questions you may have. Please note that check-in only occurs during weekdays and is not possible to schedule a check-in time during weekends.

American Language Program (ALP) students should contact alp@osu.edu for more information.

All other students should check-in directly with OIA including exchange, transfer and returning.

Registering for autumn 2020 mandatory immigration check-in:

Registration is now open. Please only register for an appointment if you have:

  • A valid visa or
  • A confirmed visa appointment with an embassy or consulate before August 30

We want to minimize the number of canceled immigration check-in appointments and allow students that have the required documents to find available appointments. If you have any questions, please email iss@osu.edu and include your name, email, SEVIS ID# or Campus ID#.

In order to make the process go smoother, please read through the directions and complete the Student Record eForm in advance. You will input your local address and emergency contact information through the eForm. If you have access to a scanner or camera phone, you can also upload your immigration documents.

Once you have filled your information, please save the student record form as a draft and an immigration check-in staff member will review the documents for accuracy with you during your appointment before its official submission.

You must have available the following documents before your immigration check-in appointment:

  1. Current Passport
  2. Current U.S. Visa
  3. I-94 card (Print a copy at cbp.gov/i94)
  4. Ohio State Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (Note: if you have an active immigration record that is being transferred from another institution in the U.S. to Ohio State, please bring your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from your previous school.)
  5. Form I-20(s) or Form DS-2019(s) of your dependents (spouse and children), if applicable

Before your appointment, make sure to set up BuckeyePass, a multifactor authentication service provided by Ohio State, which is required when accessing your different Ohio State accounts. It helps protect your account even if your password is stolen. You must have BuckeyePass set up on a device that you will have with you during immigration check-in. You won't be able to complete the process without BuckeyePass. The easiest way to set up BuckeyePass is to download the Duo Mobile app on your mobile device. View instructions on how to set up BuckeyePass and download Duo Mobile.

At immigration check-in, you will also receive information regarding:

  1. How to maintain your immigration status
  2. Placement tests (if necessary)
  3. Required virtual health screening
  4. BuckID (university identification card)
  5. Resources on and off campus 


Orientation will take place virtually through CarmenCanvas, Ohio State's online learning management system. You will be automatically registered for the orientation modules. The modules will be available beginning July 20 and will consist of a series of presentations and videos aimed at introducing you to Ohio State, providing important information and helping you become familiar with available resources. You will be expected to complete the modules on your own before August 3. 

Please note:

  • You DO NOT have to register since you will be automatically enrolled. You will receive an enrollment confirmation email along with instructions through your Buckeyemail account on July 20.
  • Orientation is mandatory and you should complete your self-guided orientation by August 3. The Office of International Affairs will be automatically notified of your completion.

The Office of International Affairs will also host live virtual sessions via CarmenZoom, where you can ask any follow-up questions to further help with your transition this summer and meet fellow Buckeyes.

View the weekly calendars:

For help accessing CarmenCanvas, refer to the Get Started Guide. If you have problems accessing CarmenCanvas or CarmenZoom, contact the OCIO Help Desk at ServiceDesk@osu.edu or call 614-688-4357 (HELP).