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International student orientation


Incoming international graduate 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 orientation for fall semester, in order to complete necessary activities, such as settling into your residence hall or apartment, setting up a bank account, obtaining your student ID, and attending MANDATORY Check-In.

The Office of International Affairs has designed a series of emails to help prepare you for your arrival at Ohio State. You will be receiving these emails every week leading up to your arrival on campus. These emails are also archived below.

Also, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our website and with our International Student Handbook 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 spring semester 2019. Emails will be sent on a weekly basis beginning on November 14, 2018.

Email 1: important first steps and orientation and mandatory immigration check-in details
Email 2: mandatory immigration appointment, housing options and ESL Placement Test information
Email 3: registration for mandatory immigration check-in and payment options
Email 4: mandatory health screening, vaccination requirements and purchasing health insurance
Email 5: what to pack, entering the United States and arriving at Ohio State
Email 6: attend mandatory immigration check-in and orientation and student involvement


Immigration Check-In 

At mandatory immigration check-in, staff will be available to meet with you, 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. Immigration check-in appointments will take place at Enarson Classroom Building, room 100 (2009 Millikin Road).

American Language Program (ALP) students should report directly to Room 356, Arps Hall for check-in.

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

Registering for Spring 2019 mandatory immigration check-in:

The registration window for immigration check-in will be Monday, December 3 - Friday, December 21, 2018. Be sure to sign up as soon as you have made your travel plans, in order to get your preferred time. In order to register for an immigration check-in appointment, please visit scarletandgray.osu.edu using the general access code, OIASP19. To register, you will need your Ohio State username (your name.#) and password. See instructions on how to activate your Ohio State username and email.

Please double check the date and time of your appointment at the top of the confirmation message. If you are still unsure of your registration confirmation or have other registration questions, please email iss@osu.edu with your full name and SEVIS ID number and preferred immigration check-in time.

You must bring the following documents with you to check-in:

  1. Admission letter to Ohio State
  2. Current Passport
  3. Current U.S. Visa
  4. I-94 card (Print a copy at cbp.gov/i94)
  5. 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.)
  6. Form I-20(s) or Form DS-2019(s) of your dependents (spouse and children), if applicable

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

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

Note: You will not be able to register for your classes unless you have attended check-in.



When you register for an immigration check-in time, you will be automatically scheduled for the corresponding orientation, which cannot be changed. All students must attend their assigned orientation session, no exceptions. Below are the available sessions for planning purposes. 

Mandatory Immigration Check-In Dates Corresponding Orientation Sessions

January 2 - 4, 2019

January 4, 2019
8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: 140 Enarson Classroom Building Location: 200 Campbell Hall