International Students

Undergraduate Pre-Arrival

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 start, 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 immigration 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 for important information about immigration, tuition, academics, cultural awareness and life in the United States.

Please select the term for which you have applied below for specific information regarding each semester. 


COVID-19 Update
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). To help you transition 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.

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, online Math Placement Test
Email 3: health 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

Immigration Check-In 
Students 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. 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 bring the following documents with you to immigration check-in

  • Current Passport
  • Current U.S. Visa
  • I-94 card (Print a copy at cbp.gov/i94)
  • 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.)
  • 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:


  • How to maintain your immigration status
  • Orientation
  • Placement tests (if necessary)
  • Required health screening
  • BuckID (university identification card)
  • Parking permit (if necessary)
  • Resources on and off campus

Note: You will not be able to register for your classes unless you have attended immigration check-in, and immigration check-in appointments cannot be scheduled for the weekend.

Orientation 
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.

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).


COVID-19 Update
In-person classes will resume Spring 2021. 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). To help you transition to campus, visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

The Office of International Affairs will Mandatory Immigration Check-In and International Student Orientation virtually. Mandatory Immigration Check-In and International Student Orientation are two separate processes, and students are require to complete both.

Pre-Arrival Email Archive 
Below are the pre-arrival emails for Spring 2021.

Email 1: welcome message and important first steps
Email 2: Mandatory Immigration Check-In, International Student Orientation and housing arrangements
Email 3: paying tuition, SEVIS fee and placement testing
Email 4: health insurance and vaccine requirement

Mandatory Immigration Check-In 
Students 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 Spring 2021 mandatory immigration check-in


Registration will open on November 30. 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 bring the following documents with you to Immigration Check-In

  • Current Passport
  • Current U.S. Visa
  • I-94 card (Print a copy at cbp.gov/i94)
  • 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.)
  • 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:


  • How to maintain your immigration status
  • Orientation
  • Placement tests (if necessary)
  • Required health screening
  • BuckID (university identification card)
  • Parking permit (if necessary)
  • Resources on and off campus


International Student Orientation  
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 December 21 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 January 10, 2021.

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 December 21.
  • Orientation is mandatory and you should complete your self-guided orientation by January 10, 2021. The Office of International Affairs will be automatically notified of your completion.

Starting January 4, you will have the opportunity to attend online information sessions and social programming via CarmenZoom. These programs will be hosted virtually by the Office of International Affairs January 4-8. A full schedule of live virtual programming, including instructions for registering and links to CarmenZoom sessions, will be available in your virtual orientation's calendar.

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).


Pre-Arrival Email Archive 
Below are the archived emails sent to incoming international students for summer 2019.

Email #1: important first steps, immigration check-in, orientation and U.S. visa
Email #2: housing arrangements, math placement and ESL testing
Email #3: tuition payment options 
Email #4: mandatory health screening, required vaccinations and health insurance
Email #5: what to pack, entering the United States and arriving at Ohio State
Email #6: orientation, mandatory immigration check-in and getting involved

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.

American Language Program (ALP) students should report directly to Room 60, Arps Hall for check-in. All other students should check-in directly with OIA including exchange, transfer and returning.

Registering for summer 2020 mandatory immigration check-in:

Registration is currently closed. If you have any questions, please email iss@osu.edu and include your name, email, SEVIS ID# or Campus ID#.

You must bring the following documents with you to immigration check-in:
  • Admission letter to Ohio State
  • Current Passport
  • Current U.S. Visa
  • I-94 card (Print a copy at cbp.gov/i94)
  • 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.)
  • 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:
  • How to maintain your immigration status
  • Orientation
  • Placement tests (if necessary)
  • Required health screening
  • BuckID (university identification card)
  • Parking permit (if necessary)
  • Resources on and off campus

Note: You will not be able to register for your classes unless you have attended immigration check-in, and immigration check-in appointments cannot be scheduled for the weekend.

Orientation 

Orientation is a multi-step process consisting of a mandatory immigration check-in session, as well as an orientation session, placement tests (if applicable), course registration and a mandatory health screening, etc.

All students must attend Mandatory Immigration Check-In and Orientation.