What to do First

After you have been admitted to UCSB, have returned your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) the next step in getting your visa to come to UCSB is to show that you have the funds to support you through the first year.

To do this, you will complete and upload a financial form and supporting documents using the International Students Portal. Upload documents to OISS no later than August 1 (sooner is better!). Visa processing times may be delayed and OISS is unable to rush the government's visa processing.

WATCH for an email from "OISS-Portal-Admin" which will include for your username and access information for the Portal.

You can begin to collect your documents´╗┐ now, but you will not be able to send documents to OISS until you receive an email with instructions to access the Portal. Choose a link below for the list of the documents you need and detailed instructions:

  • New F-1 visa? New J-1 visa?
    Most incoming students fall into one of these two visa categories. 
  • EAP/reciprocity?
    For students who are enrolled at a university in their home country and attending UCSB for a year or less.
  • Transfer existing visa?
    for students with a current student visa who are transferring to UCSB from another educational institution in the U.S. (high school or college).

When to Arrive

You MUST arrive in time to take the ELPE exam and attend CALI Training. You can not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start of your academic program (the first day of classes=September 28, 2017). If you choose to arrive early and hope to travel, please be sure to make arrangements for your luggage. OISS is unable to store luggage.

MANDATORY ELPE: Incoming students are required to take the English Language Placement Exam (ELPE) unless you are arriving from a country where the primary language of instruction is English. Dates for the 2017 ELPE exam are:

  • Graduate Student Exam: Wednesday, September 20 (prior to CALI Training)
  • Undergraduate Student Exam: Friday, September 22
If you have questions about the exam (including requests to be excused from the exam), please contact the English for Multilingual Students (EMS) Department. OISS cannot answer questions about the ELPE exam.

MANDATORY CALI TRAINING:  Incoming international students are required to attend CALI Training, where you will learn about Cultural Awareness, Laws, and Immigration (yes, this is international student orientation).
  • Freshmen: Thursday, September 21, 2017
  • EAP students: Monday, September 25, 2017
  • Transfer students: Friday, September 22, 2017
  • Graduate students: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 (following the ELPE Exam in the morning)
More information and updates about CALI Training here.

International Student Move-In: If you will be living on campus in a residence hall, you will be able to move in on Wednesday, September 20. If you have questions about move-in or housing, contact Housing & Residential Services.