Information for New MA Students

Congratulations on your admission to Yale! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office using this email address set up specifically for new students: newstudents.oiss@yale.edu. Here is an overview of the immigration steps you can begin work on today:

1. Accept Your Offer of Admission

All new GSAS students receive an admissions offer through the Graduate School admissions website, as well as a paper copy of the admissions letter. Your first step in the visa process is to go online and accept the offer of admission!

2. Financial Certification

Please download and fill out the financial certification form. You will need to return this document to the Graduate School with any required documentation.

3. Obtaining an Immigration Document

After accepting your offer of admission, you will receive an email from OISS with a link to an online survey. We typically send this email the week after you accept your offer of admission. Completing the online survey is necessary for obtaining an immigration document (an I-20 for F visa or DS-2019 for J visa), so please send your response as soon as possible. After receiving your information and all required supporting documentation, OISS will issue your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019). This generally takes two weeks. We will mail this document to you via courier service to the address listed on your application.

4. Paying the SEVIS Fee & Applying for the Student Visa

After you receive your immigration document, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee before applying for your F or J student visa. With the I-20/DS-2019 and SEVIS receipt, you will be ready to apply for your U.S. visa.

5. Before You Leave Home

As you prepare to depart, you will have many questions about living in New Haven, including the items listed on this page. You may want to be in touch with other students and scholars through Yale's student organizations or in the department or school with which you will be affiliated.  

6. Refer to the GSAS New Student Checklist

The Graduate School New Student Checklist is a to-do list of tasks and information for incoming GSAS students, including required forms for ID Cards, health and more. Please read carefully and attend to the due dates to be prepared to start at Yale in August.

7. Arrive in the U.S.

Upon arrival, you will go through immigration inspection, where your electronic I-94 entry record will be created.  Be sure to have your passport and immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) with you. Do not pack them in your checked luggage. Before you leave the immigration checkpoint, make sure you have the small ink entry stamp with your visa classification and expiration date (“D/S”) handwritten.

8. OISS Check-In & Orientation for International Students

All new GSAS students will check in at OISS. You will receive an email invitation prior to your arrival to attend an OISS orientation on a specified date. The schedule for Fall 2016 will be available soon.