Information for New Non-degree Students

Congratulations on your admission to Yale! We understand that you will have many questions about coming to Yale and New Haven.  The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is here to provide answers. Please don't hesitate to contact our office at this special email address set up specifically for new students: The information on this page provides an overview of the immigration steps you can begin work on today:

1. Accept Your Offer of Admission

All new GSAS students receive their 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. Obtaining an Immigration Document

After accepting your offer of admission, you will receive an email from OISS requesting further information. We typically send this email 4-5 days after you accept your offer of admission. This email will provide instructions for obtaining an immigration document (DS-2019 for the J-1 visa).  After receiving your information and all required supporting documentation, OISS will issue your immigration document  (DS-2019). This generally takes two weeks. Your DS-2019 form will be mailed to you  via courier service to the address listed on your Yale application.

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

After you receive your DS-2019, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee before applying for your F-1 visa.  With the DS-2019 and SEVIS receipt, you will be ready to apply for your U.S. visa. 

4. 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 other students and scholars through Yale's student organizations or in the department or school with which you will affiliated.

5. Arrive in the U.S.

Upon arrival, you will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection officer and complete the I-94 data collection. Be sure to have your passport and immigration documents with you.  Do not pack them in your checked luggage.  Before you leave the officer make sure your passport has a new ink entry stamp.

6. OISS Check-In & Orientation for Non-Degree Students in the Graduate School

Newly arrived non-degree students (visiting assistants in research) should  check in with OISS at 9 am on Monday, Wednesday or Friday of the week you arrive on campus.  Please bring your passport, immigration document (DS-2019 or I-20) and a copy of your I-94 arrival document.  When you check-in at OISS, you will attend a short information session.  Included in this session, conducted by an OISS adviser, is a review of the rights and responsibilities of your immigration status, as well as an introduction to Yale and New Haven resources.  This is also an opportunity to ask your questions about settling in to this new community.  The check-in and orientation session can take up to one hour to complete.