Information for New Non-degree 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: 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. 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 (a DS-2019 for J visa), so please send your response as soon as possible. After receiving your information and all required supporting documentation (including the J-1 Insurance Compliance Form) OISS will issue your immigration document (DS-2019). This generally takes two weeks. We will mail this document to you via courier service to the address listed on your application.

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

5. 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 (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.

6. OISS Check-In & Orientation for Non-Degree Students

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), and a copy of your I-94 entry record. When you check-in at OISS, you will attend a short information session. This session will be conducted by an OISS adviser and will include a review of the rights and responsibilities of your immigration status, as well as an introduction to Yale and New Haven resources. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about settling in to this new community. The check-in and orientation session can take up to one hour.