Getting Your Immigration Documents
Congratulations on accepting your offer of admission! Please note that there is an automatic process that will push your information to the OISS system once you accept your offer. This process usually takes 2 to 3 days, but may be longer. Once we receive your student information in our system, we will send you the New Student Survey to your Yale and personal emails on file. If you have not received the New Student Survey 10 days after accepting your admission offer, please contact us by emailing email@example.com.
Every school has a separate timeline when they start pushing admitted student data in the university system. Late February or March would be the earliest you would hear from OISS, even if you are an early admit, as the earliest any school begins this process is in late February.
Before OISS can start to process your I-20/DS-2019, you must complete the New Student Survey and submit all required documents, including financial documents. Once all items have been received, it can take up to 7 to 10 business days to issue your new I-20/DS-2019. Please allow us this time to complete the process before inquiring about your immigration document.
Please reference this timeline before contacting OISS about the status of your immigration document:
- You accept your offer of admission.
- Within a week after your acceptance, we receive your student information in OISS Connect and send you the New Student Survey.
- You complete your New Student Survey and submit your financial documents.
- Note: You must click the green Submit button after completing your survey. If you completed it but did not click the Submit button, we will not be notified of your completion.
- OISS will contact you if any more information or documents are needed before we can issue your I-20/DS-2019.
- We start processing your I-20/DS-2019. It can take 7 to 10 business days after we receive your submitted and complete New Student Survey to issue and send your I-20/DS-2019.
- Note: F-1 or J-1 transfers from another U.S. school to Yale: Even if you have submitted the survey and we have all your documents, we cannot issue your new I-20/DS-2019 until we reach your transfer release date.
- You will receive an email from OISS Connect when your immigration document is ready.
If you are a student who is going to attend Yale Summer Session (YSS) A or B in-person and need an I-20 to attend, you do not need to submit any documents directly to OISS. We coordinate with our colleagues in YSS, and they send us the necessary biographical and financial documents directly for us to issue your I-20. You will not receive a New Student Survey like our regular term Yale students. Please note that it will take us 7-10 business days to issue your I-20 once we receive your documents from YSS. If you need to transfer your F-1 record to Yale, we will be in touch with you and we will issue your I-20 only when we reach your transfer release date.
- Professional School students will submit financial documents directly to their school. Please reach out to your school contact or Admissions Office for more information.
- GSAS Masters students should go to the Application Status Portal to submit their Financial Certification form and supporting documents. The form will be available on your Application Status Portal only after you accept your offer of admission.
- Undergraduate students at Yale College: Please upload evidence of funding for your first year to the New Student Survey, under the financial document question. If you have questions, please contact your designated OISS adviser for Yale College, found here.
- No, there is not a hard OISS deadline. However, the sooner all your required information and documents are submitted, the sooner we can issue your I-20 or DS-2019 and you can apply for your visa (if applicable).
- For graduate and professional school students, your school may have its own deadlines for submitting financial documents, so please contact them for this information. Please meet all school deadlines including financial document submission to ensure your timely arrival.
Visas and the Visa Process
- In most cases, students who are currently on an F-1 visa at another U.S. institution can transfer their immigration record to Yale without needing to leave the U.S. or apply for a new F-1 visa. You can find out more about the F-1 transfer process here.
- If you are unsure if you are eligible for an F-1 transfer, please check with the international office at your current institution.
- Please note, even if you have submitted the New Student Survey and we have all your required documents, we cannot issue your new I-20/DS-2019 until we reach your transfer release date.
In some cases, you might be able to study at Yale on a visa other than F-1 or J-1. For information on whether you can study at Yale on your current visa and the possibility of switching to a student visa, please contact your designated OISS adviser.
If you are an undocumented or DACAmented student you do not need to complete the New Student Survey. Instead, please email Ozan Say, Director of OISS, and let him know of your undocumented or DACAmented status and we will update our records accordingly.
- Canadians do not need the visa issued by a US Embassy or Consulate to enter the U.S. but your entry must be in F-1 or J-1 student visa status, not as a tourist, and you will need OISS to issue you an I-20 or DS-2019 for entry.
- You can find more information on our page for Canadian citizens.
Please contact your designated OISS adviser for advice.
Students at Yale who will be starting a new program do not need to complete a New Student Survey.
For more about this process, please contact your designated OISS adviser.
- F-1 Students: please read our information about completing the DS-160 for an F-1 visa application.
- J-1 Students: please read our information about completing the DS-160 for a J-1 visa application.
- If you still have questions about the DS-160 or any other part of the visa process, please contact your designated OISS adviser.
If you have not been able to find answers to your questions related to the visa process (not related to receiving your I-20/DS-2019; we address that question in the 'Getting Your Immigration Document' section at the top), please contact your designated OISS adviser.
- On-campus Employment: Students are permitted to work on campus during their academic program for up to 19 hours per week.
- Please note: J-1 students wishing to work on campus must receive authorization from OISS BEFORE starting to work.
- Off-campus Employment: Most new students are not eligible to work off-campus at the beginning of their program and must be enrolled for at least one academic year. However, there are a few exceptions. Your designated OISS adviser will cover off-campus work eligibility for your specific program at your mandatory OISS orientation.
- Please refer to our Employment for F-1 Students page or our Employment for J-1 Students page for more information.
Spouses or Dependents Joining You in the U.S.
If your spouse or dependent(s) will be coming with you for your entire academic program or for the long term, they will need non-tourist visas.
There will be two questionnaires in the New Student Survey that you should complete. Please indicate that you will be bringing your spouse and/or children and provide all required information and documents for them, so that we can issue their immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019) for them. Once they have their I-20 or DS-2019, your dependent may apply for an F-2 or J-2 visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Reminder: Canadian citizens do not need to obtain visas to enter the U.S.
- Spouses of J-1 students (J-2) are eligible to work in the U.S. once they obtain work authorization from USCIS. You can read about the J-2 work authorization process here.
- Spouses of F-1 students (F-2) are not eligible to work in the U.S.
- If your spouse would like to obtain their own work visa, independent of your F-1 or J-1, they will need to work with the hiring organization.
Other Questions and Ways to Contact Us
If you have additional questions not answered here: