All new students are required to attend their respective orientation program, as well as complete their Immigration Check-in at OISS as soon as possible after arrival in the United States. Make your travel plans accordingly.
Please note that failure to attend both the international orientation and an immigration check-in with OISS will result in a hold being placed on your student record and may affect your immigration status.
Orientation and Check-in Process for Spring 2024
All new international students starting their program or arriving in the U.S. for the first time in the Spring 2024 must complete the mandatory immigration check-in and attend their respective orientation program. Upon completing all 4 required steps, you will be in compliance and ready to begin your program at Rice University. Returning students arriving under a new immigration record must also complete the mandatory immigration check-in.
STEP 1: Complete "OISS Immigration Compliance" Canvas course
Complete the OISS Immigration Compliance Canvas course at https://catalog.rice.edu/courses/oiss-check-in-2023-2024.
The OISS Immigration Compliance Canvas course can be completed at any time between finishing the initial admissions process in OISS Portal and arriving in Houston to begin your program. In this course, we will provide a comprehensive overview of important immigration information. It is a self-paced course, and you do not need to complete all the modules at once. We estimate the total completion time to be approximately one hour.
All international students at Rice are required to complete this course as part of their mandatory OISS process before starting their academic program at Rice. This includes returning students who are beginning a new program, or returning from approved leave on a new immigration record.
Upon completion of the Canvas course, you will receive a certificate of completion by email, which you will need to upload in your OISS Portal account.
If you do not receive the email, you can also download the certificate of completion from your Rice Catalog "student dashboard" under the Completed tab.
1) Login to catalog.rice.edu
2) Click on your name in the top right corner and select "Student Dashboard"
3) Choose Completed courses
4) Click on "Download" to get your certificate of completion
STEP 2: Document Check-in
Upload the required copies of your immigration documents to your OISS Portal account.
1. Access your OISS Portal account at https://oissportal.rice.edu/. Your login credentials are the same as when you uploaded the items needed for your I-20/OISS admissions processing. You should not be creating a new account at this time.
2. Click on "STEP 2: Upload Supporting Documents"
3. Find the items titled "Post-Arrival E-Check-in"
4. Upload the required documents that are not yet marked as Complete. If you have already uploaded some documents, there may be comments informing you of any remaining issues. Please allow 24-48 hours for the review process.
5. Click "Submit for Approval" which will change the Requirement Status for the Requirement Type from "Needs Submission" to "Needs Review." Otherwise we will not be notified of your uploaded documents.
Required Post-Arrival E-Check-in documents include:
• E-Check-in Form: Complete the form at https://oiss.rice.edu/Echeck, and upload a copy of the email you receive with your responses. Please make sure to use the specific physical address where you live. You may not use the general Rice University address of 6100 Main Street for this purpose.
• Passport pages: You only have to upload your passport bio page if you have received a new passport since submitted one for your I-20/admissions processing. You still have to upload a copy of your F-1 visa (unless you are a Canadian citizen) and a copy of the port of entry stamp, if you received one when arriving to the U.S. (we are aware that many ports of entry have moved away from issuing this stamp, so it is not a problem if you did not get one). It is sufficient to upload one document showing both/all of these items, you do not have to upload duplicates.
• I-94 record: You should be able to access your I-94 at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home after entering the United States. Please note that we require the Most Recent I-94, we do not require your travel history.
• Signed I-20/DS-2019: This is the I-20 (F-1 visa holders) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa holders) you received from Rice University (unless your J-1 visa is externally sponsored, e.g., by Fulbright). Please make sure you have signed the first page before uploading the copy.
• Dependent documents: These are only required if you have F-2 or J-2 dependents (i.e., spouse and/or child) with you in the U.S. Please do not upload duplicates of your own documents under this section. If you do not have dependents, we will close this section for you automatically when reviewing your other documents.
• Other status documents: If you are on a visa other than F-1 or J-1, please provide other status documents (for example USCIS Approval Notice, EAD) as applicable for your situation.
STEP 3: ESTHER Address Update
All students are required to update their address in the Local Address field in their ESTHER account with the local address where they reside. Please follow the formatting guidelines, so that your address is properly accepted by SEVIS.
STEP 4: International Student Orientation
During the mandatory international student orientation, students will review immigration regulations and programs geared specifically to support the international population.
Spring 2024 Orientation for all students will take place on Friday, January 12, 2023, at 3:00-5:00pm (tentative). Location to be confirmed.
Please also see our Onboarding webpage at https://oiss.rice.edu/onboarding.