All new students are required to attend their respective orientation program, as well as complete their Immigration Check-in at OISS within 15 days of arrival in the U.S. 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 2023
All new international students starting their program or arriving in the U.S. for the first time in the Spring 2023 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: Document Check-in
Upload the required copies of your immigration documents to your OISS Portal account. MUST be completed prior to moving on to step 2, Advisor Session.
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 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 2: Advisor Session
Meet with an OISS advisor to complete your check-in process. The advisor will discuss the details of your immigration responsibilities, as well as walk you through additional items to get you ready to begin your program. Please allow 1 – 1.5 hours to complete the check-in. The advisor sessions take place via Zoom. Step 1, Document Check-in, MUST be completed before you can attend an Advisor Session.
We offer standard check-in advisor appointments via Zoom on weekdays (Monday - Friday) at 2:15 p.m. Call 713-348-6095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your appointment after receiving a confirmation email from OISS Portal indicating that you have completed STEP 1. If you email, please include a list of a few dates that would work for you for easier scheduling.
STEP 3: ESTHER Address Update
All students are required to update their address in the Mailing Address field in their ESTHER account with their 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 2023 Orientation for all students will take place on Friday, January 13, 2023, at 3:00-5:00pm, in Sewall Hall 309.