All new scholars on any non-immigrant status are required to complete a check-in and orientation with OISS, preferably before or on their first day of employment at Rice University, but no later than within their first week.
During the check-in process, OISS will collect copies of your immigration documents (i.e., your passport, visa, I-94, and signed DS-2019 or other relevant immigration document or EAD card), after which you will schedule an appointment to meet with an OISS advisor. During the check-in process, the OISS advisor will verify the immigration documents, provide immigration compliance reminders, and go over general information to help you complete your set-up on campus.
- STEP 1: Document Check-in
You will receive an invitation to set up an OISS Portal account to upload required copies of your immigration documents. This step MUST be completed prior to moving on to step 2, Advisor Check-In.
1. Access your OISS Portal account at https://oissportal.rice.edu/. You will need an invitation email from OISS in order to activate your account. If you need to complete a check-in appointment and have not received an invitation to set up an OISS Portal account, please contact OISS.
2. Click on "STEP 2: Upload Supporting Documents"
3. Upload the required "Post-Arrival E-Check-in" documents. 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.
4. 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/E-check-in, and upload a copy of the email you receive with your responses.
• Passport pages: Upload a copy of your passport ID page, a copy of your 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. Please note that we require the Most Recent I-94, we do not require your travel history. If you have changed or extended your status inside the U.S. since your last entry, the I-94 is available at the bottom of your I-797A Approval Notice from USCIS.
• Signed DS-2019 or I-20: For scholars in J-1 or F-1 status only. Please make sure you have signed the first page before uploading the copy.
• Employment authorization: For example an EAD or a USCIS I-797 Approval Notice as applicable to your situation
• Dependent documents: Required only for Rice sponsored J-1 scholars who have J-2 dependents (i.e., spouse and/or child). 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.
• Proof of insurance: Required only for Rice sponsored J-1 scholars.
- 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 the additional items to get you ready for your position at Rice. Please allow 1.5 hours to complete the check-in advisor session.
We offer check-in advisor appointments twice per week, 2:00 - 3:30pm:
• Mondays via Zoom
• Wednesdays via Zoom
• Thursdays in-person
An OISS staff member will reach out to you to schedule your appointment only after STEP 1 has been completed. At that time you may choose an advisor session either via Zoom or in-person, based on your availability and preference.
Scholars who are not new to Rice, but are changing their visa status (e.g., from F-1 OPT to H-1B) or classification (e.g., from student to scholar), will only need to attend a brief, individual appointment, instead of the full advisor session.
- STEP 3: Address Update
All scholars should also update their account in iO with their local address where they reside. Please follow the formatting guidelines, so that your address is properly accepted by SEVIS, if you are on a Rice-sponsored J-1 visa.
If you need to complete a check-in appointment and have not received an invitation to set up an OISS Portal account, please contact OISS. If you are having difficulty activating your account, please see https://oiss.rice.edu/oissportaltips.
Please also see our Onboarding webpage at https://oiss.rice.edu/scholar-onboarding.