Orientation and Immigration Check-in

All new scholars on any non-immigrant status are required to attend a check-in and orientation with OISS before or on their first day of employment at Rice University.

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

Currently only the E-check-in Option is available.

1. E-check-in Option

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.

2. In-Person Option

Bring originals and copies (OISS can assist you to make copies if needed) of your required immigration documents to OISS and complete the Check-in Form in person.

Required documents for either option include:

  • Completed E-Check-in form (complete and upload emailed copy to OISS Portal) OR completed hard copy Check-in Form (available at OISS)
  • Signed copy of I-20, pages 1 & 2 (*F-1s only)
  • Passport documentation (can be submitted as one or separate files/documents):Port of entry stamp
    • passport ID page
    • visa stamp (if applicable)
    • port of entry stamp (see example on the right)
  • I-94 – Available at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/ after you enter the U.S. 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.
  • DS-2019 or I-20 for scholars in J-1 or F-1 status
  • Proof of work authorization (for example EAD or USCIS I-797 Approval Notice) 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 the additional items to get you ready for your position at Rice. Please allow 1 hour – 1.5 hours to complete the check-in. Currently all advisor sessions take place via Zoom.

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.

We offer check-in advisor appointments daily (Monday - Friday) at 2:15 p.m. An OISS staff member will reach out to you to schedule your appointment only after STEP 1 has been completed.

STEP 3: ESTHER Address Update

All scholars who have an ESTHER account should also update their address in the Mailing Address field 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.