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ISSOCONTACTINFORMATION

InternationalStudentsandScholarsOffice(ISSO)
524RiversideDriveinInternationalHouseNorthbetween122ndSt.andTiemannPlace
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/isso/incoming/ISSO_location.pdf
2128543587
http:www.columbia.edu/cu/isso
isso@columbia.edu
SUMMEROFFICEHOURSuntilSept.7th:Monday,Tuesday,Thursdayfrom10:304:00pm
WednesdaysandFridays:CLOSEDtothepublic

GreetingsandInformation
fromtheInternationalStudentsandScholarsOffice(ISSO)

TheISSOwelcomesallinternationalstudentswhoarebeginningaprogramofstudyatColumbiaUniversity!
Asaninternationalstudent,youwillhavetwostatusesanacademicstatusasanenrolledstudentandan
immigrationstatus.TheISSOistheonlyUniversityofficeauthorizedtooverseeyourimmigrationstatus.

TheISSOwillparticipateintheOrientationProgramofyourschoolofenrollmentbyconductinganEssential
ImmigrationInformationsessiontoprovideanoverviewoftherulesandregulationsrelatedtoF1andJ1
statusintheUnitedStates.Topicstobecoveredinclude:maintaininglegalstatus,rulesfortravellingandre
enteringtheUSduringyouracademicprogram,andeligibilityforonandoffcampusemploymentduringthe
academicyear,summers,andaftergraduation.

Scrolldownfordetailedinformationonthefollowingtopics:

BEFOREYOULEAVEHOME
1. StudentVisas
2.Immunization(MMR)Requirements
3. StudentServicesInformation
4. Creditcardfromhome
5. InternationalDrivingPermitandhomecountrydriverslicense
6. ResourcestowatchandreadonCultural,SocialandAcademicAdjustment

ARRIVALINTHEUNITEDSTATES
7. *DocumentProcessingattheAirport*
8. GettingtoCampus
9. *MANDATORYReportingYourArrivaltoActivateYourSEVISRecord*
10.LinktoTemporaryAccommodation
11. OpeningaU.S.BankAccount
12. Followtheinstructionsofyourschoolofenrollmentforregistrationforclassesandbesureto
registeredfulltimebytheendoflateregistration(theendofthesecondweekofclasses).Checkyour
registrationstatusathttps://ssol.columbia.edutobesureitscorrect

BEFOREYOULEAVEHOME

1.STUDENTVISAS
EveryoneexceptCanadiansandcitizensofBermudamusthaveorobtainastudentEntryVisainthe
passportbeforetravelingtotheUnitedStatestostudy.Regardlessofthevisaissuancedate,youmaynot
entertheU.S.morethan30dayspriortothereportdateasindicatedonitem5oftheF1I20orthefrom
dateonitem3oftheJ1DS2019.
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DonotcometotheU.S.withaB1/B2VisitorVisaorona90dayvisawaiver(ESTA).U.S.immigrationlaw
prohibitsthoseinvisitorstatusfromattendingclassesandfromchangingtostudentstatusafterarrival.You
willwasteyourtimeandyourmoneyifyouarriveasatouristratherthaninstudentstatus.

GovernmentregulationsrequirethatyouattendtheuniversitythatissuedtheI20usedtoobtaintheF1
visa,soyoushouldbeenteringtheU.S.withaColumbiaI20andanentryvisathathasColumbiawrittenon
it,ifthisisyourinitialentryinF1status.

IfyouhavebeenastudentintheU.S.beforeandyourF1orJ1entryvisaisstillunexpired,youmay
continuetousethatvisaforentrywithaColumbiaI20orDS2019.

2.IMMUNIZATIONREQUIREMENTS

PAYATTENTIONtotheinformationyoureceivedfromColumbiaHealth!Youarenotpermittedtoregister
forclassesuntilyouhavecompliedwithimmunizationrequirements.Ifyoudonotregisterforclassesbythe
endofthenormalregistrationperiod,youwillbeinviolationofyourF1orJ1status.RefertotheColumbia
Healthlinkbelowforinformationonsatisfyingtherequirement:

ImmunizationRequirements:
https://health.columbia.edu/students/immunizationcompliancerequirements/immunizationcompliance
requirement
ImmunizationFAQsareonthelowerrightsideofthewebpage

3.STUDENTSERVICESINFORMATION
http://newstudents.columbia.edu/
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/studentservices/docs/askus/index.html

Itsnaturalthatyouhavealotofquestions,anditsnotalwayseasytofindtheanswerespeciallyata
distance.TherearetwowebsitesforstudentservicesatColumbiathatyouwillfindhelpful.

ThefirstisdesignedspecificallyfornewstudentsatColumbiatoorientyoutotheinformationyouneedasan
incomingstudentandisfoundathttp://newstudents.columbia.edu/.Itincludesinformationonactivating
yourUNIandColumbiaemail,submittingyourUniversityIDCardphoto,payingyourEBill,healthinsurance,
anddiningfacilitiesoncampus.

AnotherusefulportalisStudentAdministrativeServicesathttp://sas.columbia.edu/

4.CREDITCARDFROMHOME
ArriveintheU.S.withacreditcardfromhome,ifatallpossible.IfyouhaventlivedintheU.S.before,you
wonthaveaU.S.credithistoryofpayingyourbills,makingitdifficulttoobtainaU.S.creditcardsoonafter
arrival.
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5.INTERNATIONALDRIVINGPERMITANDDRIVERLICENSE
Theissuanceofdriverlicensesisregulatedbyeachstate.AccordingtoinformationfromtheNYState
DepartmentofMotorVehicles(DMV),<http://www.dmv.ny.gov/license.htm>,NYStaterecognizesyour
foreigndriverlicenseifyouremainaresidentofthenationthatissuedthelicense.Sinceyouwillbestudying
intheU.S.inanonimmigrantstatus,youremainaresidentofyourhomecountry,anddoneedtohaveaNYS
licensetodriveinNYS.ThedisadvantagesofobtainingaNYSdriverlicensearethatyoumusttakethe
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completedrivingtestregardlessofpriordrivingexperience(unlessyouhaveaCanadianlicense)ANDyou
mustsurrenderyourforeignlicense.

TheDMVrecommendsthatyouobtainanInternationalDriversPermit(IDP).TheIDPisnotalicenseitonly
verifiesthatyouhaveavalidlicensefromyourcountry.Itisyourdriverlicensethatallowsyoutodrivein
NYS.AlthoughyouarenotrequiredtohaveanIDPtodriveinNYS,thepermitdoeshavevalue.Thepermit
verifies,inseverallanguages,thatyouhaveavalidforeigndriverlicense.Apoliceofficerwhocannotreadthe
languageonyourforeigndriverlicensecanreadthepermit.

YoucannotapplyforanInternationalDrivingPermitintheU.S.soyoushouldcontacttheappropriate
authoritiesinyourhomecountrytogetone.

6.SOCIAL,CULTURAL,ANDACADEMICADJUSTMENT
Agreatstudentcreatedseriesof5shortYouTubevideosonCultural,Social,andAcademicAdjustment:

CultureShock:Phase1and2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPfB6GijM9Q&feature=related
CultureShock:Phase3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H82Ifq0HbTQ
SocialAdjustment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7iznNFGzIg&feature=related
AmericanHandshakes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=powo_XwMTZs&feature=related
AcademicAdjustment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbTKaZLLALo&feature=related

SocialCustomsandCulturalDifferencesisinterestingtoreadbeforeyougethere,andcontinuestobe
usefultorefertoafteryouarriveasyouadjusttolivingintheU.S.
http://www.edupass.org/culture/

ColumbiasCPS(CounselingandPsychologicalServices)isagreatresourcetostudents,andrunseveral
workshopsspecifictointernationalstudentsacademicandsocialadjustment.Manyoftheircounselorshave
aninternationalbackgroundandaresensitivetoissuesofadjustment.

ARRIVALINTHEUNITEDSTATES

7.DOCUMENTPROCESSINGATTHEAIRPORTVERYIMPORTANT
Besuretohaveyouroriginaldocuments(notphotocopies)onyourpersonratherthaninyourluggageas
youwillhavetopresentthemtotheCBP(CustomsandBorderProtection)officialuponyourarrival,which
precedesgoingtobaggageclaim.

Theinspectorwillneedtoseethevisapage(exceptcitizensofCanadaandBermuda)inyourpassportand
theI20orDS2019form.

ItisVERYIMPORTANTthatyourarrivalisrecordedcorrectly,includingtheportofentryofyouradmission,
yourclassofadmission,andtheauthorizedperiodofstayintheU.S.Forthemajorityofinternational
studentswhowillarrivebyair,yourI94recordofadmissionwillautomaticallybegeneratedbytheCBP
officialANDtheyshouldstampyourpassportwiththissameinformation.Ifyouarrivebyalandborder,you
needtobeissuedapaperI94Arrival/DepartureRecord.

VERYIMPORTANT:YourpassportshouldbestampedandnotatedwithadmittedasF1orJ1forD/S.
D/SstandsforDurationofStatus.Afteryourarrival,checktheelectronicversionat
https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94foraccuracy.Youmayalsoneedtoprintapapercopyasevidenceofyourstatus
forotherpurposessuchasemploymenteligibilityoncampus.

CANADIANSandcitizensofBermudaareexemptfromthevisarequirementbutMUSTpresentyourI20or
DS2019whenenteringtheU.S.ANDbesurethatyourpassportisstampedasabove.

DEPENDENTS:Ifyouarecomingwithyourspouseand/orchildren,thesameawarenesstotheprocessingof
theiradmissionshouldapply.DependentsofF1andJ1studentsshouldenterwithapassportstampofF2
forD/SorJ2forD/S.

Beattentive!Althoughyoumaybetiredafteryourtrip,itistoyouradvantagetoknowwhattoexpectand
tobemindfulofwhatoccursattheportofentry.HavingyourpassportstampedproperlyisVERY
IMPORTANT.

8.GETTINGTOCAMPUS

YoucangettoManhattanfromoneofthethreeareaairportsbytaxi,bus,9passengervans,and/orbytrain.
UseONLYayelloworgreentaxifromtheofficialtaxilineandignoreanyoneelseclaimingtobeataxidriver
orofferingyouaspecialdiscount.FromJFKairporttheflatratetoanywhereinManhattanis$52plusatip
onthatamount(1020%)plusthecostofthetollforthebridgefromQueenstoManhattanabout$7.
Whengivingthedriveryourdestination,itscustomarytoprovidetheaddressplusthecrossstreets.For
example,youwouldsay400W.119thSt.betweenAmsterdamAve.andMorningsideDrive.Information
aboutGroundTransportationcanbefoundatthewebsitesbelow:

JFK:
http://www.panynj.gov/airports/jfk.html
Newark: http://www.panynj.gov/airports/newarkliberty.html
LaGuardia:http://www.panynj.gov/airports/laguardia.html

9.REPORTINGYOURARRIVALONLINE:SEVISREGISTRATIONVERYIMPORTANT!
http://tinyurl.com/issocheckin

PleasereportyourarrivalintheUnitedStateswithinyourfirstweekintheU.S.(orforSEVIStransferstudents
alreadyintheU.S.,reportyourarrivalatColumbiawiththeonlineformlinkedabove.Tocompletethe
form,youwillneed
yourpassport
I20orDS2019
yourrecordofarrivalintheU.S.fromhttps://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94orapaperI94cardifyoulast
arrivedviaalandborderorbeforeApril26,2013
provideyourlocaladdressevenifitstemporarywithapostalzipcode.

Reportyourarrivalathttp://tinyurl.com/issocheckin.

ReportingyourarrivalisthefirstupdatetoyourSEVISrecord,andwillactivateyourSEVISrecord.Thesecond
updatetoyourrecordwillbetheISSOreportingonyourenrollment(registration)status.YouMUSTBE
REGISTEREDFULLTIMEbytheendofthesecondweekofclasses.

Ifyoureportyourarrivalwithatemporaryaddress,pleaseupdateyouraddresswhenyoumoveat
https://www1.columbia.edu/sec/cu/isso/address_change.html

YoumustalsokeepyouraddressuptodateintheUniversityscentralsystemat
https://ssol.columbia.edu/

10.TEMPORARYACCOMODATION
ColumbiasOfficeofWorkLifeisintendedforemployees,buthasausefulcompilationoftemporary
accommodationfornewarrivalsandvisitors.<http://worklife.columbia.edu/temporaryhousingoptions>.
AnadditionalresourcenotlistedthereisSaraHomestayQualityStudentHousing
<http://www.sarahomestay.com/>
_________________________________________________________________________________________

11.OPENINGABANKACCOUNT

YoudonotneedaSocialSecuritynumberoraletterfromtheISSOtoopenabankaccount.YouDOneed
yourpassport,I20orDS2019andletterofadmissiontoColumbiaandyourColumbiaIDifyouhaveit.The
bankwillnormallywanttoseeproofofyourlocalorhomeaddress,suchasthroughahousingcontractor
leaseoracopyofbankstatementfromyourhomecountrywithyournameandaddressprintedonit.Fora
listofbanksintheColumbianeighborhoods,see
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/isso/incoming/CU_Area_banks.pdf
_________________________________________________________________________________________

12.FULLTIMEREGISTRATIONSTATUSREQUIREDBYTHEENDOFTHEREGISTRATIONPERIODEACHTERM
Checkyourregistrationstatusathttps://ssol.columbia.edu/tobesurethatitisfulltime.
_________________________________________________________________________________________