New Students

SJSU Welcome Center Photo

Welcome to San Jose State University!

The New Students section is designed to give you essential information for beginning your studies at SJSU. This is a great resource with helpful information for you. Feel free to take your time to go through the material and visit this site again at any time.

Before you arrive:

As a new F-1 international student, you are required to report to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)  upon arrival at SJSU. In order to meet this U.S. government requirement, you must attend an ISSS Immigration Check-In session. During this mandatory session you will  receive information on how to maintain your F-1 status. You will also meet the ISSS staff and other students, and learn about SJSU programs and events.

Please follow these steps to register and prepare for your arrival to SJSU:

1) Register for an Immigration Check-in Session

The password to enter the registration page is: sjsu

To register, select one of the available date/time options*. Space is limited, please register for ONE session only.  After you select the date, you will be directed to the Registration page. Under quantity, select “1.” You will receive an e-mail confirming your registration.  

2) View the International Student Pre-arrival PowerPoint

After registering for a session, please take a few moments to view the International Student Pre-Arrival PowerPoint HERE to help you prepare for your arrival in the U.S. and answer some of the most common questions new international students have prior to arriving in the U.S.

3) *VERY IMPORTANT:  Please bring originals AND photocopies of the following documents to the ISSS check-in immigration session. ISSS staff will collect your documents when you check-in for the immigration session.

  • Completed ISSS Check-in Form
  • Form I-20 issued by SJSU. Be sure to sign and date your I-20 before making a photocopy.
  • I-20 forms issued by any previous institution you have attended previously (if applicable).
  • Passport Bio Page (must include your biographical information, photo, and passport expiration date)
  • Passport Visa Page with F-1 or J-1 visa (issued by U.S. Consulate abroad)
  • Passport CBP Stamp Page with F-1 or J-1 admission stamp (done by Customs & Border Protection officer at U.S. Port of Entry so you MUST copy this page AFTER arrival in the U.S.)

When entering the country:

Individuals seeking entry into the U.S. are subject to a Port of Entry (POE) customs and immigration inspection performed by Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officers. During the immigration inspection, CBP officers will ask you to answer questions and present documents to determine your admissibility to the U.S. To find out more information about what to carry with you, what questions you might be expected to answer, and what rights you have as an F-1 student, please click here.


Frequently Asked Questions:

I already attended/will attend an orientation program at SJSU. Is the ISSS immigration check-in session the same thing? All F-1 international students must attend an Immigration Check-in Session.   This mandatory immigration check-in session is NOT part of the orientation programs offered by SJSU to new freshman, transfer, and graduate students. Remember that undergraduate students absolutely MUST attend Freshman or Transfer Orientation or you will not be able to attend SJSU.  


What happens if I don't attend an ISSS immigration check-in session? All new F-1 international students are required by law to complete check-in with the ISSS upon arrival to the U.S. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the termination of your electronic record in SEVIS, the U.S. government immigration database and will affect your ability to legally remain in the U.S. to pursue your studies.


What if I am having issues registering for a session or if I arrive to SJSU after the last ISSS immigration check-in session is offered? If you are having issues registering for a session or will be arriving late due to visa processing delays, be sure to let the ISSS staff know as soon as possible. Contact us at or 408-924-5920.


Where should I go to check in for the immigration session? This information is provided on the registration confirmation e-mail.  


What happens if I don't bring copies of my documents to the ISSS immigration check-in session? The ISSS office needs to collect these documents to review them, confirm your immigration status, and activate your F-1 record in SEVIS, the U.S. government immigration database. Failure to submit the required documents will delay the activation process and could result in the termination of your SEVIS record.


Who can I contact if I have any questions about the ISSS immigration check-in session? Contact the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office at or 408-924-5920.