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ISSS – Pre-Arrival Checklist

International Students standing in a row with international flags in the background

We look forward to meeting you soon. Please pay attention to this checklist, as it is designed to help you prepare for your arrival to Boise.

1. Apply for Housing

Living on campus is convenient, and a great way to make new friends and become involved in the campus community, so it’s important to APPLY as soon as possible. Learn more about housing on campus. 

If you are living on campus, sign up for early move-in housing. Residence halls officially open on Friday before Fall semester and Saturday before Spring semester begins. If you need to move-in sooner than that date, you MUST apply for the Early Arrival on MyHousing after you have received your room assignment. The Early Arrival Application for is available in May for Fall semester, and November for Spring semester. For more information, please contact the Housing and Residence Life or call (208) 447-1001.

If you decide to live off-campus, you can find a list of off-campus housing.

2. Review and Sign your I-20 from Boise State

You will need your I-20 to apply for your visa and to enter the U.S. If you are transferring from an institution in the U.S. please contact your immigration advisor at your current school about transferring your SEVIS record to Boise State University. For more information about F1 visa and I-20, please click “SEVIS Transfer Students” in the F-1 Student Visa Information page.

  • If you have not received your I-20 from Boise State, be sure to contact the International Admissions Office.
  • If you have received your I-20, review all of the information. If everything is correct, sign and date on the bottom of the first form. If you find any errors, contact the International Admissions Office immediately.

3. Pay the SEVIS Fee

All initial F1 students MUST pay the SEVIS fee (also known as Form I-901) prior to their visa interview. This is in addition to the visa application fee. For more information on how to pay the SEVIS fee please visit the ICE webpage.

The SEVIS fee can be paid online at the SEVP SEVIS I‑901 Fee Processing Website.

**Be sure to PRINT OUT THE SEVIS FEE RECEIPT to bring to your visa interview. F2 dependents are not required to pay the SEVIS fee.

4. Apply for your Student Visa

The earliest you can apply for your visa is 120 days before the start date on your I-20. We recommend you apply for your visa as early as possible. For more information on this process, please visit the F1 Student Visa Information page.

You do not need to apply for a new F1 visa if you are transferring from a school inside the U.S. with the same SEVIS record and you are not leaving the U.S., or your F1 visa is still valid when you re-enter the U.S.

You can remain in the U.S. with an expired F1 visa as long as you are maintaining your F1 status with a valid I-20.

5. Make Travel Arrangements

When making your travel arrangements, you must keep in mind two important details:

  • You must plan to arrive in Boise (BOI) on the arrival day (January 3, 2018 for Spring 2018)  or no later the mandatory International Student Orientation date.  The Spring 2018 International Student orientation will be held January 4 and 5, 2018. This date is the same date as your program start date listed on your I-20. Entering the U.S. AFTER this date may cause you problems at the airport.
  • You cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20.

Airport Arrival

  • If you arrive on the arrival days , please submit this formCenter for Global Education  staff and peer advisors will meet you at the airport and assist you with local transportation options to your on-campus or off-campus housing location.
  • If you arrive outside the mandatory arrival days,. There are taxis available in front of the airport. The cost from the airport to campus is about $15. Remember that in the U.S. you tip a taxi driver between 10% and 15% of the total fare. For example, if the fare is $15, you would give the driver a $1.50 tip.

There are also ride-sharing options available from the airport, including Uber and Lyft. You will need a smart phone with a US data plan in order to access these services, and the estimated cost is roughly $11-$12.

6. Sign Up for the Mandatory International Student Orientation

You will receive an email with information on how to sign up for the International Bronco Venture (International Student Orientation). Check both your primary contact email account, as well as your BroncoMail account (official Boise State University email) frequently during the weeks leading up to International Student Orientation as you will be receiving additional information about your program via email.

7. Prepare your Finances

  • Tuition: You will be charged Non-resident Tuition (flat rate) unless you have been awarded a non-resident tuition waiver. The official tuition rates, per credit hour costs, additional fees and Boise State policies can be found on the Financial Services website.
  • Fees and insurance:  All students will be billed for a variety student fees (i.e. activity fee) and all international students will be billed for mandatory student health insurance.
  • Fee Payment Deadline: You can check the Fee Payment Deadline on the Academic Calendar.
  • Payments: The easiest way to pay your bill is to log onto myBoiseState and make a payment with a credit card. You can also pay your bill at the Payment & Disbursement Center using cash or check.
  • Fee Payment Plan: You have the option to your fees in three equal installments. To enroll in the fee payment plan, complete an application on my.BoiseState. A $30 nonrefundable application fee will be charged to use the plan. More information about the Fee Payment Plan can be found at the University Financial Services website.
  • Customs Declaration (of carrying more than $10,000): You will be required to complete the Customs and Border Protection Declaration Form 6059B when you enter the U.S. A Sample Customs Declaration Form can be found at the CBP website. If you are bringing more than $10,000, you MUST circle “Yes” for the Question 13.
  • Currency Exchange before Departure: We recommend that you exchange your currency to U.S. dollars in your home country, in case currency exchanges are closed when you arrive. However, you will be able to exchange your currency at a bank in Boise during regular business hours.

8. Make Copies of your Immigration Documents

You will need to bring a copy of the following documents to the International Student Orientation:

  • Passport (Biographical page)
  • Visa
  • I-20 (First page only)

We recommend that you make at least one extra set of copies of these documents for your personal records.