International Student FAQ

Boston University International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) is devoted to assisting international students through the immigration process and helping international students adjust to life at Boston University. They have extensive resources available to educate and assist international students. We strongly recommend students visit their website for more information on:

All international students are required to check in with ISSO upon arriving in the United States. The ISSO staff will best be able to answer all of our incoming international students’ questions on visa or immigration paperwork. International students are also required to provide an up to date address where they will be living in Boston.

Once the graduate programs office receives the requested International Student documents AND your acceptance of the admission offer, we will compile your documents and send them to ISSO for further processing.

Documents that are received at ISSO are usually processed within 10 business days. Upon receiving your documents, ISSO will typically take 2 days to log the information, 5-7 days to process the documents, and a final 1-2 days to complete the process and issue the I-20 documents. If additional information is required, you will be contacted directly for further information.

Our office receives all College of Engineering documents and works diligently with ISSO to ensure that your file is processed in a timely manner. We are appreciative of your patience and understand the time required in the Visa process after your I-20 is issued. If you have any concerns at all with the timeline of your I-20 issuance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

After the review is complete and the I-20 is issued, your package will be mailed by DHL express mail service to the home address listed on your application. This delivery takes an average of 7-10 days to ship around the world.

If your home address is in Iran: Unfortunately DHL does not ship directly from the US to Iran. The Graduate Programs Office will contact you to arrange a different shipping address in this circumstance.

All international students that are arriving on campus for the first time should check-in directly with ISSO. They will also be best able to answer any questions and help international students get acclimated to living in Boston.

The College of Engineering will host an orientation for all of our incoming students September 1st. We will send out invitations by email when the event is scheduled. We expect to send out the invitation for orientation in mid-summer.

ISSO will host an additional mandatory orientation for all incoming international students. More information on the ISSO orientation, including the date and time of this orientation, will be posted on the ISSO website when it is announced.

ISSO provides numerous resources for international students who are attending Boston University including but not limited to: banking and financial resources, the climate in Boston, public transportation, transportation to and from the airport, childcare, health and medical information, organizations, and student services. International students using the link at the top of this page for “A guide to living in Boston”