Checking In with ISSO

We are excited to welcome you to BU!  All international students and scholars must check-in with the ISSO upon arrival. Check-in provides the ISSO the opportunity to:

  • Review your immigration documents to confirm eligibility for intended study, research, or employment;
  • Report the arrival of BU sponsored F-1 and J-1 students and scholars in valid status to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, thus activating your SEVIS record;
  • Help you get settled on campus and answer your questions as you begin your activities at BU; and
  • Ensure that all students and scholars are added to email lists that provide valuable immigration related information, including travel advisories and tax information, throughout the year.

Please complete your initial check-in at the ISSO to avoid jeopardizing your legal immigration status in the U.S., and contact us with any questions concerning your immigration status or your adjustment to BU.

Who Must Check In

You are considered an international student or scholar if you are not a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Permanent Resident (“Green Card” holder).  You must report to the ISSO for check-in if you are:

  • a new international student in any immigration status
  • a continuing international student beginning a new program of study or returning from a leave of absence
  • a new scholar (faculty, researcher, or other employee).

If you are a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Permanent Resident (“Green Card” holder), you are not required to check in, however your information may need to be updated in the University system and ISSO may require copies of your passport and/or U.S. Permanent Resident card.

When to Check In

  •  Within 15 days of your program start date
  •  We will send you an email prior to the start of class with instructions on how to schedule a check-in reservation in your initial term.

What to Bring

  • All relevant immigration documents (i.e. passport, Form I-20, Form DS-2019, etc.)
  • Immigration documents for any spouse and/or child(ren) who have accompanied you to the U.S. in a dependent visa status such as F-2 or J-2
  • Any documents issued to you upon your entry to the U.S.
  • Any other immigration status related documents, if applicable (e.g. I-797 Approval Notice)

Where to Go

Charles River Campus

International Students & Scholars Office
888 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215

The ISSO has designated hours each week to allow new scholars to check-in with our office. Please see our weekly scholar services calendar to determine the appropriate time and location for your check-in with the ISSO.

Be sure to bring your passport and all other relevant immigration/employment authorization documents as well as your BU appointment or offer letter which would be given to you by your host department. Note that if you will be paid by BU, you must complete a Form I-9 at the ISSO within three (3) days of your employment start date.


Students and scholars who will be receiving compensation from Boston University (salary, stipend, on-campus employment, etc.) will also be required to complete an Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification at the ISSO.