FIUTS advances international understanding through cross-cultural experiences, student leadership, and community connections.
Checking in at the University of Washington 
Pre-Arrival Email #2 for Winter Orientation
   Hello again!
This is the second in a series of orientation emails from FIUTS for new international students at the University of Washington. FIUTS works closely with the office of International Student Services (ISS) to help you prepare for your arrival at the UW.  Please read below for information about the special check-in process for international students and employment in the U.S.

Important Note: Last week's email included an incorrect date. Winter International Student Orientation will be held on Tuesday, January 2.
Quick Links
Join the FIUTS UW International Students Group on Facebook to get a head start meeting other UW international students.
Checking In
All new international students with "F" or "J" visas are required to complete a three-part check-in process: all students must complete the ISS Online Information Session, submit government-required contact information, and report to ISS by submitting digital immigration documents.

1) Online Information Session: Before you can register for classes, you must complete the required ISS Online Information Session. If you have already done it, great! If not, visit the ISS website anytime to get started.

  • U.S. address in Seattle area
  • Home country address
  • U.S. phone number

3) Immigration Check-in with ISS: Officially check in at the UW by uploading digital copies of your immigration documents. This step is required by U.S. immigration regulations. Scan or take photos of the following documents and upload them to the ISS website to complete immigration check-in. Review the ISS arrival checklist for instructions on how to upload your documents and samples of each document.

F-1 Students:
  • Page 1 of I-20 showing your signature
  • Passport biographical page with valid expiration dates
  • F-1 visa (Canadians exempt)
  • I-94 (after arrival, download electronic I-94 at

J-1 Exchange Visitors/Students:
  • Page 1 of DS-2019 showing your signature
  • Passport biographical page with valid expiration dates
  • J-1 visa (Canadians exempt)
  • I-94 (after arrival, download electronic I-94 at
  • J-1 Insurance Compliance Form (download and complete in advance)

The UW also requires all students to complete a measles immunization requirement. Review the guidelines on the website on how to submit your UW Proof of Immunity. This document must be submitted in English or with an official English translation.

You cannot register for classes until both the ISS Online Information Session and proof of measles immunity are completed.

An ISS adviser will be present at International Student Orientation on January 2 to answer your questions.
Work, Internships and Volunteering in the U.S.
Are you interested in doing an internship, volunteering, or working while you study?  The ISS office is the place to learn more about U.S. government practical training and employment programs for F-1 and J-1 students.

The U.S. government takes working illegally very seriously. Government permission is required for all off-campus employment and internships (paid or unpaid). Also, off-campus opportunities generally require you to have studied one complete academic year (3 quarters) before you can begin.

There are 2 mandatory steps before starting any work, internship, or volunteer activity:
  1. Check it is allowed by F-1 or J-1 regulations. The ISS office advising staff can help answer questions about your eligibility and the different types of activity allowed for your visa.
  2. Complete the required UW and U.S. government applications. Your application may need approval by off-campus government agencies before you can start working/interning/volunteering. The ISS office advising staff can help answer questions about the applications and the government review and processing steps.

Follow the links below for more information:
ISS Tip of the Week:
New students can’t enter the USA earlier than 30 days before the program start date printed on their I-20 form. The government is OK with you entering anytime between 30 days early and your program start date. We recommend coming early enough to recover from jet lag and attend orientation.

Some students will choose to arrive early so they can:

  • Take in-person placement tests
  • Find off-campus housing
  • Find an on-campus part-time job
  • Travel inside the USA

Our recommendation is to enter the USA sometime in the 30 days, and then stay! More than one U.S. border entry in the 30-day entry window can be tricky; border officers may be confused about your travel goals and have lots of questions.

Important Insurance Information
International students must maintain adequate health insurance and enroll in the International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP) while attending the UW.

(Note: Exchange or "Visiting" students sponsored by a UW academic department or the UW Study Abroad office may be eligible for a waiver.)

Resources to help address your health insurance questions can be found on the ISS website. Please contact the ISHIP Counselor for assistance.
Last Chance to Apply for Homestay
If you would like to spend a week with a host family when you arrive in Seattle, remember you must apply one month prior to your arrival. The FIUTS homestay is a great way to make an American friend, share your culture, and have some support during your first week in Seattle. Please visit the FIUTS website for the Homestay application information.
I hope you find this information helpful. We look forward to seeing you at Orientation on Tuesday, January 2. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact FIUTS or the ISS office. We are here to help you!


Amy Bergstrom
Manager of Student Programs
FIUTS: Foundation for International Understanding Through Students
Contact FIUTS