Mandatory F-1 Arrival Check-In and SEVIS Registration

After arriving in Charleston, all new F-1 students (including F-1 transfers) are required to complete the F-1 Arrival Check In process with the Center for Global Health. This is very important and must be completed within 30 days from the start date on Form I-20. In addition, new F-1 students will not be able to register for classes at MUSC until they complete the F-1 Arrival Check In process.

We highly recommend that you complete the F-1 Arrival Check In as soon as possible after arrival in the United States. After you complete the F-1 Arrival Check In, we will register your F-1 status in the SEVIS system. If your F-1 status is not registered in the SEVIS system within 30 days of your program start date, your status will become invalid and you will no longer be permitted to remain in the US in F-1 status. Therefore, it is important that you complete the F-1 Arrival Check In process well in advance of this 30 day deadline to ensure that there are no issues with your F-1 status.

You will not be able to complete the F-1 Arrival Check In process until after you arrive in the United States. However, you must begin planning for the check in process prior to your arrival.

STEP 1: Schedule appointment with Denise Smith.

As soon as you know the date you will arrive in the United States, you must schedule a check-in appointment with Denise Smith. The appointment must be scheduled for a date after your arrival in the United States (you cannot attend this appointment prior to your arrival).

All check-in appointments are currently being conducted virtually. All appointments must be scheduled in advance with Denise Smith. Choose one of the available time slots. In the message subject line, enter “F-1 Check-In Appointment.” Once Denise receives your appointment request, she will email you details on how to access the virtual meeting.

STEP 2: Complete ‘Arrival Check In’ record through Terra Dotta portal.

After your Form I-20 has been issued, you will be able to access the ‘Arrival Check In’ record through your Terra Dotta portal. You will access this application the same way that you accessed your ‘Initial I-20’ or ‘Transfer I-20’ record. If you are not able to access the ‘Arrival Check In’ record, contact Erin Huley.

The ‘Arrival Check In’ application will provide you with instructions on the documents and information you must provide. This application also provides you with several documents and information that you are required to read and sign to indicate your understanding of the material. You should record any questions that you have while you go through the materials in this application. You will have the opportunity to ask Denise any questions during your phone appointment.

We recommend that you begin this application prior to arriving in the US. There is a lot of material in this application, so it is helpful to get a head start on reading and reviewing the information. However, you will not be able to complete and submit the application until after you arrive in the US. The application requires that you upload a copy of your I-94 admission record, which you will not receive until after you physically enter the US.

You are required to submit this application at least 2 hours prior to your scheduled appointment with Denise Smith.

STEP 3: Attend appointment with Denise Smith.

You will attend the virtual meeting with Denise Smith at the previously scheduled time. Again, you must submit the Arrival Check In application in Terra Dotta at least 2 hours prior to the appointment start time.

During the appointment, Denise will review your visa documents and the requirements of F-1 status with you. You can also ask any questions that you may have related to your F-1 status.

Following the completion of the appointment and the ‘Arrival Check In’ record in Terra Dotta, we will register your F-1 status in the SEVIS system.

STEP 4: Connect with Rebeca Mueller.

Rebeca Mueller is the Director of International Programs within the Center for Global Health, and she assists new international students and scholars with adjusting to life in the United States and Charleston in particular.

Rebeca can answer questions that you may have about finding a place to live, getting around in Charleston, child care, English classes, and much more. Rebeca will also provide you with information on the various programs and events that MUSC offers for international students and scholars. Please send an email to Rebeca introduce yourself as a new international student.