Pre-Arrival/New Incoming Students

Congratulations on your admission to the UNT Health Science Center! We are excited to welcome you to campus. The resources below will help you prepare for your arrival on campus and time at the university.

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Follow this pre-arrival checklist for new students to make sure you complete all required steps related to your F-1 or J-1 status.

International Students

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Pre-Arrival Checklist/New Incoming Students

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Cost of Attendance

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International Student Orientation

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Transfer and Graduate Students

You will receive an email invitation to the HSCs to MyHSC portal which will give you access to your student profile and where you can request your I-20 or DS-2019 for studies at the HSC.

Once you receive the invitation, use the link from the email to log in with your HSC network id and password. To apply for an F-1/J-1 visa, you will first need a document showing you are eligible – this document is generally called the “certificate of eligibility”. For F-1 students, the certificate of eligibility document is called an I-20.  For J-1 students, it’s referred to as DS-2019.

The Initial Attendance I-20 form must be completed by newly admitted students so that an initial attendance I-20 can be produced for you.  All documents must be submitted through Engage. Note: While ISO suggests starting to collect information and documents you will need for the I-20 as soon as you apply to HSC, you will not be able to submit the I-20 Request form  unless/until you have received an official admissions offer to HSC.

F-1 visa applicants must submit the following items:

  • A copy of your passport photo identification page
  • Financial documentation (i.e. bank statements or letter from a savings or checking account)
    • A sponsorship letter will be required, if owner of account(s) is not the perspective student.
  • Affidavit of Provision of Room and Meals by a U.S. Provider (if applicable).
  • Students Transferring from another U.S. institution: Your SEVIS record will be need to be transferred to HSC before we can issue you an I-20. You will need HSC’s SEVIS code to transfer: DAL214F00610001

If you are bringing with you a dependent, you will also need to complete the Dependent I-20 Request.

Please refer to the Cost of Attendance budget sheets for your specific program to determine the amount for which you must provide financial documentation. Upon upload, your I-20/DS-2019 Request will be reviewed by our office and you will be notified if it is complete to process or incomplete and requires further attention.

Obtain a passport

If you are living outside the U.S. you must obtain a passport from your home government.

Apply for your F-1 or J-1 visa**  

As soon as you receive your I-20 or DS-2019, schedule a visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Important! Apply for Your Visa as Early as Possible

  • F-1 visas may be issued up to 120 days before the program start date listed on your I-20
  • J-1 visas may be issued at any time before the start date of your program, if you do not receive your visa prior to your start date you will be required to defer for the following semester.

Visa Interview Tips and Required Documents

See the Visas page for information about preparing your supporting documents and getting ready for your visa interview

If you do not receive your visa prior to your start date you will be required to defer for the following semester or year based on your program.

Visas for SEVIS Transfer Students

If you are changing schools within the U.S. and transferring your SEVIS record to HSC, there are visa and travel policies unique to your situation.

  • You can travel with a valid, unexpired F-1 visa and a “transfer pending” HSC I-20, even if the visa has your previous school’s name on it. As long as your visa is still valid and you have not been outside of the U.S. more than five months between the end of your previous program and your return to the U.S.
  • You are allowed to stay in the U.S. with a transfer pending I-20 as long as the end of your previous program and the start of your new program is no more than 5 months. You are also allowed to travel outside the U.S. with a transfer pending I-20 and return at any time to the U.S.

Earliest Admission Date (30-Day Arrival Window)

Students issued an Initial (new) I-20 or DS-2019 are allowed to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date printed on their I-20/DS-2019. This is the earliest date you are allowed to enter the U.S. and is called the “30-Day Arrival Window.” The Earliest Admission Date is printed in the Program of Study section on the I-20 form.

Entry to the U.S. more than 30 days before the program start date is against U.S. immigration law. The only exception is for students whose SEVIS record was transferred from a previous school and they have received a Transfer Pending I-20. The Earliest Admission Date will be blank in the Program of Study section on a transfer pending I-20 form.

 SEVIS Transfer Students — Earliest Admission Date and Multiple Trip Exceptions

  • The 30-day rule is only for travel with an Initial I-20. If your I-20 Form Issue Reason is “Transfer Pending” and the Earliest Admission Date is blank, you are allowed to return to the U.S. at any time between the end of your previous program and the start of your HSC program.
  • You can use your HSC “transfer pending” I-20 for one entry to the U.S. before your academic program starts at the HSC. You will not be eligible for a travel signature for multiple entries until after your academic program begins.

Who Must Have Health Insurance?

All F-1 and J-1 students must maintain adequate health insurance and are required to purchase the HSC’s International Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) designed specifically for HSC international students and their dependents. Review the SHIP Frequently Asked Questions for further details on the health insurance program.

Review the insurance waiver eligibility requirements to see if you qualify for an insurance waiver. Once you have registered, submit an insurance waiver if you are not physically in the U.S.


SHIP coverage generally begins one week before classes start. Students who plan to arrive in the U.S. before the SHIP coverage begins should purchase a separate short-term insurance plan to cover medical needs that might occur before the SHIP coverage begins. Short-term options are available through private insurance companies.

J-1 Student Only 

Review the Health Insurance Information for J-1 Exchange Visitors

Review the ISO health insurance information, including the U.S. government’s specific J-1 health insurance requirements. It might seem early to start reviewing and completing this form, but we want you to have plenty of time to understand the insurance requirements and coverage options.

When you complete the ISO Immigration Check-In for J-1 students, you will be asked to confirm your health insurance meets the U.S. government’s legal requirements (review instructions in the pre-arrival checklist).

Review the J-1 webpage

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through education and cultural exchange. Review the Department of State’s Welcome Brochure.

  • New Students
  • Transfer Complete I-20
  • Pre-Arrival Checklist
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

**Citizens from Canada and Bermuda do not need to apply for a visa. You will simply present the I-20 or DS-2019, I-901 SEVIS fee receipt, and financial documentation to the immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry. A passport will be required. For more information, visit U.S. Department of State’s travel pages.

Complete the Pre-arrival orientation session after you confirm enrollment at HSC but before you arrive at HSC.