International Student Services assign you a Peer Advisor Leader (PAL) who is a current RIT student volunteer, after you pay your tuition deposit to RIT. They will assist you with everything you need to know about becoming a new RIT Tiger.
Many of your questions will be answered in International Student Orientation. In fact, we have found that attending orientation can be one of the most important factors in your successful transition to RIT. Below you will find information to help you prepare for you first few days on campus.
When to Arrive
- COVID-19 Info: All students are required to provide proof of full COVID vaccination. All international travelers must show this proof as well as a negative COVID test. This test should be taken within 3 days of departing for the US. Please contact the Student Health Center with any vaccine questions. If you will live in RIT Housing, please follow all guidance from RIT Housing and Residence Life about move-in dates.
- Recommended Entry to the US: You must arrive in the United States no later than the official program start date indicated on your Form I-20 or DS-2019. You may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to your official report date. Please note that you will need to make arrangements for housing if you arrive before International Move-in Day.
- Maintain your immigration status: Before you make travel arrangements, understand when you must arrive in order to maintain your immigration status.
Entering the United States
Be prepared to present the following documents at the Port of Entry:
- US visa
- I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
- I-901 SEVIS fee receipt
It is very important that you keep these documents in a secure location while traveling. Do not place any personal documents in your luggage, as they may be lost during travel.
Review your immigration documents and those for your dependents before you leave the arrival station. If you notice any errors, notify an immigration officer immediately. Once you leave the Port of Entry, it can be difficult to correct errors on your documents. Immigration officers review thousands of documents a day, so mistakes can be made.
Getting to RIT
RIT’s campus sits outside the city of Rochester. It’s located in the western part of New York State, about 585 km from New York City and 300 km from Toronto, Canada. For maps and directions, go to RIT’s campus maps.
Accommodations for Early Arrival
Please follow all guidance from RIT Housing and Residence Life about move-in dates.
If you arrive before you are able to move in to off-campus housing, please plan to stay at an area hotel.
Mandatory Virtual Immigration Check-In and Orientation
Our office requires all new international students to check in. Please complete your virtual check in as soon as possible upon entering the United States. After completing the virtual check-in, we register your SEVIS record and issue you an updated I-20/DS-2019 with a travel signature.
Please visit our Orientation page to complete your check-in. Please allow one week for processing.