Newly Admitted

New Students

Congratulations on your admission to UC Merced! The information on this page details the steps you need to take to begin your study in the U.S.

All new students requesting a form I-20 or form DS-2019 are required to accept their admission by submitting their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). This is your first step and can be completed from your student portal. 
Newly admitted students applying for their F-1 student visa must submit the Request for Form I-20 and Financial Verifcation Form to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). Both forms must be submitted to obtain your Form I-20. After receiving the required forms, a copy of your passport and proof of financial support, your Form I-20 will be created and mailed to you. This generally takes two to three weeks. J-1 visa students have a separate process to obtain their Form DS-2019. If you are eligible for a J-1 student visa, the appropriate forms will be emailed to you.
After you receive your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, you are ready to apply for your U.S. student visa. Visit our website for instructions on how to apply for your F-1 or J-1 student visa. You must pay your SEVIS I-901 fee before you make your visa appointment.
After receiving your visa approval, reserve your airfare in time to arrive for the mandatory international student orientation and arrange for your housing. The UC Merced Housing and Residence Life website is helpful with pre-arrival planning.
Register for your courses. You can email your academic or faculty advisor if you are unable to attend the campuswide orinetation. You can also visit the Registrar's website for instructions on how to register for courses
Put our mandatory New International Student Orientation on your calendar. No registration is required. If you are a new undergraduate student already in the US, try to attend one of the universitywide orientations during the summer led by Student Affairs. You must regsiter for this orientation as instructed in an email you will receive following admission. Both the universitywide orientation and the OIA international student orientation are essential to a successful beginning at UC Merced. Graduate students attend the Graduate and Research Orientation Week (GROW). Further information on our orientations can be found on our orientation web page by clicking here.