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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 Undergradaute students admitted received an email with detailed instructions and a link to complete an online request for form I-20. You will be promted to login using your UCMNetID and password. If you haven't claimed your UCMNetID, visit and select "CLAIM ACCOUNT". You may also follow the steps below to request your I-20 by email. Graduate students, please follow the steps below to request your form I-20.
Newly admitted students applying for their F-1 student visa must submit a Request for Form I-20. This form must be submitted to obtain your Form I-20 which enables you to apply for your student visa. Submit this form, a copy of your passport and proof of financial support to the International Student and Scholars (ISS) office at Your Form I-20 will be created and emailed to you. This generally takes up to one week. J-1 visa students have a separate process to obtain their Form DS-2019. If you are eligible for a J-1 student visa, please request the appropriate forms by email ( (If your financial support is provided by a sponsor, you must submit the Guarantee of Financial Support for Private Sponsor form in addition to the Request for Form I-20.)
After you receive your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, you are ready to complete the online nonimmigrant visa application (DS-160) 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. In addition to the DS-160 visa application fee, you will also be required to pay the 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 and our Arrival Guide provide help with your pre-arrival planning.
Register for your courses. You can email your academic or faculty advisor if you are unable to attend the campus-wide orientation. 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. Both the university-wide orientation and the OIA international student orientation are essential to a successful beginning at UC Merced. Further information on our orientations can be found on our orientation web page by clicking here.
Be sure to review the International Student Handbook for important information.