Skip to content

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 through your student portal. 
Newly admitted students applying for their F-1 student visa must submit the Request for Form I-20 to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISS). This form must be submitted to obtain your Form I-20. After receiving this form, a copy of your passport and proof of financial support, your Form I-20 will be created and emailed to you. This generally takes two 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. (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 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 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.