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New Student (On-boarding)

Welcome to International Students and Scholars Services at West Virginia University 

We are delighted that you have chosen to attend WVU and we are looking forward to seeing you here in Morgantown! 

We encourage you to spend time navigating our website. Our website contains important information designed to help you maintain your immigration status and adjust to your new home in Morgantown. The information below addresses the most important steps to begin your journey at WVU as an international student.

Steps to begin your on-boarding 

  1. Check your West Virginia University (MIX) Email

    After you have been admitted, your official admission email will have your WVU student ID number and your WVU username.

    To activate your WVU Mix Email, please visit WVU's Tutorial website.

    Log into the Campus WVU Portal ( for campus-wide information and services. Now that you’re admitted, it’s time to get connected. Be sure to log in regularly in order to receive important and timely information.

  2. Request an I-20 or DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility)

    Within 5 business days following your admission, you will receive an invitation from "" to your WVU MIX Email with directions for joining our international student portal. If you have not activated your WVU MIX Email account, please first visit WVU's Tutorial website. Once you are invited and log into the system, you may begin your onboarding request for your I-20/DS-2019. Please email if you are uncertain if you have received the invite email to begin a request or have questions about submitting your request.

    After receiving the invite, login with your WVU info, and begin your request, you will need to read the information in each section and upload any required documentation to request your I-20 or DS-2019. Please note that this process will take longer if your application and documentation are not complete and correct. Be sure to submit all required documentation at the time of application and provide clear and organized documentation that shows proof of financials. An international student advisor will reach out to you via your MIX email if there are issues or questions concerning your application/documents. 

    You will need to prepare the following:

    • your admission email (saved in PDF format)
    • Passport bio pages (should be valid for more than 6 months beyond your entry to the US)
    • Proof of Financial Support: evidence of financial ability to meet expenses (ex. official bank statement). We highly encourage you to read the info in the link above for complete guidance on providing financial proof documents and please see your request "financial details" tab or the website below for amount needed:

      • Estimated Cost of Attendance
      • Dependents: If you are bringing dependent(s), you must provide additional funding in the amount of $6,171 for each dependent (spouse or child).
    • Affidavit of support

    If you are transferring in from another US school - when beginning your onboarding request for a new I-20, please remember to select "Transfer In" when beginning a new I-20 request. You will then be directed to provide info about your current SEVIS ID and previous institution in order for us to transfer in your SEVIS record while we create your I-20. Please select the gold box labeled "Transfer In" at the bottom of the "Getting Started" Tab when you begin your I-20 request.

    I-20/DS-2019 Issuance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    What Happens Next?

    After all of your documentation has been submitted, our international student advisers will review it. If they have questions, they will contact you for additional information via your MIX email. Otherwise, you will receive a follow up e-mail about how to access your I-20 or DS-2019 electronically. To check on the progress of your I-20 or DS-2019, you can check your international student portal to see the status of the request or your mix email for updates.

    ISSS cannot guarantee turnaround times for requests, but we strive to process requests within 15 business days after all documentation is received. We cannot expedite requests; however, we assess for urgency and process in the order requests are received.

    We welcome follow up e-mails to ask about a request status; however, we ask that you recognize our standard processing times. Status updates concerning your request(s) will be sent to your MIX email.

  3. Review your I-20 or DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility)

    Once the document is received, be sure to verify that the information on your I-20 or DS-2019 is correct. The spelling of your name and your date of birth must be the same as your passport.

    If you find an error, please inform us immediately ( so that we can correct it. You will not need a new I-20 or DS-2019 sent to you, but the information must be updated in SEVIS before your visa appointment.

  4. Pay the Student & Exchange Visitor (SEVIS) Fee

    The SEVIS fee is paid to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Once you have received your I-20 or DS-2019, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee (instructions are sent with your I-20 or DS-2019). The fee is currently $350 for F-1 students and $220 for J-1 students.

  5. Apply for a Visa

    After paying the SEVIS fee, you will need to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country using the information located on your I-20 or DS-2019 (ex. SEVIS ID, program dates, and school code). Instructions on how to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa can be found on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate associated with your home country.

    You can also visit our applying for a visa webpage for more information and a list of frequently asked questions regarding visas.
  6. Pay your academic deposit (only for degree-seeking, undergraduate students)

    The academic deposit is required of all undergraduate, degree-seeking students, even if you are receiving a scholarship. The deposit is $250 for non-residents/international students. Payment is generally due around December 1st for Spring, May 1st for Fall, and before classes begin for Summer. You can pay through your WVU Portal ( and can consult with the WVU Hub regarding application of payment or any refunds.

  7. Look for Housing

    WVU offers a wide variety of housing options, from traditional residence halls to university-owned apartments. It's best to find housing well in advance of your arrival. 

    Pay your housing deposit and register for housing (if applicable).

    After you pay the academic deposit, you must wait 48 hours before completing the online housing application. You will submit the $225 housing deposit and then you will be assigned housing. General move-in begins on the Saturday prior to the first day of class. Please check the WVU Housing website for more information. If you need summer housing, please visit:

    On-campus Housing

    Undergraduate Students

    Graduate Students

    Please note: University residence halls are closed during school breaks. During these times students are required to find alternate housing. Students may request accommodation for holiday housing through the housing office or by indicating that they will require holiday housing on their housing contracts.

    Off-campus Housing

    Most graduate students and upperclassmen undergraduate students live off campus (rental properties). Rental leases (contracts) once signed are legally binding and are typically for one year with minimal to no chance of getting out of the contract without a costly legal battle.

    Please visit the Campus and Community Life Off Campus Housing page for more info.

    The Off-campus Housing Office can help locating housing specific to your criteria - please fill out their intake form for further information. Please use the contact information for the Off-Campus Housing Coordinator on their webpage for further inquires.

    In addition, before signing a lease it is highly recommended to have the Student Legal Services go over the lease with you to make sure you fully understand it. International students are able to make appointments for this free service by filling out the lease review intake form from WVU Student Legal Services.

    Note: Students who have not made prior housing arrangements, or who will not be able to immediately move into their apartments or residence hall rooms, or who have late night arrivals are strongly advised to have some extra spending money for hotel accommodation and meals. View your stay options in Morgantown, WV as well through the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitor's Bureau site or utilize any popular hotel search engine.

    Students with specific physical needs should contact the Office of Accessibility Services to obtain academic, housing, or transportation accommodations. Please call (304) 293-6700 or visit accessibility Office of Accessibility Services to begin the process.

  8. Choose a dining plan

    All students living in WVU residence halls are required to have a dining plan. Once you move in, if you have not selected a meal plan, one will be automatically assigned to you. If you are commuting (living off campus), you have the option of purchasing a non-residential student dining plan. To view all your dining options, please go to:

  9. Research Health Insurance

    All students at WVU are required to maintain health insurance. To review your options, check deadlines, verify immunization requirements, and more, please visit WVU's Student Insurance Office website.

    Any student who is already covered by another approved health insurance plan may complete the insurance waiver application to opt out of the WVU plan. Please check the WVU Student Insurance Office website for waiver deadlines. Students without an approved waiver on file will be automatically enrolled in the WVU Aetna student health insurance plan. 

  10. Travel to the US

    Please note that you may not enter the US more than 30 days before your program start date on your I-20/DS-2019. If you have a graduate assistantship, we strongly advise that you arrive as early as possible to complete payroll processing as this can take several weeks to finish. More information about payroll processing can be found below.

    • Arriving in the US. If this is your first time (or if it's been a while since you have entered the US), please be sure to check out important information on what to expect at the port of entry.

    • Travel to Morgantown. Our office offers a free shuttle prior to orientation. If you wish to make use of this service, you will need complete the pre-arrival questionnaire sent to your WVU Mix email. Otherwise, you may make your own arrangements.

    • Emergency Contact Information. International Risk Manager - WVU Office of Global Affairs (304) 293-9456.

    • Don't forget to include New Student Orientation into your travel plans. (See below)

  11. New Student Orientation (NSO)

    NSO generally takes place shortly before classes begin for the Fall and Spring semesters. NSO is held to assist with getting you familiarized with the campus community. Separate orientations may be required depending on major or degree level. The Office of Global Affairs hosts an international student orientation as well. Please be sure to monitor your WVU MIX email for announcements regarding the times and dates of these orientations. A tentative orientation schedule is available in due course. 

  12. SEVIS Check-in, Full-time Enrollment, Contact Information Update,

    SEVIS check-in is mandatory for all international students as it serves in part to register your SEVIS record. You must complete SEVIS check-in upon arrival. To complete SEVIS Check-in after arriving in the U.S., please log into your International Student Portal, go to "Requests and Documents", and select the icon for SEVIS Check-in. You will need to answer all questions, provide all appropriate documents, and give your US physical address/US phone number. Note that if you are still looking for housing, you must input a temporary US address and update us within 10 days of moving using the "contact information update" request.

    J-1 Students, you must also submit a "Pre-Arrival Orientation" request with your SEVIS check-in.

    Note that SEVIS check-in will be delayed until we can verify that you are enrolled full-time (12 credits undergraduate/AMP; 9 credits graduate). Please also note that SEVIS Check-in fulfills the requirements under US federal regulations for students to check in with their DSO. You do not need to visit the ISSS office to complete SEVIS Check-in with a DSO.

  13. Pay Your Student Account

    Payment for tuition, fees, room and board have strict deadlines and have additional penalties for late payment. For more information, please visit WVU Student Accounts.  

  14. Payroll Processing (if applicable)

    If you are a student who has found on-campus employment, you will need to do payroll processing.

    To do so, please follow the steps located on our student employment website. Obtaining a social security card and processing for payroll involves multiple offices at WVU and the Social Security Administration (a U.S. government office). All steps must be followed in order and you will need to be aware that the process may take multiple days or up to two weeks to complete.

    Please plan accordingly, notify your hiring department of any unavoidable delays you will experience, and be sure to have discretionary spending money for at least the first month before you can be processed for payroll. We do not advise arriving to the U.S. without finances to support yourself for at least the first month and please do not expect to receive a paycheck within the first two weeks.

    WVU pays in arrears; please check the WVU payroll website for Pay Schedules and plan accordingly.

  15. Review the requirements (federal regulations) for F-1 or J-1 students to maintain their status while in the US

    It is essential that you review the requirements for maintaining your status and be familiar with US federal regulations by reading the information below. We strongly recommend bookmarking the appropriate link below for your status.  Maintaining your status, communicating concerns with our office, and understanding regulations that govern your nonimmigrant status is your responsibility. 

    •  F-1 students: •  J-1 Students: