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International Student & Scholar Services International Programs & Global Engagement

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Pre-Arrival & New Student Orientation

The IPGE staff looks forward to welcoming you to Sacramento State!

Please be aware that as a result of COVID-19, all Fall 2020 International Student Orientation activities will be held online. Orientation will take place in two parts: a self-paced online orientation through Canvas and a live Virtual Welcome. During these orientation sessions you will learn valuable information about academics, immigration regulations, health and safety, campus resources, and more! You will also submit copies of immigration documents and provide other information that will help you maintain your immigration status. There will also be opportunities for you to meet other Sac State international students. Please see details about the online orientation and Virtual Welcome sessions below:

Please note participation in the International Student Orientation is mandatory.

Part 1: New International Student Online Orientation in Canvas

How to Access:

  • Log into your MySacState. If you have not yet created an account, you will need to create one and email your name and Student ID # to be added to the International Student Orientation Canvas course.
  • Access Canvas
  • Click on the International Undergraduate Orientation or International Graduate Orientation
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the orientation Estimated time to complete: 3-4 hours
  • Deadline: August 21, 2020
  • Complete at your own pace. You may start and stop this orientation and Canvas will save your progress.
  • Once you complete the online Canvas Orientation, you will be provided a Zoom link to the live Virtual Welcome Sessions on August 24 and 26th.

Part 2: Virtual Welcome Session (Pick One)

Option 1
Monday, August 24
8am - 10am (PST)
Agenda: Virtual Welcome for Students and Family by IPGE leadership and staff. Virtual Icebreaker, Immigration Update, and Q & A Breakout Rooms

Option 2
Wednesday, August 26
4pm - 6pm (PST)
Agenda: Virtual Welcome for Students and Family by IPGE leadership and staff. Virtual Icebreaker, Immigration Update, and Q & A Breakout Rooms August 24 and 26th.

International Application Resources

Transfer Your I-20 To Sacramento State

To transfer your I-20 to Sac State, you must have a current, active SEVIS record at another institution. You may register in classes before your SEVIS record is transferred, but failure to have your SEVIS record transferred before the deadline will result in loss of your legal status in the United States.

Procedures To Transfer Your I-20

  1. Gain admission to Sac State
  2. Notify your current International Student Advisor or International Services Office that you intend to transfer your SEVIS record to Sac State. You may need to provide your current institution with:
    • A copy of your Sac State Admission Letter
    • A Sac State F-1 International Student Transfer Form
    • Your requested transfer date
    Students admitted to a degree program should have their SEVIS records transferred to: California State University, Sacramento SFR214F00634000
  3. Your current institution will release your SEVIS record to Sac State. Please be sure your SEVIS record is released two weeks before instruction begins during your first semester.
  4. IPGE will issue a "Transfer Pending" I-20 to you. If you have plans to travel outside of the country before you begin your studies at Sac State, please contact IPGE to receive your I-20. After you attend orientation, register in classes, and report your U.S. address, U.S. phone number and email, you will receive a "Continued Attendace" I-20.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will I do at orientation? You will complete a document check-in, learn about the campus and community resources, get your OneCard, get connected to housing, banks, and cell phone providers, get academic advising, learn about immigration regulations, sign up for programming activities, and more.
  • What else can I do to prepare? Check out all the information listed on this page. Also, don’t forget to set up your SacLink Account.
  • Can I see some pictures so I know what orientation is like? Yes! Check out some of our photo albums here: Fall 2018 Orientation, Spring 2019 Orientation.
  • Does International Student Orientation cost anything? Yes, a $75 fee is charged to all new students’ accounts.
  • Do I need to register for orientation in advance? No, but we will be expecting your attendance at check-in and the Friday orientation session.
  • Is attending orientation required? Yes! It is a requirement that you attend orientation. Students who do not attend orientation risk inability to register for classes and adverse immigration consequences.
  • Is lunch provided? On Friday of orientation, you will provided with breakfast, lunch and snacks.
  • What do I do if I am living on campus and my move in date is after International Student Orientation? Since you are arriving before the regular residence hall move in date, you will need to complete the online form to arrive early and pay additional fees. You will need to visit the housing website at in order to request to arrive early.
  • I have applied to live on campus, but have not heard from University Housing Services. What do I do? If you have not applied for housing, you will need to do that immediately. Go to to apply. Also be sure to check for an email from UHS in your Sacramento State email. You may also email University Housing Services at

I-20 & DS-2019 Delivery Options

Newly admitted students will be notified by email once an admission decision has been made. Students receive the following documents via mail to the address listed on their application:

  1. Degree seeking students seeking new F-1 status: Welcome Packet, Initial I-20, and visa interview instructions.
  2. Degree seeking students transferring their SEVIS record from another institution in the U.S.: Welcome Packet and I-20 Transfer Instructions.
  3. Non-Degree and Exchange Students: Welcome Packet, DS-2016, and visa interview instructions.

There are the four delivery options, outlined below, for receiving your Welcome Packet and immigration documents.

eShipGlobal can be used for both international (3-5 days) and domestic (1-3 days) delivery. Choose this option for express delivery using either FedEx, DHL or UPS. Current students may also use eShipGlobal to receive OPT I-20s or other documents issued by IPGE.

You will need:

  • Your Sacramento State student ID number
  • Mailing address (cannot be a P.O. Box)
  • Your e-mail address and phone number
  • Credit card information (Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards only)

Steps To Complete Option 1

  1. Go to eShipGlobal and select "Student/Scholars", then "Sign Up" at the bottom of the page
  2. Create an account and pay for express service from Sacramento State.
  3. eShipGlobal will notify IPGE that you requested your package to be sent by express mail.
    • Your order tracking information will be available from eShipGlobal. FedEx and DHL will not have this information available on their websites.
    • If you have difficulties, please visit eShipGlobal's Help page. You can also e-mail questions to

Option 2: Send By Regular USPS International Airmail

IPGE will send your Welcome Packet and I-20 via overseas airmail free of charge. Shipping time will vary based on location but generally, takes between 2-5 weeks. Tracking is not available for this option. To select this option, complete the section on your application indicating the overseas address of where you would like it sent.

Option 3: Send By Regular Domestic Mail

Delivery within the U.S. is free of charge. Shipping time generally takes 2-5 days. Tracking is not available for this option. If you choose this option, please ensure that you will be able to receive mail at this address for at least 2 months after submitting your application. Complete the section on your application indicating the domestic address where you would like it sent.

Option 4: Pick Up I-20 At IPGE (If You Are In The U.S.)

If you will pick up your form I-20 in person, inform IPGE and bring your photo ID to the front desk. I-20s must be provided directly to the student and cannot be given to third parties.

Apply For A F-1 Or J-1 Student Visa

If you are a citizen of a foreign country, you must apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa.

  • F-1 Visa: For degree-seeking students only. If you receive an I-20, you must interview for an F-1 Visa
  • J-1 Visa: For non-degree and exchange students only. If you receive a DS-2019, you must interview for a J-1 visa.

As soon as you receive your I-20 or DS-2019, schedule your visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Visa Application Steps

  1. Contact Your Local U.S. Consulate or Embassy Contact your local US Consulate or Embassy to obtain F-1 international student visa application procedures.
  2. Pay the SEVIS fee online. You must bring the receipt of fee payment with you to the interview. If you have lost the receipt, the Visa Officer should be able to view your payment history in his or her SEVIS database.
  3. Complete Form DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. After you have completed the DS-160, you need to print and keep the DS-160 barcode page. (You will not need to print the full application). Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for additional country-specific instructions.
  4. Pay the Visa Application Fee by following the instructions on your local US embassy or consulate’s website.
  5. Prepare Your Interview Documents
    • A passport valid for at least six months
    • Form I-20 or DS 2019 (sign the form as appropriate)
    • School admission letter
    • Completed visa applications (DS-156, DS-158, and, if applicable, DS-157)
    • Two 2x2 photographs that adhere to the Department of State Requirements.
    • A receipt for the visa application fee
    • A receipt for the SEVIS fee. If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the US embassy or consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer. If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least 3 business days before your interview.
    • Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.
    • Any information that proves that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the US. This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.

Visa Procedures for Canadian Citizens

Citizens of Canada do not have to apply for an F1 visa at a US Consulate or US Embassy. Instead, their immigration documents are reviewed at a US Port of Entry by an Immigration Officer. If successful, the US Immigration Officer will stamp the student’s passport with “F1” and the student will be allowed to enter the US in F-1 status. However, there are still special documents that are required for entry, including proof that the SEVIS fee has been paid, proof of ability to pay for school fees, and proof of ties to Canada. For details, please see the US Embassy Site.