University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

New Students

Choosing Your Arrival Date

When to Arrive

Undergraduate students starting in Fall 2018 are required to arrive at the UMN by Monday, August 20, 2018.

Graduate, Professional, and Non-Degree students should plan to arrive 10 days prior to the program start date on their I-20 or DS-2019.

Spring 2019 students should arrive in the U.S. 10 days before the program start date on their I-20 or DS-2019.

If you need to secure off-campus housing, then you should arrive three weeks prior to the first day of classes so you have sufficient time to search for housing.

ISSS has also scheduled several optional programs in August for new international students. Consider if you would like to attend these programs when selecting your arrival date.

Why These Dates?

Students who follow these arrival date guidelines will be more prepared to begin their studies, as they will have sufficient time to do the following:

  1. Rest and recover from jet lag
  2. Remove holds preventing course registration
  3. Attend any required orientation sessions and complete Immigration Check-In
  4. Register for classes
  5. Take any necessary exams, such as English proficiency or SPEAK test
  6. Complete paperwork for on-campus employment and assistantships (if applicable)
  7. Attend Graduate Assistantship training (if applicable)
  8. Attend ISSS's optional programs for new international students
  9. Find permanent housing

Immigration regulations permit arrival to the U.S. up to 30 days before the start-date on your I-20 or DS-2019. If you are unable to arrive before the start date on your document contact our office for assistance.

If You Have a Graduate Assistantship

Most graduate assistantships start at least one week before the start of classes. You must be on-campus and ready to begin working on this date. You should arrive a few days prior to your employment start date so you can complete payroll procedures.

If you will need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN), arrive 10 days prior to your employment start date. This will ensure you can complete the necessary paperwork and apply for a SSN.

Your department may require you to arrive earlier for a special orientation. Failure to begin working on your start date may result in a loss of salary and a portion of your tuition and health care benefits.

You Must Complete Important Paperwork On or Before Your First Day of Work

For all University jobs/assistantships, you must complete the I-9 form on or before your first day of work. When doing this, you will be required to provide documents to show that you are eligible to work in the United States (a list of these documents and more information is available at International student and non-student employees must go to Payroll Services in the Donhowe Building to complete their I-9.

You must have obtained or applied for a Social Security number in order to complete these documents. If you do not already have one, you must apply with the Social Security Administration before your appointment at Payroll Services. Review the material at for more information about how and when you can apply for a Social Security number.