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Arrival Checklist

After you have arrived to the U.S., here are the things you must do within the first two weeks of classes.


Find housing

NYU provides information on on-campus housing in New York City, as well as workshops at the beginning of the semester on how to find housing off campus. You can also refer to this listing of hotels for temporary accommodations, some of which provide discounts for the NYU community.

Add your U.S. address to the NYU system

Update your U.S. address in Albert (Stern graduate students use For detailed instructions on how to update your address, click here. If you fail to update your U.S. address you are at risk of losing your lawful status in the U.S. Even if you are staying in a hotel, enter that address, then update your address again once you move to your new apartment or residence hall.

Attend a check-in workshop before you begin your studies

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires that all new and transfer F-1 and J-1 students report their arrival to NYU. Sign-up and find out more about the mandatory check-in workshop here.

Photocopy and safeguard your documents

Photocopy your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, visa stamp page, and I-94 card, AND photocopy all identity and other important documents you brought with you or obtain while in the U.S. Store the copies in a separate location from the originals.

Submit a copy of your immunization records to the Student Health Center (SHC)

You will not be able to register for classes without having this form completed and on file at the Student Health Center. NYU will de-enroll students who are not compliant with this requirement. Questions about how to complete this form should be directed to the Immunology Services Office at the Student Health Center.

Take any English and other required tests

If English is your second language, you may be required to take an English test at the American Language Institute (ALI). Check with your school for instructions.

Register for a full-time course load

To register, graduate students report to the academic department to be assigned an academic advisor, a staff or faculty member of the department who guides students through course selection. Undergraduate students go to the school's advising center to meet with an academic advisor. Special Note: Enrollment for fewer than 12 credits without OGS approval subjects a student to loss of lawful status in the U.S. and must be reported to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as required by law. Learn more here.

Pay the registration bill

Visit the NYU Office of the Bursar to pay and for more information. International students, parents and third party payers are also able to make payments by wire transfer. (Please note this service is not available to students who are citizens of the People's Republic of China attending NYU Shanghai.) The wire transfer option allows you to pay your student account balance in the currency of your choice and provides a secure way of initiating payments electronically. For more information on paying by wire transfer, please click here.

Open a bank account if you don't have easy access to your bank account abroad

There are several banks in the NYU area. Notify the OGS if you are having problems opening an account.

The items needed for an international student to open a bank account are:

  • Passport
  • I-20 form [F-1 students] or DS-2019 [J-1 students & scholars]
  • I-94 Record
  • NYU ID card
  • Proof of Enrollment and Proof of U.S. residential address
    • Once you register for classes, go to NYU Registrar at 25 West 4th Street to ask for a "Certificate of Enrollment"
    • Stern Graduate, Law, and Dental students should go to their own school's Registrar Office.

Please note that a Social Security Number [SSN] is not required to open a bank account.

Obtain your NYU ID card

After registering for class, obtain an NYU ID card from the NYU ID Center. If you have already sent passport-sized photos by mail to NYU, you should contact your department to pick up your ID card.

Activate your NYU e-mail account

Go to, entering your Net ID (printed on your NYU ID card) and following the on-screen instructions. Call the ITS Client Services Center if you have any problems.

Contact your consulate in New York City

Consulates provide emergency assistance, cultural programming, and tax treaty information.

Participate in School Orientations and Welcome Week

Designed to help you transition to NYU in NYC, Welcome Week is intended for new first year and transfer students, as well as any students visiting NYU Washington Square. Also be sure to check with your school and/or department to see if there are any orientation sessions available. Some schools require your participation at orientation. You can also find more information here on Welcome Week and orientation sessions geared for international students.

Obtain a Driver License or Photo ID Card

A valid driver license is required to drive a car anywhere in the U.S. New York State honors all valid foreign licenses. If living in New Jersey, an individual is advised to carry an International Driving Permit along with the valid foreign driver license. International students and their families may apply for a New Jersey driver license. To learn more about applying for a New York driver license visit the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. To learn more about applying for a New Jersey driver license visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can issue non-driver photo identification cards. Many students find this is a convenient form of ID. Consult the motor vehicles website in your state of residence for the list of acceptable documents.

If you do not have a Social Security Number [SSN], you must first go to the Social Security Administration [SSA] office to obtain a general letter stating that you do not have an SSN. After that, take that letter and the other items to the Motor Vehicle Services or DMV.

Note: you'll need a new I-20 from OGS if you have an I-20 issued before 6/29/15 to apply for driver's license.




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