New International Student Checklist

After Acceptance First Steps

  1. Obtain an initial Georgia Tech I-20 or DS-2019
  2. Pay the SEVIS Fee
  3. Apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa 


  1. Activate your Georgia Tech account. Visit to start the process.
  2. Complete Two-Factor Authentication enrollment. Tech requires all students to enroll in Two-Factor Authentication to enhance the security of student accounts and online access to sensitive information. You can self-enroll through More information:
  3. Set up your Georgia Tech student email account. 
  4. Apply for GT Housing or research off-campus housing optionsVisit this webpage for more resources
  5. Register for Orientation: 
    • Undergraduates: FASET is an important orientation program for new undergraduate students to familiarize you with the Tech campus and traditions. You will also complete important tasks, including registering for classes.   
    • Graduates: Register for the Graduate Institute Orientation. Contact your academic department for any program specific orientations.  
  6. Upload your BuzzCard Photo. Your BuzzCard student ID is your campus passport, library card, facilities access key, and can even be loaded with money to use at restaurants/dining halls across campus. Visit the BuzzCard site to start the process.   
  7. Submit health and immunization information. All students attending classes on campus are required to meet immunization and health requirements specified by the Board of Regents. Visit the Stamps Health Services website to complete and upload the required forms.  
  8. Make your travel plans. F-1 and J-1 visa holders with an Initial I-20 or DS-2019 are eligible to enter the United States starting from 30 days before the program start date on the I-20 or DS-2019. Make sure you arrive in time to attend orientations.  
  9. Attend International Student Orientation sessions. Find the complete schedule on our Welcome Series page.  
  10. Begin the OIE Check-In process. Complete the first part of the International Student Check-In process online via iStart. The forms will become available 30 days prior to the start of the term.  If you experience any delays with your visa process or need support with late arrival, you should submit the Arrival Confirmation e-form to update OIE on your arrival plans. 
  11. Be aware of scams.


  1. Documents Required to Enter the U.S. 
  2. Arriving at the Airport & Getting to GT
  3. Temporary Housing 


After Arrival

  1. Complete OIE Check-In. Federal law requires that all F and J visa holders complete an international student check-in with their sponsoring institution.  You will submit the check-in forms in the iStart portal and upload copies of your immigration documents, including your I-94 record, which you can access at the CBP site after arrival to the U.S. After completing all steps in the check-in process, OIE will update your SEVIS record from Initial status to Active status. More information is available at  
  2. Get your BuzzCard. The BuzzCard Center is located on the second floor of Barnes and Noble at the corner of Spring Street and Fifth Street in Technology Square. 
  3. Attend orientation sessions.  Undergraduate students should attend the FASET orientation for which they registered. Graduate students should attend the Graduate Institute Orientation (GradIO) session for which they are registered, as well as any academic program orientations.  
  4. Register for classes. Undergraduate students will register for classes during the FASET orientation. New graduate students will be able to register for classes during the Phase II registration window according to the Registrar's academic calendar. You will have an assigned registration “time ticket” indicating the specific date/time your access to the registration system will begin. All F-1 and J-1 students must be registered for a full-time course load (minimum 12 credit hours).  
  5. Pay all tuition and fees by the payment deadline. After you register for courses, the tuition and fees charges will appear on your account in Buzzport. Payment methods and deadlines are posted on the Bursar page.  
  6. Enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or request a waiver.  All F-1 and J-1 students are automatically billed for the mandatory student health insurance plan. You can find detailed information about the Mandatory Student Health Insurance Plan, including enrollment instructions, at  Students who already have health insurance that meets the minimum requirements can request to waive out of the plan.  
  7. Purchase textbooks for your classes. You can purchase textbooks at the Barnes & Noble at Georgia Tech Bookstore. At the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters, eligible students may authorize Barnes & Noble @ Georgia Tech to transfer up to $1,600 in allowable bookstore charges to their student account through Bursar Billing. 
  8. Complete your GRA or GTA HR hiring process (if applicable). If you are offered a graduate research assistantship (GRA) or graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) by your academic program, you will need to complete the hiring process through Human Resources before you start working. This process is called onboarding. Visit the GTHR student onboarding page to learn next steps. 
    1. GT HR will host a Student Employee Onboarding event August 17, 18, and 19 for those needing to complete the onboarding process. SSA will also be on-campus during the event to collect applications for those that do not currently hold an SSN. For more information, please review the On-Campus Employment page.
  9. Apply for a Social Security Number. If you will be working on campus, you are required to have a U.S. social security number. If you have never been assigned a SSN, you will begin the process by submitting the "OIE On-Campus Employment Letter Request" e-form in iStart found under SSN and Taxes tab. You will be required to upload your job offer letter into the e-form. An OIE support letter will be generated for you, which you will need to take to a Social Security Administration office, along with your job offer letter and immigration documents, to apply for the number. More information is available at   

Note: This checklist is a general guide and not an exclusive list. Students are also encouraged to contact their academic programs for new student guidance.