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International Student Arrival Welcome Center

The Welcome Center is located in the Administration Building, 1st floor. The Welcome Center is staffed by Orientation staff and the International Student Ambassadors. They will be assisting new international students with move-in and answer questions students may have. 

Be sure to visit the Welcome Center to check in with us and receive your welcome package. The welcome package will include information about SBU services and activities on the arrival days. 

Visa and Immigration Services 

Visa & Immigration Services provides advice and assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and visiting scholars on matters related to studying and living in the United States.  These matters include immigration, employment, taxes, financial management, and a wide variety of cross-cultural issues.  They provide informational and social programs for new and continuing international students on a regular basis.

Visa & Immigration Services staff members are familiar with questions and concerns of international students and the U.S. system of education and are available to help you before arrival and throughout your stay at Stony Brook University.  Our orientation program is designed to help familiarize you with aspects of U.S. education and culture and provide you with specific information about study at Stony Brook University.  We will also inform you of U.S. immigration regulations that you will need to know for maintaining your immigration status.  Orientation allows time to get to know your Visa & Immigration Services Advisers, make new friends and overcome jet-lag before school starts.

Review required New Student Check-in and Orientation details here

THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL VIS WEBSITE. Please refer to the Visa and Immigration Service website for more information. 

Mandatory Orientation 

Orientation programs play a crucial role in the transition to life in a new environment and cultural setting.  These programs have been carefully planned to help you succeed at Stony Brook University.  Attendance is mandatory, so plan to be on campus every day of the orientation week.

You are required to attend the entire orientation program for international students, even if you are transferring from another school in the United States or if you have attended Stony Brook University in a different immigration status in the past.  You are also required to attend the Freshmen and Transfer Undergraduate Student orientation as appropriate. 

Note:  You must obtain permission from Visa & Immigration Services to arrive after the first day of orientation since a new or updated SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 may be required for entry into the United States.  Students who cannot arrive by the reporting date should contact Visa & Immigration Services to obtain permission for a later arrival date.  If you cannot arrive on time for orientation, we may recommend that your admission be deferred to next semester.

Keeping Documents Safe                        

After arrival, you should make copies of all travel documents and keep them in a safe place, separate from the originals.  The documents to be photocopied for safekeeping include:

  • Passport identification page (your picture, the passport number, and personal information)
  • Passport page with expiration date of passport
  • Form I-94
  • SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

Remember to keep the original Form I-94 card and all Forms I-20 or DS-2019 with your passport while you are in the United States.  While your visa stamp allowed you to enter the United States, the valid passport, Form I-94 and Form I-20 or DS-2019 are the physical evidence used to determine that you are allowed to remain in the United States.

In the event any of these documents are lost or stolen, you will need to file a police report.  If the documents are not recovered promptly, you will need to replace them.  Contact your embassy to request a new passport.  Meet with a Visa & Immigration Services Adviser to request a replacement Form I-20 or DS-2019; you will need to provide a copy of the police report for our records.