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Mandatory SEVIS Check-In


Upon arrival to the U.S. and to Vanderbilt, all incoming international students entering with an Initial or Transfer Pending I-20 or DS-2019 must complete a mandatory SEVIS Check-in; this is required of both students who are new to Vanderbilt and students who are returning from a leave of absence. The check-in process is virtual and collects copies of your F-1 or J-1 status documents and the information ISSS needs to report your arrival in SEVIS. You must also complete the SEVIS check-in process prior to completing your I-9 (for on-campus employment), or before applying for a Social Security Number (SSN), driver’s license, or state ID card. The steps below outline the check-in process. (NOTE: You will need your VUnet ID and password to successfully complete the SEVIS Check-in.)

Step 1: If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to activate your VUnet ID before getting started with the document upload process. You will need this to log in to the ISSS portal. 

Step 2: Complete your SEVIS Check-In Registration form on the ISSS Portal. You can start to upload your documents before entering the U.S. but you will not be able to retrieve your I-94 Admission Record until you have entered the country. Please plan to complete and submit your SEVIS Check-In Registration no later than 7 days after your arrival in the U.S. You will need the information below along with an electronic copy (pdf, jpeg, png, etc.) of the documents listed below to complete this step.  If you need assistance while completing this process, please contact your assigned ISSS advisor.

Required Documents (must have electronic copy)

  • Your Vanderbilt I-20 (for F-visa holders) or DS-2019 (for J-visa holders) used to enter the U.S.; this document must be signed
  • Valid Passport (identity and validity page)
  • F-1 or J-1 Visa Stamp (does not apply to citizens of Canada or Bermuda)
  • Most recent I-94 admission record (NOTE: This record will not be created until you have entered the U.S. Within 24 hours of your entry, you can retrieve your electronic I-94 online from the Customs and Border Patrol website. You will need your passport information to retrieve your electronic I-94.
  • Your local address in Nashville and a U.S. phone number.
    • You will update this information through the YES portal. If you will have a temporary address when you arrive to Nashville, this is the address you should report during check-in. Please review this help sheet for assistance updating your personal information in YES.
  • Name and contact information (phone number, address, and email) of a designated emergency contact; this will be entered into YES as well.
  • Documents for any dependents that will enter the U.S. with you (passport, visa stamp,  I-20/DS-2019 and I-94 record)
    • Dependents can be legally recognized spouses or children (unmarried and under the age of 21) who will be joining you.

Step 3: Submit your SEVIS Check-In Registration Form.  You will know that your check-in process has been completed when you see a record on your ISSS Portal user home page called “SEVIS registration (F-M)” (for students in F-1 status) or “Validation (J)” (for students in J-1 status).