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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 I-20 or DS-2019 must complete a mandatory SEVIS Check-in. This process collects copies of your F-1 or J-1 status documents and the information ISSS needs to report your arrival in SEVIS. 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 New Student/Scholar Document Upload form. 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 New Student Document Upload 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. Review this help sheet for assistance completing your New Student/Scholar Document Upload form.

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.
  • Valid Passport (identity and validity page)
  • F-1 or J-1 Visa Stamp (does not apply to Canadian citizens)
  • F-1 or J-1 Entry Stamp page
  • 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 and email) of a designated emergency contact
  • 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: Return to your New Student/Scholar Document Upload record in the ISSS portal to download your updated I-20 (F-1 students only). You will receive an email notification when this document has been uploaded for you in the Attached Documents area of your record. Please be sure to print and sign the new I-20 document. This is your new document as well as your confirmation that your arrival has been reported in SEVIS. At this point in the check-in process your SEVIS record status changes from “Initial” to “Active.”

  • Note: The SEVIS environment does not produce an updated DS-2019 for J-1 students after your SEVIS record has been validated.