Below you will find important documents that make-up your FIU Welcome Kit! This is an exciting time and we want to make sure you’re on track and prepared for your arrival to campus.These checklists cover all the essentials! Successfully completing all the items that pertain to you will help ensure a smooth transition to the university come your start term. Additional documents and forms specific to international students are listed as well. Do not hesitate to reach out to one of our team members at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about these items.
Please remember: To obtain your I-20 you must submit supporting financial documents. Please complete the following forms and e-mail them to email@example.com: Declaration Certification of Finances
After finances are approved, we will issue your I-20 form. This is what you will use to schedule your visa appointment.
Courier Service To ensure quick and reliable delivery of your documents to FIU or to receive your Form I-20 or DS-2019, please utilize our courier, University Express Mail Service: eShipGlobal. Students who do not choose to use this courier may arrange to pick up or request someone to pick up their Form I-20/DS-2019 on their behalf, otherwise documents will be sent by United State Postal Service to the address included on the International Student Immigration Document Request Form and may take two weeks to be delivered.
Once you pay the SEVIS I-901 fee you must schedule an appointment at an U.S. embassy or consulate and apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa.
You will need to present the following documents at your scheduled appointment:
I-20 issued by FIU or DS-2019 issued by FIU or your agency sponsor
Passport (must be valid at least 6 months into the future)
Financial documents that prove sufficient funds to support your education (includes a bank letter, sponsor’s letter, etc.).
Proof of payment of SEVIS I-901 Fee
Please see your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for other requirements.
Do not enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 (tourist) visa or visa waiver; students who enter this way are prohibited from enrolling in academic courses. Students will be required to leave the U.S. and reenter on the appropriate F-1 or J-1 visa at their own cost. For more information on Next Steps refer to the pre-arrival information provided by International Student and Scholar Services.
Apply for F-1 or J-1 visa through U.S Embassy
If you are a newly admitted international student entering the U.S. for the first time and a first-time F-1/J-1 visa applicant, you must pay the SEVIS Fee.
Once you receive your I-20, visit the Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP) I-901 SEVIS Fee Processing website to pay or for information about other payment options. Print your receipt as proof of payment. Once you pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, schedule an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate and apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa. You will need to present these documents at your scheduled appointment:
Passport (must be valid at least 6 months into the future)
Financial documents to prove availability of funds to support your education (includes bank letter, sponsor’s letter, etc.).
I-20 issued by FIU or DS-2019 issued by your agency sponsor or FIU
Proof of payment for the SEVIS I-901 Fee
Before You Arrive
Moving from one country to another is not easy. That’s why FIU wants to make this process as clear as possible. In the following sections, you will find information about every aspect of becoming a student at FIU. From finances to packing tips, weather to school supplies, insurance to housing, we’ve got you covered. But please read the following sections very carefully. They include important steps you must take to start you Panther journey off right.
You are expected to have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay at FIU. Because Miami is an important economic, cultural, and touristic center, please be prepared for high incidental costs. To help prepare you, here are some financial tips:
Students are welcome to open US bank accounts. Many local banks can help you open an account including the University Credit Union and Wells Fargo located on the Modesto A. Maidique campus. Here is a list of local banks.
The FIU One Card is the official FIU identification card. The FIU One Card serves as your on-campus student identification card and as a debit card that you can use around campus. For more information, please visit the FIU One Card website.
What to Pack
We all know what it’s like to pack for a trip and forget something vital. That’s not a mistake you want to make if you’re coming to the U.S. from abroad. So double check that you bring everything you need that cannot be replaced once you get here. Below are a few tips about clothes, climate, and school supplies to get you started.
Campus dress is casual and informal. Most dress in short-sleeve shirts with lightweight pants or shorts. Dresses or skirts are common all year round. You may want to bring some professional and/or formal attire for special events.
The weather in Miami is warm year-round. Temperature varies from the 90‘s (Fahrenheit) in the warmer months to the mid-60s during cooler months. In the winter time, temperatures may drop to the 40s, but that is an unusual occurrence. The climate in Miami is quite humid and there are heavy rains. You may want to bring a light coat, raincoat, waterproof shoes, and a mini-umbrella. Visit the Weather Channel for reliable forecasts.
You will be able to purchase most of your toiletries, linens, and study supplies when you arrive in Miami. Your accommodations on campus do not include any bed linens, pillows, towels, or toilet paper. You can bring those items with you from home or purchase them when you arrive.
The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) will take you on a shopping trip the Saturday of check-in weekend. There are many shopping centers and malls located near the FIU campuses to purchase anything you need as well. School supplies (notebooks, pens, textbooks for class) are available for purchase at the FIU campus bookstore. For additional items to bring to FIU, visit the “What to Bring to Campus” section on the FIU housing website.
At FIU, success begins before you arrive on campus. Read below to get a head start on a few important tasks you need to complete before you get here. We are really excited that you are one step closer to joining our Panther Family.
FIU accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions and nationally accredited institutions that participate in Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS).
60 = Maximum number of lower-division credits applied toward the bachelor’s degree.
30 = Maximum number of upper-division credits applied toward the bachelor’s degree.
If you transfer with more than 60 lower-division credits or more than 30 upper-division credits, we still review all of your transfer courses and equate those that satisfy University Core Curriculum (UCC) and major requirements. However, the maximum number of credits applied toward the bachelor’s degree is 60 (lower-division) and 90 (60 lower-division + 30 upper-division).
Florida’s Transfer Guarantees.
AA Degree = Exempt from the UCC, 60 credits applied toward graduation.
General Education Met = Exempt from the UCC, up to 60 credits applied toward graduation.
Credit-by-Exam = Awarding of credit based on state-approved equivalencies.
Statewide Course Numbering System: Awarding of equivalent courses under the SCNS.
For more information on the transfer process, visit:
It is extremely important for you to attend orientation with both International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and with the Office of Orientation and Parent Programs (OPP). You may register for orientation through your my.fiu.edu portal after you have accepted admission.
FIU requires all international students to submit proof of medical insurance. If you have insurance in your home country that meets the requirements set by the university, you may submit that documentation. Otherwise, students are able to purchase insurance from the university directly.
All FIU students are required to provide proof of immunization against MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Hepatitis B, and Meningitis. However, it is possible to waive the immunization requirement for Hepatitis B and Meningitis, but the appropriate forms must be completed and submitted to the Office of Study Abroad. The OSA submits your documentation to University Health Services. This is a registration requirement. Students who do not provide this information are not allowed to register for classes.
Living in FIU Housing means enjoying a real college experience. The student housing community is vibrant and bustling with 3,200 students who live, work, and play by FIU's lush, expansive campus. Not only is on-campus housing a safer choice, but it also an environment dedicated to meeting all student needs. Housing is available on Modesto Maidique Campus (MMC) and Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC). Make Panther Territory your home.
As an international student or exchange visitor to our university, we want to make sure you have a positive and productive experience as you become an integral part of our community and beyond. Each and every member the staff at ISSS can assist you with a wide range of important and practical information and guidance to help make your transition into our university and your new life as smooth and comfortable as possible.