ISO is for all incoming F-1 or J-1 international students, including undergraduate, graduate, professional, transfer, and exchange students, as well as those returning from leave. ISO is designed to help students confirm arrival on Penn's campus for required government reporting, understand important immigration regulations and procedures required of F-1 & J-1 students, and assist new students in adjusting to life at Penn, in Philadelphia, and in the US.

Advance Online Check-in (see below for detailed instructions) and attendance at an Immigration Document Review and Presentation Session is mandatory.


Mandatory New Student Check-In Requirements

Federal regulations require that F-1 & J-1 international students register their presence at Penn. There are two parts to this process, known as the check-in procedure:

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These steps must be completed after arrival in the US but within 20 days of the program start date on your I-20/ DS-2019.  

F-1 transfer students must complete the check-in procedure within 15 days of the program start date listed on the I-20.

  • Complete the New Student Arrival Information form
  • Please enter your US arrival information in iPenn, click on logo below.

    • Log in using your 9-digit admission ID, date of birth and PIN.
    • Be sure to have your US address and emergency contact information available.
    • You will receive a confirmation email after submitting the form.
  • Attend the Immigration Document Review and Presentation Session
  • On Monday, January 12, 2015 at 9:00am, attend the Immigration Document Review and Presentation Session in the Ibrahim Theater in International House.

    You must come prepared with all of the following original immigration documents:

    • Passport
    • F-1 or J-1 US Entry Visa (except Canadian or Bermudian citizens)
    • I-94 (whether a hard-copy paper card; or electronic as indicated by an admission/entry stamp in passport)
    • I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students) issued by Penn
    • Any previously issued I-20(s) or DS-2019(s) from previous program, if applicable; this is required for transfer students
    • Any other official correspondence from USCIS, such as an I-797, if applicable

    NOTE: Please arrive at least five (5) minutes early.  Students arriving late will not be admitted.

ISSS New and Returning Student Events

Thursday, 1/15, 1pm - 2pm – Successful Strategies for Class Participation

Class participation is something that we all struggle with. The classroom culture in the U.S. may be very different from your home country and being aware of how to participate here at Penn will help facilitate your academic success. Dr. Rudie Altamirano, Director of ISSS, will present this invigorating workshop that highlights the difficulties, challenges, and strategies of class participation.

Location: ISSS conference room, 3701 Chestnut Street, Suite 1W

Friday, 1/16, 1pm - 2pm – Practical Matters for Life in the US

Adjusting to a new environment can be difficult! In this presentation, ISSS will provide a general overview of some practical matters such as banking, obtaining a driver’s license or state ID, social security number, housing and transportation.

Location: ISSS conference room, 3701 Chestnut Street, Suite 1W