Physical office is open Monday - Friday, 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm. Staff rotates in-person schedules and can be contacted through email and Zoom. Zoom advising appointments are available.

Students sitting in front of UCR Sign

Get Started at UCR


Welcome to UCR! To help you adjust to life at the university and in the U.S., we have put some introductory material together such as transportation to UCR and new student check-list. At orientation, we will cover all of the information you need to get settled at UCR over the course of several workshops on campus.

Going through these resources and instructions together in person gives you an opportunity to not only get to know us, but also other international students and scholars who will be going through a similar journey as you.



New students - be sure to read and follow the steps in the Check-In Tab below.

Getting to UCR From the Airport

From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 
Distance: 110 kilometers or 68 miles

  • Uber, Lyft or other rideshare services: Many rideshare services pick up at LAX airport (please note: there is now a designated area for rideshare pick up and drop off). Please check the estimated costs before you arrive. Prices vary depending on demand and time of day.
  • Taxis are also available. 
  • Metrolink and LAX Flyaway Bus: The LAX flyaway bus will pick up at the airport and take you to L.A. Union Station. From Union Station, you can take the Metrolink train to the Riverside area. Please see the Metrolink website for ride times and prices.

From Ontario International Airport (ONT) 
Distance: 34 kilometers or 21 miles

  • Lyft or other rideshare services: Many rideshare services pick up at Ontario airport. Please check the estimated costs before you arrive. Prices vary depending on demand and time of day. Note: Uber service is unavailable at the Ontario Airport. 
  • Taxis are also available.


Entering the United States

Whether entering the United States from land or air, you should be prepared to show the following documents at the port of entry:

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months in the future)
  • F1 or J1 visa (if required for your country of origin)
  • Valid Form I-20 (F1) or Form DS-2019 (J1)
  • Receipt of SEVIS fee payment (I-901)
  • UCR Admission Letter (recommended)
  • Financial Support Documentation


While You Are Here: Local Transportation

  • Bicycling at UC Riverside is safe and convenient with bike lanes, bike cages and a Cyclist Program
  • Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) provides free rides for UC Riverside students, while Metrolink offers transportation to five surrounding counties along a regional rail system.
  • Taxi and shuttle services operate in and around the Riverside area.


Check-in is Mandatory for all international students.

Once you arrive in the U.S, you will need to complete your "check-in" with the International Students and Scholars (ISS) office, so we can verify your entry documents and Activate your I-20 in SEVIS.

You must have a US address and emergency contact information to complete your check in.  The US address must have a valid zip code as well. We recommend you enter the US phone number as well if you have one. If not, please leave it blank. 


Check-in instructions

To complete your registration, you will need to prepare and submit the following documents:

1. Student Personal Record form

2. Copy of your I-94. Instructions on how to get your I-94 record can be found at the bottom of this page.


Please submit these documents to our office at as soon as possible after you arrive. 

DEADLINE: If you do not complete this process, we will not be able to report your arrival as required by federal regulations and you will fall out of valid F-1/J-1 status. A registration hold will be placed on your account for the next quarter if the check-in process is not completed. After we receive your completed check-in documents, SEVIS activation will be in process from a specific date. Once it is finished, you will be notified via your UCR email.


Please note: we cannot activate your I-20 or DS-2019 if you are starting remotely outside of the United States.   


Obtaining your I-94 record

Your I-94 record will only be available AFTER your arrival to the U.S.  Click the following link here. Click on “Get Most Recent I-94” and enter your personal information on the next page. Please see the page Travel Documents / Entering the U.S to confirm that your I-20 is correct and for who to contact if you find an error on your I-94.

After you enter the United States, go online to verify and print your I-94. Check that your personal information is accurate and that it states the correct visa type. You can access it at Please print it and keep a copy with your immigration documents. If you enter through a land border, make sure to ask the CBP officer for an I-94 card. After each international re-entry, please make sure to check and print your new I94 record. If any information on your I94 is incorrect, please contact Deferred Inspection immediately to have your record corrected. Depending on your case, you may be required to report in person or submit documentation by email. The closest deferred inspection site is in Los Angeles:

300 N. Los Angeles St., Room 2067
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday
Phone: (213) 830-5972

Welcome to UCR. We are excited to have you join the Highlander community!

All International Students will need to participate in the International Student Orientation (ISO). Incoming students will be notified by email about ISO, so be sure to check your UCR email often. You can also visit our Orientation page to learn more. 

Please note: You may also have additional required orientation sessions, depending on whether you are a graduate student or undergraduate student. 

Information on these topics can be found on UCR Health and Safety Site:

  • Student Health
  • Campus Health Center
  • Wellness
  • Safety
Let us help you with your search