Arrival in the U.S.
U.S. Port of Entry
When you arrive at the U.S. Port of Entry, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official will give you a short interview and ask you for your visa documents, which will be date-stamped and returned to you. At some airports, you may be asked to go to a second room where they will date-stamp your documents. With recent changes in the laws governing the exit and entry of international visitors, you will have your fingerprints and photograph taken.
Transportation from Airport
If you are arriving at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), you can take Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a metro rail service, into San Francisco. BART is safe, fast, and comfortable and is available from early morning to just before midnight every day of the week.
If you have a lot of luggage, you can arrange to take an airport shuttle (approximately $20 per person) or taxi (approximately $50) into San Francisco. Airport shuttle and taxi stops are located on the Arrivals/Baggage Claim level of all terminals. There is no need to make a reservation in advance. Both shuttles and taxis are available 24 hours a day. Rental cars can also be reserved in advance and are available 24 hours a day.
ISSO Check-In and Orientation
It is mandatory that you visit the UCSF International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) immediately upon your arrival to the United States. Any failure to do so may result in the termination of your program and can lead to serious consequences if ISSO cannot confirm your arrival with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Please bring your passport and visa documents with you. Be prepared to inform us of your current residential address, even if it’s a hotel address, as well as emergency contact information such as addresses and phone numbers of family and friends. Also, if you have dependents, please bring their passports and visa documents to ISSO.
When you visit ISSO, an orientation will be scheduled for you to go over your responsibilities as an international visitor in this country, and to answer any questions that you may have.
ISSO is at Mission Bay campus inside the Rutter Community Center at 1675 Owens Street, CC-290. Click here for office hours and location.
After you have checked in with ISSO, you will want to visit your department. If you are an employee, your department will supply you with your employee I.D. number so that you can get a campus I.D. badge, library card, and UCSF e-mail account.
If you are a student, you will want to check in with your academic department. You will receive your student I.D. badge, library card, and UCSF
e-mail account after you register for classes and pay tuition and fees.