ISSO Check-In FAQs

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Why does ISSO have Check-In?

Immigration regulations require that all colleges and universities enrolling students in F or J visa status report at the beginning of each semester a verification of all students who will be enrolled at their institution. 

As part of this reporting, we must insure that we have updated information on your visa documents, addresses (both in the U.S. and abroad) and contact information (phone, email, etc.)

We have a very short period of time in which to complete this process (within 30 days from the beginning of the semester). In order to complete the reporting requirement in a timely fashion, ISSO relies on the check-in procedure.

Failure to check in could result in difficulties with class registration and could also result in the loss of your legal visa status in the U.S.

Why is ISSO Check-In online?

ISSO Check-In is a paperless system for three important reasons:

(1) to be green by reducing paper consumption

(2) to help make check-in and SEVIS registration more efficient and

(3) to prepare international students for the future when you will be required to update your information yourself directly to SEVIS.

Who needs to check in at the ISSO?

All international students, both new and returning, are required to complete the ISSO check-in at the start of each Fall and Spring semester.  

Even if you have not traveled outside the U.S. recently, you still need to check-in.  ISSO needs to verify your address and contact information so that we may remove your ISSO registration hold.

When do I Check In?

Look for an email from the ISSO listserve each semester for how and when to check in!

How do I complete ISSO Check-In?

To complete ISSO Check-In, students will need to log into with their Brandeis log-in and password. Then, under "personal information" click on the link for "ISSO Check-In."

Also, students need to first scan and then upload their visa documents to the online form prior to submitting the form.

To successfully complete check-in, see our visual explanation of ISSO Check-In Step by Steps.

When saving my visa doc file(s), what file formats are acceptable?

Currently only files in a .pdf format will be accepted.

All other file formats will not be accepted.

For quality control purposes, photos taken of your visa documents will not be accepted.

After scanning your visa documents, please save your files and store them in a secure location, such as on your personal computer or on your personal usb device.  Do not save your visa doc files on a public computer.

What documents do I need to submit in order to complete my Check-In?

Regardless of any recent travel, both new AND returning students must scan and submit the following visa documents for each Fall and Spring semester check-in:

(1) valid Passport Photo ID and Expiration Date Page(s)
(2) most recent U.S. Entry Visa (Canadian students are the exception)
(3) If you have a Paper Form I-94, submit a scan of the front and back of the card
(4) If you were issued an Electronic Form I-94, print it from and submit it with your ISSO Online Check-In, along with the stamp in your passport.
(5)  page 1 of Form I-20 (if F-1 student) OR page 1 of Form DS-2019 (if J-1 student) OR other appropriate document verifying visa status.
(6)  page 3 of Form I-20 (F-1 students ONLY)
(7) The same documents for any dependent (spouse or children) in the U.S. as a dependent in F-2 or J-2 visa status.
What is the ISO Registration Hold on my Sage Account?

To insure that ALL students complete the process in time for the reporting deadline, ISSO places a reminder in the form of an ISSO registration hold on your SAGE record. 

These registration holds will be placed on your account and will not interfere with adding or dropping classes until the day before the first day of classes. 

After this day, if you have not already completed your ISSO check-in and attempt to add/drop any courses, you will have a note in SAGE requiring you to complete your check-in.

When will my ISSO Registration Hold be removed from my Sage account?

Upon submitting the online Check-In form and submitting all required visa documents, the ISSO registration hold will be removed from the student's Sage account by the end of the following business day.  

Please give yourself enough time to complete ISSO Check-In and plan accordingly.

NOTE: The ISSO is not able to temporarily remove registration holds for students arriving late or for students who forget to check-in at the start of the semester.

I am arriving after the first day of classes, how do I check in?

We realize that not everyone is able to return to campus prior to the start of the semester.  However, we are unable to remove the hold prior to your return to the United States and to Brandeis. 

Please complete your online check-in as soon as you have returned to the U.S.

I am abroad for the semester, do I need to complete ISSO Check-In?

Yes.  Students who are studying abroad, PhD candidates conducting research or SID 2nd Year Project participants who are outside of the U.S. OR in another state should fill out and submit the online ISSO Check-In Form. 

When filling out the online form, in the visa document section there is an option for "I Am Abroad or Conducting Research Off Campus This Semester".  

Then continue filling out the rest of the form and submit. Students studying abroad or conducting research outside of the U.S. DO NOT need to scan and upload visa documents to the check-in form.