Before You Arrive

In this section prospective international students will find information about requesting or refusing an I-20 or DS-2019, insurance and financial requirements, and other essential pre-arrival information.

Our goal is to assist and advise incoming international students on U.S. immigration related issues and regulations.  We also help direct students to finding answers to many questions about the transition to Penn State as a newly admitted student.

Mandatory Document Check In

If you are a new student at Penn State, or if you are returning to Penn State following a leave of absence, you must complete the Mandatory Document Check-In process.


Federal laws and regulations require nonimmigrant student information to be updated and maintained in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). You must provide this information through the iStart Mandatory Document Check-In and in Accounts Management so ISSA can update your records in SEVIS.This process is necessary to maintain legal status in the United States. All students in ‘Initial” or “Transfer” status must complete Mandatory Document Check-In. 


Log in to iStart after you receive your non-immigrant visa to begin the Mandatory Document Check-In process. Some eForms can only be completed after you enter the United States and declare your intent to study at Penn State at the port-of-entry.


Log in to iStart using “Full Client Services” on the left-hand side. Locate “d. Document Check In.” 

There are 6 eForms plus "your arrival and location" to complete. Each eForm contains instructions to help you.


  1. Government Regulations Training

    J-Visa Regulations:

    F-Visa Regulations: 

  2. Contact Information 
  3. Document Uploads (you must have your student visa to complete this eForm)


  1. I-94 Record Submission
  2. Update My Information in LionPATH
  3. Submit Document Check-In for Review