International Students

What to Expect - International Students


A Safe Return to Campus

UC Riverside is excited to continue welcome our new and returning international students to campus. 

The safety and well-being of our students remains a top priority. 

UCR is committed to delivering in-person instruction, research opportunities, and student support services wherever possible. As a nationally-ranked residential public research university, an on-campus presence is essential to successfully advance our mission of instruction, research, and public service. 

Please remember that all the student support services on campus are here to assist you when you arrive. Take a few minutes to review this site and make sure to visit the Students & Parents page .

Campus guidelines will continue to evolve as guidance from local, state, and national health authorities are updated. Please continue to the COVID-19 site for updated information with specifics about operations on campus. 

Here is information about issues that are of particular interest to our international students. 

  • Immigration 


    • The International Students & Scholars (ISS) Office is your first point of contact as you prepare to arrive in Riverside. ISS is ready to help you and answer any questions you may have about immigration matters, such as visas, I-20s (F-1) or DS-2019s (J-1), as well as any questions you may have about travel restrictions. In addition, ISS can serve to help connect you with other student support units. So, if you don’t know where to start, then start with ISS. You can browse our website, which is full of important information. 
    • If you have questions, you can contact ISS by sending an email to and one of our advisors will respond. We can also schedule Zoom and phone appointments to discuss your concerns. 
    • ISS will continue to provide current information to our international students by means of email, online orientations, the International Weekly newsletter, and town halls, so please make sure to check your UCR email.
    • Student who will be attending UCR University Extension programs should contact the UCR University Extension directly
  • Travel and Testing  

    Travel and Testing
    Tips for international students traveling to the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Check with the embassy or consulate of the country that you plan to visit to learn about any travel restrictions or requirements.
    • Be aware of any travel restrictions you may face upon your return/entry to the United States.
    • Check the CDC website and this DHS fact sheet for updated guidance on travel to the United State by air and at land ports of entry. 
      • Proof of approved vaccinations are required for all travelers to the United States at air, land and ferry ports of entry (with limited exceptions).
      • Testing is required no more than 1 day before air travel to the United States
    • F-1 students with Form I-20 are permitted to travel with an I-20 that has been signed electronically by a Designated School Official (DSO). UCR is signing all I-20's electronically.
    • J students with Form DS-2019 are required to travel with a DS-2019 that has an original wet signature by an authorized Alternate/Responsible Officer (ARO). Electronically signed DS-2019's are not accepted. 
    • For coronavirus testing information, please visit the testing page.
  • Vaccinations 


    • COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots are required for University of California students, and you should upload your proof of vaccination to the patient portal . If you have questions about how to do that, please watch the video tutorial on "How to Upload." Boosters are also required.
    • If you can’t upload your proof of vaccination for some reason or need to request a deferment, you can contact the COVID-19 Management Team at
    • Students may request and submit a medical exemption, disability exception, pregnancy deferment, or religious exception by visiting the patient portal and submitting the correct forms. Please watch the COVID-19 Exemption Form video on the Student Health Services website to learn about where to find the forms and how they should be uploaded.
    • UCR is only accepting International COVID-19 vaccines that are accepted by the CDC. If you have further questions, you can email the COVID-19 Management Team at for assistance. 
  • Campus Protocols

    COVID Screening Check
    Every person on campus must follow all health and safety protocols including submitting a COVID Screening Check if reporting a positive COVID-19 test result; COVID-19 symptoms (symptoms from a known or chronic condition such as allergies, asthma, etc. are not considered COVID-19 symptoms for this report); exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 (exposure is defined as close contact with a known positive person for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period); or completion of your required COVID test (required weekly testing for those with an approved exemption or deferral, those that are not up to date with their vaccine, or are approved for early return after exposure or infection.).

  • Housing 

    Please visit the Housing website to see the latest requirements. If you have questions, please contact UCR Housing Services at or 951-827-6350 for assistance.

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  • Strict adherence to health and safety standards. Personal and institutional health and safety standards for all on-campus activities will be in place, consistent with applicable public health guidelines. This will include correct use of face coverings, self screening, adherence to testing protocols and mandatory vaccinations. All on-campus activities, and anyone participating in these activities, will be required to strictly adhere to these standards. 
  • Offering majority of courses in-person. Smaller classes will be offered with normal classroom seating, most larger courses will have reduced seating density, and our largest courses will remain remote. Graduate students will have almost all of their courses in-person. 
  • A commitment not to switch remote classes to in-person on short notice. Classes initially scheduled for remote instruction in fall will not be shifted to in-person if public health conditions improve more than expected. However, if conditions do not improve as expected, classes initially scheduled for in-person instruction may be shifted to remote.
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  • The University of California finalized a policy to require vaccinations of all students and employees accessing campus facilities at all UC locations, including UC Riverside. More information about the vaccine policy, where to get vaccinated, and how to provide proof of vaccination can be found here.
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  • UC Riverside will require routine COVID-19 testing for select groups of students on campus – including everyone who is unvaccinated (with approved exemptions), symptomatic, or with a confirmed exposure to someone with COVID-19. Optional testing will also be available. Testing requirements and locations can be found here

Health and Wellness

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  • All students will need to acknowledge and uphold the Keep Highlanders Healthy pledge.
  • Anyone on campus must follow all health and safety protocols. 
  • Student Health Services will be open for both in-person and telehealth appointments.  
  • CAPS will provide TeleMental Health and in-person appointments.
  • COVID-19 Wellness Kits available to students from The Well
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Campus Housing
  • Currently, students who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to move into on-campus housing until they meet university vaccination requirements. If you have reserved on-campus housing and have further questions, please contact UCR Housing Services at or 951-827-6350 for assistance.
  • Enhanced health and safety precautions will be in place, along with increased cleaning of facilities.
  • On-campus indoor and outdoor dining venues have reopened. Hours of operation can be found on the dining website.
  • Contactless cashier and other enhanced health and safety measures will be in place.
Student Services
  • All major student resources and services – including Ethnic and Gender Centers, Student Life, Dean of Students, Associated Students, Graduate Students Association, Student Health Services, Student Disability Resource Center, and more – are currently available virtually and will be available in-person in some capacity. 
  • Student Recreation Center is currently open.
  • Basic needs assistance, including grocery support, economic crisis response, and housing insecurity assistance, is available through the Basic Needs Department.
  • Undergraduate Education providing academic support, experiential learning, tutoring, and more.
  • Library curbside delivery and “ask a librarian/ask a student” is now available, with on-campus libraries open.
  • The university has hired additional teaching assistants who will be dedicated to assisting with instruction.
  • Laptops and mobile hotspots available through the Loan2Learn program.
  • Free software and virtual computer labs available to students.
  • Assistance with remote learning and online assignments and exams provided by Undergraduate Education.
  • Labs and research facilities are now allowed to function at 100% capacity, with health and safety precautions in place. Undergraduate and graduate students, with approval, may conduct research on campus. 
  • Updated parking permit options will be available. Details available here