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 for the Winter 2022 term. 

The safety and well-being of our students remains a top priority. UC Riverside returned to mostly in-person instruction beginning fall quarter, with a few courses that remained remote.

On-campus classes at UC Riverside will be delivered remotely for the first two weeks of the winter quarter, with exceptions for off-campus field courses and internships that may continue to meet in-person. The quarter will begin on Jan. 3 with remote instruction, and we expect to return to our planned winter quarter modes of instruction the week of Jan. 31.

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. You can find more information about what’s available on here. Take a few minutes to review the site and make sure to visit the Students & Parents page .

The circumstances around COVID-19 are rapidly changing, and campus guidelines will continue to evolve as guidance from local, state, and national health authorities are updated. Please continue to the Campus Return site for updated information with specifics about fall quarter 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.
  • 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 during COVID-19. 
    • Be aware of any travel restrictions you may face upon your return/entry to the United States. The following website has a very thorough list of current travel restrictions and any relevant National Interest Waivers: COVID-10 Restrictions on U.S. Visas and Entry
    • Review the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for International Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Travel requirements vary by visa type. 
    • 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 at this time. For detailed information, see the pages eight and nine on the FAQ's for SEVP Stakeholders
    • 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. 
    • Travel information was discussed during the Pre-Arrival Webinars for International Student Orientation. Visit the international orientation page to watch a replay of the webinar or view the presentation slides.  
    • What should international students do upon arrival into the U.S.? Please refer to the travel page for more details:.
    • For coronavirus testing information, please visit the testing page.
  • Late Arrival 

    • If you will be arriving late because of travel delays, please notify your department or academic advisor as soon as you can. Graduate students must also contact Graduate Division at You may have to get permission from your professors to start late. ISS will permit students to arrive no later than October 15 and only if allowed by their academic departments (in the case of graduate students, the Graduate Division as well).  

  • Vaccinations 
    • COVID-19 vaccinations 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 will not be able to upload your proof of vaccination, you can contact the COVID-19 Management Team at to let them know you will not be able to meet that deadline and to request an extension. In your email, please include the following information:
      • Your full name and student ID number 
      • Identify yourself as an international student 
      • Provide a brief description why you are unable to upload your proof of vaccination by 16 Aug (example: you are not able to get the vaccine in your home country) 
    • Students may request and submit a medical exemption,disability exception,pregnancy defermentorreligious exception by completing the COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Request Form for UCR Students
    • UCR is only accepting International COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) (identified by checked columns). If you have further questions, you can email the COVID-19 Management Team at for assistance. 
    • If you are not yet vaccinated and plan on getting a vaccination after you arrive in the US, you can go to the Student Health Services COVID-19 vaccine clinic, which takes place every Friday from 1–3:30 p.m. at Student Health Services, adjacent to Lot 15.  To schedule an appointment, please contact the COVID Hotline at (844) 827-6827. Please note that your vaccine will be free regardless of insurance. For more information on where to get a COVID-19 vaccination, visit
  • Daily Wellness Check

    • Every person on campus must follow all health and safety protocols including submitting a daily wellness check

  • Housing 

    Currently, students who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to move into on-campus housing until they meet university vaccination requirements. Additionally, a COVID-19 test will be required on campus the day of your move-in. Please contact housing as soon as possible to confirm your housing arrival plans and any COVID move-in requirements. If you have reserved on-campus housing and have further 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, use of the daily wellness check, 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 about 80% of all 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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Campus Housing
  • Currently, students who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to move into on-campus housing until they meet university vaccination requirements. Additionally, a COVID-19 test will be required on campus the day of your move-in. Please contact housing as soon as possible to confirm your housing arrival plans and any COVID move-in 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 begun reopening. Reopening dates 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 this fall. 
  • 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 this fall.
  • The university is hiring 50 additional teaching assistants who will be dedicated to assisting with dual-mode 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