Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Visa Delays

Can you write a letter to speed up the processing of my U.S. visa application?

Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to expedite the processing of your visa application. Officers in U.S. Embassies and Consulates have asked universities not to send letters regarding students’ visa applications. The reason is that the Consulates are inundated with paperwork and do not have sufficient staff or time to process such letters.

Airport Pick-Ups

Can you pick me up at the airport?

Some UB International Student Clubs provide airport pick-ups. You might check the list of clubs for contact information for your club’s officers and email them. Not all clubs provide this service, but it’s worth a try.

If you cannot find your country on the list of International Student Clubs, or if no one replies to your request for an airport pick-up, there are many taxis and rideshare vehicles available at the Buffalo Niagara Airport. For more information check our page here.

The airport is approximately 10 km. from both campuses. It should take 15-20 minutes to reach either campus from the airport. 

Bringing Money to the U.S.

How much money can I bring into the U.S.?

If you plan to bring money (e.g. cash, money order, certified check, travelers’ checks, letter of credit) into the U.S., please note the following from the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) website: “Travelers leaving or entering the U.S. are required to report monetary instruments (ie. currency or checks) valued at $10,000 or more on a "Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments" FinCEN 105 form. “Failure to declare currency in amounts over $10,000 can result in its seizure.” 

Please Note:

  • We do not recommend that you carry large sums of cash when you come to the U.S. Please bring a money card or travelers’ checks instead.
  • Do not assume that you can multiply $10,000 by the number of people in your group and bring in that amount of money. The border officer will try to determine to whom the money really belongs. If s/he determines that it belongs to one person, s/he will seize it if the amount exceeds $10,000.
  • Never make false statements to a border officer about money or anything else. The penalty for making false statements to border officers is very severe, including a fine and up to two years of imprisonment.
  • If you do not follow the above-mentioned advice and your money is seized, we advise you not to fill out any forms to request that the money be returned to you. To file a request that will be approved by Customs & Border Protection requires in-depth knowledge of the relevant regulations and the way that such requests are adjudicated. For these reasons, it is much better to hire an attorney to help you get your money back.

How much money will I need during my first year at UB?

You can find the Estimated Cost of Attendance for your degree program at the Financial Aid website.

Late Arrival

I wasn't able to get a flight to arrive in time for Orientation Check-In. Can I join International Student Orientation late?

Although we don’t recommend it, you can join International Student Orientation late. We will offer Late Arrivals Check-In, where students who were delayed in coming to Buffalo can check in for the orientation program. After completing the Late Check in Process, the IS Hold will be removed. However, since the orientation schedule is quite full, we urge you to come as soon as you can so you don’t miss too much.

If you will arrive late, please remember to contact the Office of International Admissions ( to request a Late Arrival letter to present to the U.S. immigration officer when you enter the U.S. 


Orientation Attendance

Do I have to attend International Student Orientation?

Checking in for International Student Orientation is necessary for course registration. The orientation sessions are informative, useful, and important. During Orientation, you can also accomplish practical tasks like collecting your University ID card, opening a bank account, buying a cell phone and opening a cell phone account, preparing your application for a Social Security Card, and receiving immunizations. You will also have the opportunity to meet other students and have fun!

Last, attendance at the session titled "Your Role in the UB Community and Immigration Session" is required for all new international students.  

I’m a U.S. Citizen (or Lawful Permanent Resident) who grew up outside the U.S. Can I attend International Student Orientation even though I’m not an international student?

Yes, you can. You will find International Student Orientation extremely helpful.

I’m transferring from another U.S. university. Do I have to attend International Student Orientation?

Although you have already studied in the U.S., you are new to the University at Buffalo. All U.S. universities have their own procedures, policies and services so your prior experience will not help you at UB as much you think. For this reason, we strongly urge you to attend International Student Orientation at UB.

How much does participation in International Student Orientation cost?

The cost of the orientation program is expected to be $125. The orientation fee includes all services except the trip to Niagara Falls (offered only during the fall orientation), which costs extra.

Orientation Check-In

What happens if I miss Orientation Check-In?

Students who arrive late will still be able to check in for International Student Orientation. Please go to International Student Services, Talbert Hall 210, North Campus for information about late check-in. Your IS Hold will be removed only after the Late Check-In Process is complete.

On-Campus Housing

Deciding where to live is one of the most important decisions you will make. To help you decide, read our Living On-Campus vs. Off-Campus guide.

I reserved a room in the residence hall. Can I stay there during International Student Orientation? If so, how soon can I move in?

The University at Buffalo’s on-campus housing officially opens for all new students on August 23, 2018.  New students who will attend International Student Orientation and who have made arrangements to live on campus will be permitted to check in to their on-campus housing starting on Saturday, August 18, 2018.  Sign up information for those wanting to check-in early will be available on the housing website.  Due to limited staffing, no students will be permitted to move in before August 18.  Please note that students who choose to move in prior to August 23 will incur a $35 per night early arrival charge, depending on their actual housing assignment.  This charge will be billed directly to your student account.  

If you choose to stay in the residence halls during International Student Orientation, please be aware that the halls will not be officially open and, therefore, there will be few students staying there and limited residence hall staff to assist you. 

How long do I have to stay in on-campus housing?

Once you sign the Housing Agreement, you are contractually obligated to your on-campus housing for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Housing contracts are typically broken only if the student leaves the University at Buffalo. 

I reserved a room in the residence hall, but have not received my housing assignment. When should I expect to receive it? What should I do if I have not received it by that date?

Information about your housing assignment (location, roommate, check-in dates and times) will be sent to you in mid-July. If you do not receive your housing information by the beginning of August, please contact the Housing Office by telephone at (716) 645-2171 or by e-mail at

I reserved a room in the residence hall, but have changed my mind. Can I cancel my reservation and get my deposit back?

The deadline to cancel your on-campus housing contract is June 1, 2018.  After June 1, you will not be released from your Housing Agreement (contract) unless you choose not to attend UB during the Fall 2018 semester. Please do not sign a lease for an off-campus apartment after June 1 as you will not be released from your Housing Agreement.

Temporary Housing

I will need a place to stay while I look for off-campus housing after I arrive in Buffalo. Is there temporary housing for new students?

Unfortunately, there is no temporary housing for new students. Therefore, you should make temporary housing arrangements prior to your arrival in Buffalo. We do not recommend arriving on campus with lots of luggage and no place to spend the night as it is very difficult to find permanent housing in one day.

Should you need temporary accommodations prior to August 18, 2018 or during International Student Orientation, your temporary housing options include staying in a hotel or with a friend, relative or UB student.

The hotels listed below are located near UB's North Campus.

DoubleTree by Hilton

10 Flint Road
Amherst, NY 14226
Tel. (716) 689-4414

Comfort Inn

1 Flint Road
Amherst, NY 14226
Tel. (716) 688-0811 or 1-877-424-6423

Red Roof Inn

42 Flint Road 
Amherst, NY 14226 
Tel. (716) 689-7474 

Other Options

There is also a hostel in downtown Buffalo, which is some distance from UB’s North and South Campuses.

International Student Club representatives often assist new students with housing questions and concerns.

View a list of international clubs

Off-Campus Housing

Deciding where to live is one of the most important decisions you will make. To help you decide, read our Living On-Campus vs. Off-Campus guide.

How can I find off-campus housing?

For detailed information about finding off-campus housing, please visit our page about off-campus housing.

Health History & Immunization Form

When and where should I mail my Health Background and Immunization Forms?

You should complete and return your UB Health Background and Immunization Forms to UB Student Health Services.  We recommend that you send the UB Health Background and Immunization Form via Fax (716-829-2564), regular Air Mail or Express Courier (Attention: Susan Snyder) as soon as possible.  If you submit them in time, you may be able to register for your classes before coming to Buffalo.

Note: Since Student Health Services does not send confirmation that they received the forms, you may wish to submit them via Fax or Express Courier since both services provide confirmation of delivery.  

The Student Health Center's mailing address is:

Student Health Services
University at Buffalo 
Michael Hall
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, N.Y. 14214

Note: Please DO NOT return the forms to the International Admissions office. Also, scanned copies and e-mail attachments are not permitted.

If you are unable to complete all of your immunizations in your country, Student Health Services will assist you in obtaining the immunizations, but this will delay your class registration and you may not get the classes you want.

Bill Payment

When is the deadline to pay my tuition and fees?

The University bills students each semester for all University-related charges (tuition, student fees, on-campus housing and meals, health insurance, etc.). Your bill will be sent to your University at Buffalo email address after you register for classes. Bills are not sent by postal mail. It is not possible to pay your bill until after you register for classes, and your bill is sent to you. 

If this is your first semester at UB, the deadline to pay your bill is in mid-October. If you miss the deadline, you must pay a $30-50 late fee. Note: Even if you signed up for on-campus housing, your bill payment deadline is still mid-October.  Do not worry about emails you are receiving telling you that you need to pay your bill earlier.  Those emails are automatically sent to all students who signed up for on-campus housing and do not apply to you.

How can I pay my tuition and fees?

For information on the various methods available to pay your University bill, including payment by credit card, personal check or E-check, click here. The University at Buffalo also partners with Flywire to streamline the tuition and fee payment process for international students. This service offers multiple payment options and competitive foreign exchange rate. Click here for more information on Flywire.

University ID Card & Temporary Password

How can I get my University ID Card (UB Card) and temporary password?

You can get your UB Card at Orientation Check-In. Your UBIT information and single-use password should be sent to you directly via email. 

IS Hold

What is an IS Hold and why do I have one?

A hold on a UB student's account may prevent the student from registering for classes, receiving grades or transcripts, etc. Students receive a hold when action is required on their part.

Every new international student has an IS Hold on his/her account. This ensures that the student checks in for International Student Orienation. Once you check-in, your IS Hold will be removed and you will be able to register for classes.

Course Registration

When can I register for my classes?

You can register for classes after you check-in for International Student Orientation and after all holds are removed from your account. REMEMBER: You must submit completed UB Health Background and Immunizations Forms, receive certain immunizations (if required) before you can register for classes. However, if you submit the Health Background and Immunization Forms in time, you may be able to register for classes before coming to Buffalo.


Can I work?

F-1 international students are eligible to work on-campus without special authorization. J-1 international students are also eligible to work on-campus, but need a letter from International Student Services authorizing such employment. 

How can I find an on-campus job?

To learn how to find an on-campus job, we suggest that you attend the “On-Campus Employment” session during International Student Orientation.

Social Security Card

How, when and where can I get a Social Security Card?

In order to apply for a Social Security Card, F-1 international students must have written job offers. If you have a written job offer, then you should attend one of the Social Security Card information sessions during International Student Orientation.  Note: If you are a J-1 student, you do not need a written job offer to apply for a Social Security Card.