Immigration & International Arrival Information

International students sit around a laptop computer.

The Office of International Student Services provides the services and support to welcome you to your new home at UB.

Our friendly staff members—including international students—can help address your immigration concerns, help you adjust to life in Buffalo and can even help introduce you to all the Buffalo-Niagara region has to offer. 

Below is a list of just some of the topics covered on the International Student Services' website:

  • New international student check-in.
  • Housing options and settling into your new home.
  • International Student Welcome Series and submitting health forms.
  • Course registration and paying your tuition bill.
  • What to expect when you arrive in Buffalo.
  • Opportunities for employment and obtaining a Social Security card.

Your U.S. Visa

You’ve made it through the first big step and have been accepted to UB! However, before you can enter the United States you must apply for a U.S. visa.

To come to the U.S. to study, you will need to apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Most international students come to the U.S. on F-1 visas, while some come on J-1 visas. However, there are some other visa categories that permit studying (e.g., H-1B, H-4, L-2, E-2, etc.).

Your visa category will determine many aspects of your life in the U.S. (e.g., your studies, employment, vacation, travel). While most students will have to follow F-1 immigration regulations, some will follow other regulations.

If you are already in the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student, it may be possible to transfer your SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record from your current school to UB.

International Student Welcome Series

Attending the International Student Welcome Series will prepare you for a successful transition to UB. You can greatly benefit from our comprehensive welcome series program!

At our International Student Welcome Series you will be able to:

  • Obtain your UB Identification Card.
  • Join tours of North and South campuses.

You will also receive information on obtaining a:

  • Bank account.
  • Cell phone account.
  • Social Security card (can apply, if eligible).

During the welcome series, you can officially enroll as a UB student by completing the following tasks:

  • Take TOEFL and/or SPEAK tests (if required).
  • Submit health background and immunizations form.
  • Receive required immunizations (if not completed before arrival).
  • Attend the "Your Role in the UB Community and Immigration" session.
  • Meet with an academic advisor.
  • Register for classes.

You also will learn about these university resources and services including:

  • Academic advisement.
  • Computing.
  • Libraries.
  • On-campus jobs.
  • Health, wellness and counseling.
  • Recreation.
  • Transportation.

And you can also connect with other students through:

  • The International Graduate Student Welcome and Party.
  • The ISS Cafe.
  • Our "How to Succeed at an American University" session.
  • The Niagara Falls trip.

There’s much more you can explore during the welcome series. You can receive study tips from professors, learn how to use your health insurance, find out about cultural differences, meet international student club representatives, join a shopping trip and more.