F-1 Accepted International Student Checklist

Congratulations on your admission! Now that you’ve been accepted to Montclair State University, complete the steps below to enroll as a full-fledged Red Hawk!

Step 1
Know Your Campus-Wide ID (CWID) and PIN

Your Campus-Wide ID (CWID) and PIN are your keys to becoming a Montclair State University student.

Undergraduate Students: You will find your CWID and PIN in your acceptance letter in your application portal. The CWID and PIN will be used to submit your enrollment deposit (step 3).

Graduate Students: You must confirm your admission offer in order to obtain your CWID. Refer to the letter of admission in your application portal for instructions about how to make this confirmation. Allow about 24 hours after which you will receive an email indicating an update to your portal. The updated letter will include the CWID and PIN which will be used to submit your enrollment deposit (step 3).

Questions about this step? Undergraduate students: contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 973-655-4444 or email msuadm@montclair.edu for assistance. Graduate students: contact Graduate Admissions at 973-655-5147 or email graduate@montclair.edu for assistance.

Step 2
Submit Your I-20 Application and Required Documents

To apply for an F-1 visa or to transfer your existing F-1 record, you are required to apply for a Form I-20. The enrollment deposit is NOT required to apply for the I-20.

  • Step 1: Thoroughly read information about how to apply for the I-20 and prepare your financial documents accordingly.
  • Step 2: Complete the “Application for I-20 and Affidavit of Support” document.
    • DO NOT HANDWRITE-only the signatures can be handwritten (note: an electronic signature can be used in lieu of a “wet” signature). All other fields must be typed.
  • Step 3: Access your admissions portal to upload the documents.
  • Step 4: Upload documents to the corresponding checklist items:
    • Passport: upload a copy of the biographical page of your passport.
    • Financial Documents: combine all financial documents into one PDF. If you have received an assistantship or scholarship, please note the amount on the affidavit and upload financial documents showing sufficient funds to cover the remaining balance.
    • Application for I-20 and Affidavit of Support: combine all signed affidavits and the application into one PDF. If living off-campus for free with a friend or family member, upload the Affidavit of Free Room and Board form and supporting documentation to this same checklist item as one PDF.


  • Carefully consider your financials before submitting-we will not accommodate requests for changes to the I-20 funding.
  • Ensure that you are uploading these three documents into the three separate checklist items with the corresponding names. If uploaded correctly, a green check-mark will appear next to each of the three items within 24 hours. If any red “x’s” remain, there is a problem and you must re-submit the missing item(s).

Example of properly uploaded financial documents for I-20 purposes:

Please allow at least 5-10 business days (business days are Monday through Friday) to review your application. If additional documentation is required, we will contact you via email. If your documents are approved, you will receive an email with instructions about how to download the I-20 from your application portal.

Do NOT email documents to us and there is no need to email to confirm that the documents have been uploaded. Access your application portal to confirm proper upload.

Students who are already in the U.S. with an active F-1 status:

  • Submit the Application for I-20 and Affidavit of Support and the required documents noted per the procedure above.
  • You must have the international student advisor at your current university release your SEVIS record to us.
    • Please contact the international student advisor at your current institution for information about how to transfer your SEVIS record to Montclair State University as each university has a different internal process. Montclair does not have a “transfer-in” form or any documentation required on our end. You will most likely need to provide your current international advisor a copy of your Montclair State University acceptance letter which you can access in your application portal.
    • Montclair’s F-1 School Code is NEW214F01039000.
    • Your I-20 will be issued after your current university releases your SEVIS record to Montclair State University. 


  • Please check the I-20 to ensure that there are no errors.
  • Refer to our “Understanding your I-20” page for information about what is and is not included on this document and frequently asked questions (example: the name of your major on the I-20 vs. your Montclair major).
Step 3
Let us Know You're Committing to Montclair State University

To reserve your place at Montclair State University, submit your deposit online by the deadline.*

After submission of the deposit, please allow 24-48 hours for your payment(s)/confirmation to be processed.(Note that payment of the deposit via PayMyTuition can take up to 7+ days for processing).

Freshmen/Transfer students: Pay your deposit.
Deposit Deadline: May 1st (fall) or December 1st (spring)

To pay your deposit, use your Campus Wide ID (CWID) provided in your acceptance letter. Log in using your CWID (the eight-digit number) in the “Name” field and your PIN, which is your six-digit date of birth (MMDDYY), in the “Password” field.

Graduate students: Confirm your admission AND pay your international graduate enrollment deposit.
Deposit Deadline: July 1st ** (or May 1st if requesting on-campus housing) (fall) or December 1st** (spring)
**Note that some competitive programs may require an earlier deposit. Please follow the instructions and deadline noted on your letter of admission.

To pay your deposit, use your Campus Wide ID (CWID) provided in your acceptance letter. Log in using your CWID (the eight-digit number) in the “Name” field and your PIN, which is your six-digit date of birth (MMDDYY), in the “Password” field.

All students:

  • You can pay the enrollment confirmation/deposit via credit card (use the red link on the pages noted above) or via other options (including bank transfer/wire transfer) using PayMyTuition.
  • Note: if paying the deposit via PayMyTuition, you must use your CWID proceeded by the letter “M”. Example: M12345678
  • If you are planning to live on campus, you may also submit your housing deposit* at this time. Once your new student deposit and housing deposit are processed, you may complete the online Housing Application. Detailed information about the housing selection process will be sent to your Montclair email when available. Learn more about Housing Selection process!
  • *The new student deposit and housing deposit are non-refundable. On-campus housing for the fall semester is guaranteed for students who have paid their housing deposit by May 1. Housing for the fall semester is available on a first-come, first-served basis for those who pay their housing deposit after May 1. Spring semester students interested in on-campus housing should submit the deposit and housing deposit as soon as possible after admission.
  • Questions about your deposit or confirming your spot? Undergraduate students: contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 973-655-4444 or email msuadm@montclair.edu for assistance. Graduate students: contact Graduate Admissions at 973-655-5147 or email graduate@montclair.edu for assistance.
  • Questions about your Housing Deposit and Application? Contact the Office of Residence Life at 973-655-5188 or email reslife@montclair.edu for assistance.
  • Please allow 24-36 hours for your credit card payment(s) to be processed (or up to 7+ days if paying via PayMyTuition) before moving on to Step 4.
Step 4
Set Up Your NET ID and Montclair Email Account

Your NetID is your Montclair email account login ID and your login for other web-based University systems.

1-3 days after receipt of your enrollment deposit, you will receive an email and/or notification of an update to your portal which will contain your NetID and instructions for setting it up. As part of activating your NetID, you’ll have to confirm your identity through a challenge question. As a new student, you must choose the “CWID” challenge question. Your NetID cannot be activated until your enrollment deposit has been processed.

After you activate your NetID, use your NetID and newly established password to access nest.montclair.edu, your Gmail, and other University systems.

Please Note: When you first log in to any of Montclair’s systems that use your NetID, you will be prompted to activate your MFA (Multi Factor Authentication). For more information on how to do this, review the MFA Quick Reference Guide. For your reference, here’s a full list of SSO-enabled applications that will require MFA to protect your privacy.

It may take 24 hours until you’re able to successfully log in to other campus systems after setting up your NetID.

Your Montclair Email Account:
To access your Montclair email, visit gmail.com and type in your NetID@montclair.edu and your NetID password. Don’t forget to add your new Montclair email to your phone and check it regularly! As a newly admitted student, you may receive emails to your personal email, your Montclair email, or both.

Questions about this step? Undergraduate students: contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 973-655-4444 or email msuadm@montclair.edu for assistance. Graduate students:  contact Graduate Admissions at 973-655-5147 or email graduate@montclair.edu for assistance.

Step 5
Register for Accepted Student Webinars

Join us for our accepted student webinars. We will offer monthly general accepted student and visa webinars. Additionally, we will offer a variety of one-time topic-specific webinars. We encourage all students to attend one general next steps student webinar, one “Ready to Soar” (I-20 and visa processes, arrival and life in NJ) webinar, and each of the special one-time webinars.

General admitted student webinar topics include:

  • Next steps
  • Course registration
  • Immunization and insurance
  • Fees and payment
  • Housing
  • Important dates

Ready to Soar: I-20 and visa processes, arrival and life in NJ webinar topics include:

  • About Montclair State University (information for the visa process)
  • I-20 information and application process
  • The visa interview
  • Travelling to/entering the U.S.
  • Life on campus
  • Upcoming events

One-time sessions for fall 2024 students*:

*Information about sessions will be posted in early March.

  • Graduate Student Registration (graduate students only): Learn more about how to register for courses.
  • Housing: Learn about on-campus housing options.
  • International Student Trivia: A fun and interactive trivia game with a purpose. Learn more about Montclair State University, New Jersey, and the U.S. This information could be very useful for the visa interview and is designed to give you a better understanding of the place you will soon call home for the next few years.
  • Immunizations: Learn about the required immunizations and how to submit proof of compliance.
  • Employment Workshop: Learn more about employment options for international students.
  • Ask a Student: Come prepared with your questions for a panel of our current international students.
  • Billing, Payment, Loan, & Insurance Information: Learn more about these important topics.
  • Q & A Drop-In: A chance to pose questions to our International Recruitment and International Student and Scholar Services teams. Get all of your last-minute questions answered here.


Undergraduate students coming to Montclair to study a bachelor’s degree: Undergraduate Students Register Here

Graduate students coming to Montclair to study a master’s or PhD: Graduate Students Register Here

Step 6
Submit the DS-160 Form and Schedule Your Visa Appointment

Complete the online application form DS-160 (some applicants will also be required to submit a form DS-157). All forms must be completed and signed, and can be found at http://evisaforms.state.gov/default.asp. A separate form is needed for children, even if they are included in their parent’s passport.

  • When filling out the DS-160 the university address can be found on the I-20 (1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA)
  • The contact person is the staff member (DSO) that signed your I-20.
  • The email is I-20@montclair.edu
  • The phone number is: (+1) 973-655-6862

Visit http://www.usembassy.gov to locate the embassy or consulate near you to schedule your required visa appointment.  Wait times for an appointment can be lengthy so apply as soon as possible upon receiving your I-20.

As you prepare for your visa appointment, you may wish to contact an EducationUSA Advising Center in your home country. The EducationUSA Advising Center can give you helpful information about application procedures specific to your home country. If possible, you may want to attend a pre-departure orientation program organized by the center. This orientation will likely include information not only about applying for the visa, but also about American culture.  We also recommend that you review NAFSA’s 10 Points to Remember to prepare for your visa interview.

Prepare the following documents for the visa interview at your local U.S. embassy or consulate:

  • Passport valid for up to 6 months past the intended end date on your I-20

  • I-20

  • Admission letter from Montclair State University

  • Receipt of SEVIS fee payment

  • Documented proof of financial support

  • Test scores and academic records

  • 2×2 visa photo (for specific requirements visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/photos.html)

  • Additional documents as required by the embassy or consulate (check your home country’s embassy or consulate for more information)

Canadian Students*

  • Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a visa to enter the United States; however, they must obtain an I-20 and pay the SEVIS fee before entering the US.

  • The following documents must be presented to the customs officer either at the border or airport:

    • Valid passport

    • Admission letter from Montclair State University

    • Receipt of SEVIS fee payment

    • Documented proof of financial support

    • I-20

*Permanent residents of Canada are required to obtain a visa before entering the United States.

Please inform us of the outcome of your visa interview so that we can update our records: I-20@montclair.edu.

Step 7
Pay the SEVIS fee

The SEVIS fee, also known as the Federal SEVIS I-901 fee, is a mandatory fee that must be paid by student and exchange visitors before applying for an F-1. The fee is $350 for the F-1 visa. The fee can be paid by credit card, Western Union Quick Pay, or by mail.  We do not recommend paying the fee by mail for it might take as long as four weeks to be processed. To pay the fee online, follow these instructions:

  • Visit http://www.fmjfee.com
  • Complete the form I-901. Be sure that you enter your personal information exactly as it appears on your I-20.
  • The Montclair State University school code is: NEW214F01039000
  • The SEVIS ID number is printed on the top left of your I-20. The SEVIS number starts with the letter N.
  • Once you have paid using a credit card, print the receipt. Do not exit the receipt page until you print the receipt. You will not be able to return to the receipt page once closed.

A prospective F student with a country of citizenship or who was born in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, or Gambia must pay by money order, Western Union Quick Pack, or certified check drawn from a U.S. bank.

SEVP will accept third party payments, meaning someone else can pay your I-901 SEVIS fee for you. For students who cannot pay the fee by credit card, third party payers are also restricted from paying the fee by credit card. For instructions on how to complete the Western Union Quick pay/Quick Collect form, please visit: https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu-instructions

Step 8
Complete Mandatory Health/Immunization Requirements

Within 48 hours of activating your NetID (step 4 of the checklist), you will be able to access the MyHealthPortal to upload your vaccination records. Immunization Requirements for Montclair students are viewable here.

Submit all immunization documentation through MyHealthPortal. (Please note, requests for medical exemption must be uploaded to MyHealthPortal as well.) Learn more about how to submit your immunization forms.

International students who do not have access to their individual vaccination certificates and/or they are not available in English may have their doctor complete this form to verify vaccination information.

International Student Immunization Form

  • Spring Students: The deadline to submit immunization records is December 1st or three weeks from the date you pay your deposit.
  • Fall Students: If you submit your deposit by May 1st, the deadline for submitting immunization records for Fall 2024 is May 22nd. If you pay your deposit after May 1st, you have three weeks from the date of deposit payment to submit the form.

Don’t delay! You may be de-registered from your courses if your vaccination records aren’t received by posted deadlines.

If you need help, contact the Student Health Center at 973-655-3459  or by email to askanurse@montclair.edu. Office hours are on the weekdays from 8am-5:30pm.

Step 9
Complete Mandatory Insurance Requirements

Per university policy, all full and part time international students are required to have sufficient health care insurance.

  • Montclair State University will enroll all full and part time F-1 international students into the school-sponsored health insurance plan. They may only opt-out (waive) if proof of coverage by an ACA-compliant insurance provider, filed and approved in the U.S. is provided. Click on “international waiver requirement student checklist” here to learn more.
  • Typically, we will not support plans marketed solely to international students as they do not fall in the category as accepted comparable alternative coverage (please verify before purchase). They are often not filed and approved in the U.S. and have limited benefits, provider networks and coverage periods that do not comply with the requirements of acceptable coverage per the Montclair State insurance mandate. GBG Insurance, HDL Global Specialty, ISO, PGH (United), PSI, Student Medicover and Tata AIG are examples of companies that do not meet the waiver requirements. For more information see here.
  • International students that have a health insurance plan that meets all of the waiver requirements can request the International Student Waiver Form by contacting University Health Plans at 800-437-6448 or info@univhealthplans.com.

Questions about this step? Contact the University Health Center at +1-973-655-3459 or email askanurse@montclair.edu for assistance.

Once enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, students can access their insurance card here.

Step 10
Register for Orientation

Register for the orientation programs. You will be emailed information about how to register for orientation within a few weeks of your acceptance.

For more information, see our orientation page.

Graduate students:

In addition to mandatory in-person international graduate orientation on August 28-29th, you may be requested or required to join additional orientation programs for graduate students and/or your college/program.

  • Questions about the mandatory in-person graduate international orientation? Email oge@montclair.edu
  • Questions about the general graduate or college/program specific orientation? Contact the college or department who sent the email for details.

Undergraduate students:

Registration information will be available in April. In-person orientation will take place the week of August 26th. Look out for emails from orientation@montclair.edu to register.

Step 11
Upload Your ID Card Photo

Follow the instructions below to ensure that you are able to pick-up your ID card upon arrival:

Important: this step can only be completed 2-3 days after course registration.

  • Find/take a great photo of yourself! (Color photo only)
  • Crop from just above the top of your head to your shoulders. (Important – do not crop off any part of your head!)
  • Photo should have you looking straight ahead into the camera.
  • No hats, sunglasses, emojis, hands, hair or anything else should be obstructing/touching your face.
  • Use a flash to eliminate shadows on your face.
  • Stand against a light colored wall or door for the background.
  • Think of a driver’s license/passport photo but with a smile!

How To Upload Your Photo

  1. Log into the eAccounts website with your NetID and password and register your account if this is your first time visiting eAccounts.
  2. To register your account:
    • Click on the “Profile” tab
    • Click “Transaction System Registration” in the menu bar
    • Click “Register” to connect your account to the transaction system
  3. Now, you can submit your photo, click the “Profile” tab and then click “Click here to submit your photo link”. From here, you will be prompted to upload your photo.

You can only collect your ID in-person by providing the required documentation.

Questions about this step? Visit the  ID Card Office website or contact the ID Card Office via phone at 973-655-4147 or email cardservices@montclair.edu for assistance.

Step 12
Submission of Final Transcripts, Placement Testing, and Other Admissions-Related Requirements

For additional information about submission of final transcripts and other requirements based on your academic level, please see the checklist items that pertain to you here:

Undergraduate Freshmen Students: please refer to steps 7, 8, and 10 on the freshman checklist for information about placement testing, building your schedule, and submission of final transcripts.

Undergraduate Transfer Students: please refer to steps 4, 5, 9, and 10 on the transfer checklist for information about your transfer credit evaluation, scheduling a mandatory meeting with your advisor, registering for placement tests, and submitting final transcripts.

Graduate Students: please refer to the graduate student checklist in your admissions portal for information about how to register for classes and to review academic and enrollment policies. Please follow guidelines from admissions for submission of your final transcript.

Step 13
Update us About Your Visa Process and Choose Your Arrival Date

Visa Process Update:
For those applying for the visa outside the U.S. or those who are awaiting a change of status, please keep us posted about the outcome of your visa. Please reach out to us at I-20@montclair.edu with any updates so we can better prepare for your arrival.

Arrival Date:
When purchasing your plane ticket, international students should note the start date on your I-20. You are allowed to enter the United States no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date listed on the I-20. For more information see Pre-Arrival Information.

Note that Residence Halls for on-campus students are not generally available for move-in until just prior to orientation. Questions about early move-in can be directed to reslife@montclair.edu.

Students living off-campus are NOT permitted to have temporary accommodation on-campus while seeking housing options. Please ensure that you have made arrangements for your stay upon arrival if you have not yet secured housing.

Step 14
Prepare to Pay Your Bill

Montclair State University offers a variety of tuition payment options to suit your needs, including a payment plan and an option specifically for international student payments.

Students using private loans can read more information about the loans and complete the precertification form here. (Scroll down to the section entitled “Loans for Students Entering with, Not Not Limited to, F or J visas).

Questions about this step? Contact Red Hawk Central at 973-655-7600 or email redhawkcentral@montclair.edu for assistance.