Welcome International Students!
Congratulations on your decision to pursue advanced study at the University of Texas at El Paso! The Graduate School recognizes that the visa and employment processes for international students can be cumbersome and wants you to have the smoothest experience possible. Use the information below to guide your process, and email email@example.com if you have questions or need help.
The UTEP Graduate School accepts applications year round. Click here to review deadlines and application requirements for specific programs.
Applicants to Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Occupational Therapy, or Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology, apply through their respective Centralized Application Service (*CAS).
Click on "International Applicants or Mexican Applicants”
- Create your user account. You can do this after going to our application page and selecting the program and available semester you would like to apply for.
- Fill out biographical information
- Register your recommenders
- Upload required documents
Once you have successfully passed the inspector, you can make payment for your application by credit card or electronic check through secure checkout. Once you have submitted your application, an automated confirmation email will be sent to you, and signifies your application is on its way to the Graduate School.
- Pay the application fee and submit your application. Your application won't be processed until you pay the fee:
Mexican Nationals $45 USD
International students $80 USD
If applying through *CAS system, check application fees at the designated website.
Updates on the status of your application are done electronically. If applying through *CAS system, check application updates at the designated website.
You will receive an email from the Graduate School that a decision on your application has been made. Log into your account to review the content of the letter.If you have been admitted, congratulations! UTEP Graduate School will send you a Letter of Admission and a link to the New Student Guide with information about the next steps for enrollment.
If not, we thank you for your interest in UTEP. You may be able to apply again in the future, and we wish you all the best in your future graduate education endeavors.
Register for the Amigo Miner Program, which will match you with a current UTEP graduate student who can help with the transition to El Paso and UTEP.
Plan to bring or have access to enough personal funds to support yourself. Estimated monthly expenses are $1,000.
If you've received an assistantship, note that you won't get your first paycheck of the semester until October 1 (Fall) or February 1 (Spring).
Note: UT System requires all international students in a F1, F2, J1, or J2 visa status to maintain medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage while enrolled at a UT System institution. For that reason, you will be automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), and the cost of that coverage will appear on your tuition and fee invoice. (See step #5 for details.)
Visit the Office of International Programs located in the Union East Building, room 203 as soon as possible. You must visit within 15 days of your arrival with all your documentation to complete the DHS Arrival Check-in: passport; I-20/DS-2019; visa; offer letter; and I-94 (if applicable).
If you've received an assistantship, also ask the OIP staff to enter your information in the SEVIS system and issue a Social Security Number (SSN) request letter. (See step #5 for details.)
Attend mandatory OIP orientation. At the start of the each term, OIP will offer 2 - 4 sessions where you will learn about successful strategies that will help you remain in F-1/J-1 status. Attend only one session.
With the help of your graduate advisor, register for classes.
If you have received an assistantship, you need to submit an In-State Tuition Waiver, which reduces your tuition and fees to the Texas resident rate. (See step #5 for details.)
After registration, pay any balance on your Pete's Payment account or consider a Payment Plan to pay your balance in installments.
Emergency Loans are available to all students to pay for the first installment. This option defers your initial down payment and divides your remaining tuition and fees into equal payments.
If you are a recipient of a governmental scholarship, the third-party will guarantee payment of tuition and/or fees.
Many graduate programs offer discipline-specific orientation for new students. Contact your advisor or Graduate Program Director for details.
Most new students are also required to attend the Graduate School's semesterly New Graduate Student Orientation. Make plans to attend, and complete any additional compliance trainings.
Note: All new on-campus students are required to complete Community of Care online modules. Click here and login with your UTEP credentials to access them now.
Visit www.utep.edu/graduate/new for details regarding New Graduate Student Orientation and other compliance requirements.
- Create a profile on SUNAPSIS
- Fill out the Confirmation of Financial Resources (CFR)
Mexican Nationals should apply for the PASE program before filling the CFR.
- Obtain an I-20
- Pay a SEVIS Fee
- Schedule an appointment at the nearest U.S. consulate.
After receiving your admissions letter and your Letter of Financial Support (if applicable), apply for the CFR through the SUNAPSIS portal. If approved, the Office of International Programs will issue an I-20.
Mexican citizens or permanent residents should apply to the Programa de Asistencia Estudiantil (PASE). PASE otorga un descuento en la colegiatura para pagar la misma colegiatura que los residentes del estado de Texas.
Apply for PASE before you complete the CFR. If CFR is approved, the Office of International Programs will issue an I-20.
After receiving your I-20, you will pay an I-901 SEVIS fee of approximately US $200.
After you get your I-20 and pay the I-901 fee, make an appointment at a US Consulate to apply for the F1 visa. Appointment scheduling and a visa processing times vary considerably, but average 1- 3 days. Waits may be considerably longer in some cases, so you should start this process as soon as possible. Check the US consulate website of your country for approximate wait times.
Note: Some countries—including Iran and Bhutan—do not have a US Consulate, so students in those places must go to another country to apply for visa.
Make arrangements to travel only after you get the F-1/J-1 visa. If you are the recipient of an assistantship, try to arrive in El Paso at least one month prior to the start of the term. Delayed arrival may delay your employment and/or pay.
If visa is denied with prejudice, that is the end of the application process.
If the visa is denied without prejudice, you may be able to reapply or defer your application for admission. Notify your Graduate Program Director in writing and copy (cc) firstname.lastname@example.org to defer your admission to the next available term.
Notify your graduate advisor in writing of your decision to enroll.
Access the SUNAPSIS platform, operated by the Office for International Programs (OIP). There, complete the "Confirmation of Financial Resources" (CFR) to initiate the I-20 request. Submit all documents required for that task.
If you decide to decline or defer your admission, notify your graduate advisor in writing and copy (cc) email@example.com.
If an offer is made, request a Letter of Financial Support with detailed information about your TA, RA, or GA position from your Graduate Program Director. This letter is required to complete the CFR and initiate your I-20 process.
Accept (or decline) the offer in writing as soon as possible. Stay tuned for additional requests for documentation.
If no offer is made, contact your program advisor or research professor to inquire about the possibility of an assistantship.
If you are receiving an assistantship request the New Hire Information Sheet (NHI) from your program advisor and complete the In-State Tuition Waiver. These forms need to be signed by the department chair.
Once signed, submit the Waiver to your college's dean's office.
When you check in with OIP ask the staff to enter your information in the SEVIS system and issue a Social Security Number (SSN) request letter. It will take 3 – 10 business days for DHS to notify the SS Administration of your SEVIS registration. You can't work until you have an SSN.
Upon receipt of the SSN request letter, you may go to the Social Security office in El Paso area and apply for a SSN. You will receive a SSN card in the mail in approximately 10 - 30 working days.
Visit the Office of Human Resources (HR) Administration Building, room 216 to submit the New Hire Information sheet (NHI) which you received from your department to initiate the employment process. The NHI should be signed by the department supervisor and chair.
Here's a breakdown of that process:
- Make sure you have a Social Security Number (SSN), which is required to work. You can't start your assistantship until you have your SSN.
- Take your SSN card and signed NHI to HR.
- Ask your hiring department to submit the Criminal Background Check form (CBC). You'll get an email requesting your approval of the CBC, which you'll need to complete within one day. CBC clearance may take two weeks or more.
- Once your background check clears, your hiring department can start the Interim Approval Process (IAP).
- IAP requires several approvals. Once they are made, your employment appointment will appear in PeopleSoft (UTEP's employment software).
Remember: Even if your employment process goes smoothly, you won't get your first paycheck until October 1 (Fall) or February 1 (Spring).
As a Graduate Student Employee (GSE), you are eligible for medical insurance, "SHIP," at no cost to you unless you choose extra coverage. You must:
- Enroll as a full-time student and attend classes through at least the 12th day after the date for which coverage is purchased;
- Be appointed to and actively working at a minimum of 50% (20 hours per week) for the duration of the semester (4 ½ months); and
- Sign up for the policy each semester prior to census Day.
Click here to sign up for SHIP or view details and other insurance options.
The link above also provides information for international students not employed as GSEs. If you have insurance coverage that complies with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act you need to submit a waiver to remove the automatically assigned medical insurance.
Call or email: 915-747-5202 - firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about insurance.