Late Arrival

The International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) realizes some things do not go as planned and some students cannot arrive at UNC Charlotte for the term that they are originally admitted. If you are one of those students, we have outlined the steps you should take if you want to arrive for the next available term.

How late can I arrive?

The ISSO strongly recommends that ALL new international students to arrive at Charlotte several days BEFORE the mandatory International Student Orientation. This gives students ample time to acclimate to their new environment before starting classes.

The LATEST a student should enter the U.S. to begin UNC Charlotte classes for Fall 2024 is Thursday, August 22nd, 2024.

Students who arrive after classes begin will have a hard time adjusting personally and academically. Even if Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allows you to enter the U.S. AFTER the program start date listed on the I-20/DS-2019 form (which is up to officers’ discretion), you will most likely have a difficult time catching up with your academic requirements. Remember, poor academic performance can also jeopardize your immigration status.

What if I cannot attend class before the add/drop deadline?

  1. Drop Your Class Registration: If you cannot enter the U.S. in time to attend classes BEFORE the last day to add/drop, you must DROP all of your classes before the drop/add deadline. If you do not drop classes in time, you will be charged tuition. You will be responsible for the tuition bill even though you did not attend class. You will not be able to attend UNC Charlotte for a future semester until your previous bill is zero ($0).
  2. Re-apply for or Defer admission for a future term at UNC Charlotte:
    1. Undergraduate students – contact Undergraduate Admissions Office by phone (+1-704-687-5507) or email ( and explain the reason why you cannot attend the university for the term you have been admitted to. In most cases, students will have to submit a new application. Undergraduate Admissions will let you know about your next steps on how to obtain admission for a different semester. For more information, you may contact Sara Rawls via email at (
    2. Graduate students – If you cannot attend for the term you were admitted, you may make a one-time request (via email to to update your application or defer your admission for up to one academic year. After that, a new application is required. If you are requesting a deferral of admission, your application will be reconsidered for admission to the new term. The graduate school has more information about the deferral process on their webpage.

Will I still receive graduate funding for the future semester?

If you are a graduate student and you were originally offered academic funding, communicate with your academic department and let them know you wish to attend UNC Charlotte in a future term. If your academic department is able to provide academic funding for the future term, they must update the Electronic Graduate Assistantship (eGA) system AND/OR the Electronic Graduate Payment System (eGPS) to confirm their financial commitment. Only UNC Charlotte funding confirmed through the eGA and eGPS systems will be recorded on students’ immigration documents (I-20s).

When will I receive my new or updated I-20?

Once you are readmitted to UNC Charlotte for a future term, you must submit a new Financial Certification Form (FCF). The ISSO will review your completed FCF and issue you a new or updated I-20 within 10 days. Your I-20 will be electronically available to you in our ISSOconnect software. Once you receive the I-20, you must pay the SEVIS fee and apply for an F-1 visa.

SEVIS I-901 FEE – Do I have to pay it again?

It depends:

  • Same SEVIS number – If your updated I-20 has the same SEVIS number as your previous I-20, then you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again. The SEVIS fee has already been applied to your current I-20.
  • New SEVIS number – If you received a new I-20 that has a different SEVIS number from your previous I-20 (that you did not use), you may request that your SEVIS fee payment be transferred to your new I-20.

To request the SEVIS fee payment transfer – Per ICE I-901 fee FAQs, go to and “Check I-901 status”. If there is a valid fee payment on your record, a request transfer button will appear next to the print confirmation button. Once you select this transfer option, you will be prompted to enter information from your new I-20. After you submit your request, you will receive an email confirming if your SEVIS fee transfer is approved or denied.