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iStart Help

iStart Help

iStart is Western Kentucky University’s web portal for immigration services, requests and benefits for our international student and scholars. iStart is a comprehensive international data management tool with many benefits. All new and returning WKU international students and scholars will use iStart. Once you have been officially accepted to WKU, use iStart to confirm attendance and request many other services and benefits of your visa category.


  1. Retrieve your WKU NetID and create your NetID password BEFORE attempting to use iStart.
  2. Login to iStart using your NetID and password.


iStart Login



What is iStart?

iStart is Western Kentucky University’s paperless web portal to immigration services, requests and benefits for our international students and scholars.

Who will use iStart?
  • Future, current, and previous international students and scholars
  • IEM (International Enrollment Management)
  • WKU academic and administrative departments who help ISO confirm and approve some international student requests
What can iStart do?
  • Streamline services and requests using e-forms
  • Transition IEM to a paperless office
  • Increase efficiency and save time
 How can I use iStart?  

Use e-forms (electronic forms) to request:

  • Employment Authorization (CPT, OPT, STEM OPT), Academic Training (J-1)
  • Program Extension of I-20 or DS-2019
  • Reduced Course Load
  • Change of Major/Program
  • Dependent Documents
  • Travel Signature
  • Invitation Letters
  • Driver’s License/State ID Form
  • Foreign Language Waiver
  • Other Services and Requests
 Where is iStart?  

Online at istart.wku.edu

  • Use the same login information (NetId and password) as TopNet
  • Find the istart link on our website
  • Use Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome
What does iStart look like?

Here is the login page:

Students: In the Full Client Services Box, click the blue “LOGIN” button.

iStart Login

I've been fully admitted as a new or transfer international student.  Will I use iStart?

Yes. If you have been officially admitted to WKU as an international F-1 or J-1 student, you already have an iStart record. You can go ahead and login in to confirm your attendance and sign up for the free airport shuttle.

Does iStart replace TopNet?

No. iStart communicates between TopNet, SEVIS and campus users to keep your data in synch.

Where do I update my local address, foreign address, my name or academic information?

You should still update your information on TopNet. Your address changes there will feed into iStart and ISO will then approve your changes for SEVIS.

What if I just need a Travel Signature?

Submit the Travel Signature Request e-form and bring your I-20 or DS-2019 by the office for signature. ISO will email you when your request is approved and your I-20 or DS-2019 is available for pick-up. You must allow 2-3 business days for processing of the request.

If you have lost your I-20 or DS-2019, you will need to also submit a Replace Lost Document e-form on iStart.

What format is accepted for uploads?

PDF only.

Can I take a photo of my document with my cell phone camera to upload?


No. Cameras use jpeg files. Only PDF files can be uploaded. If your PDF is unclear, or unreadable, processing of your request will be delayed. 


What happens after I submit my e-form?

Your request will be reviewed by ISO the following business day.  If a second approver in your academic department is needed, ISO will forward the request electronically to the advisor you indicate on the e-form. You will receive an email confirmation when your request is submitted and completed. Most requests will be completed in 2-3 business days.


I'm on OPT or STEM OPT extension.  Do I need to update my employer information or employment address?

Yes. You must report all employment or address changes in OPT within 10 days. Log into iStart and use the e-form titled “OPT Employment Report Form."

I'm on OPT or STEM OPT extension, and I can no longer use my NetID and password to log on to iStart.  What do I do?
  1. When you go to istart.wku.edu, select “Limited Services” within the Limited Services for Students and Scholars box.

iStart limited Services

  1. Enter your WKU ID number or 800#
  2. Enter your date of birth
  3. Enter your Limited Access Pin. If you do not have it you can request an email with your Pin by clicking “E-mail me my Limited Access PIN”
  4. Login

iStart Limited Access Page

What if I have problems with or questions about iStart?

Email ISO at iso@wku.edu.





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 Last Modified 9/5/18