As a foreign national, you will need to obtain a temporary visa from the United States in order to be allowed entry to the country. The two most common types of visas for students attending the University of Colorado Boulder are the F-1 student visa and the J-1 exchange visitor visa.
In order to acquire either of these visas, it is necessary to have an appointment with a visa official at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. You are required to pay the U.S. government SEVIS fee to make this appointment, and to bring your application materials, admission offer, passport and immigration documents issued by the university (described below) to the appointment. It is best to try to receive this visa as soon as possible after your admission.
More detailed instructions on how to apply for your visa will be sent to you upon admission to CU-Boulder, along with your admission offer.
The F-1 student visa is used by most students.
If you are admitted, and after we receive proof of funding for your studies and proof of your English proficiency, the CU-Boulder Office of Admissions will send you a Form I-20, which is the application for the F-1 student visa.
Information from the I-20 will allow you to pay the government visa fee (online) and thus to make a visa appointment at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. You will also be required to pay a visa fee. In addition to your application materials, passport and admission offer, you’ll need to bring this I-20 to your visa appointment. Both the F-1 student visa (stamped into your passport if approved) and the I-20 Form are necessary to enter the US.
If you are an F-1 student already studying in the United States, you must complete the F-1 immigration transfer form and arrange to have your current F-1 immigration record transferred to us before your “transfer pending” I-20 can be issued. A link to this form is included in your formal admission email.
This pertains only to F-1 students currently attending a US school or college in the United States. The immigration transfer process is an electronic F-1 record transfer from your current school to the University of Colorado Boulder.
If any of these steps or items are missing, we cannot begin the immigration transfer process or issue a CU-Boulder transfer-pending I-20.
The J-1 exchange visitor (student category) visa is designed for certain non-privately sponsored students, such as those whose funding comes from their government.
If you are admitted, CU-Boulder's International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS) office or your sponsoring organization will send you the DS-2019 form necessary to obtain this visa.
Information from the DS-2019 will allow you to pay the SEVIS fee (online) and thus to make a visa appointment at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. You will also be required to a pay a visa fee. In addition to your application materials, passport and admission offer, you’ll need to bring this DS-2019 to your visa appointment. Both the J-1 student visa (stamped into your passport if approved) and the DS-2019 Form are necessary to enter the US.
Students here on other visa types (or who have come as dependents on another person’s visa) are generally permitted to study full time at the university. This includes H-4s, L-2s, and E-2s, among others. If you have one of these visas already, please indicate such on your admission application.
U.S. Immigration law prohibits any full-time study for students who enter the U. S. on the visa waiver program or on B1/B2 tourist visas or F-2 visas. If you’re here already and unsure of your visa type or immigration status, please indicate “Other” as your US citizenship on the CU-Boulder admission application.