Visa and Immigration

Now that you have been accepted to the University of Colorado Boulder, there are a number of steps you need to take as soon as you receive your I-20 or DS2019. ISSS has prepared this checklist to help you.

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you enter the United States.

J-1 and F-1 visa holders beginning a new program at CU-Boulder have to pay a SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before a visa can be issued. Carefully review these two web sites for information about the SEVIS fee and to access the form you will need to fill out. See:

SEVIS Fee Information


Visit your nearest US embassy or consulate as soon as you receive your I-20 or DS2019, since the visa may take some time to obtain. You will have to make an appointment to go to the embassy or consulate. You must take your SEVIS fee receipt with you to your appointment.  For more information, visit Preparing for your Visa Interview.

Travel Tips

• You may arrive in the US up to 30 days before the report date on your DS2019 (if you are a J student) or I-20 (if you are an F student).
• Plan your travel so that you arrive in Boulder NO LATER than the date listed at the "When to Arrive in Boulder" page.
• Expect the process at the US Port of Entry to take time. You will be fingerprinted and photographed. Allow at least two hours to clear the port of entry and to transfer to your next flight.
• Hand carry (or have in your carry-on bag) the following documents:

Your passport
SEVIS form DS2019 (if you are a J student) or form I-20 (if you are an F student) and any previous DS2019s or I-20s
Evidence of your financial resources
Evidence of your student or exchange visitor status, such as your acceptance letter
Paper receipt for the SEVIS fee
International Student and Scholar Services contact information
Your address in Boulder

When you arrive in Boulder:

Please make sure you give your body time to adjust to the high-altitude. Increase your fluid intake and plan to rest more the first day or two after you arrive.