Exchange visitors in J-1 status are eligible to enter the U.S. as early as 30 days prior to the program start date indicated on their DS-2019, but are not able to begin program activities until the DS-2019 start date.

U.S. Entry Documentation

Exchange visitors seeking entry to the U.S. in J-1 status should be prepared to present documentation of their identity, purpose for traveling to the U.S., and ability to financially support themselves in the United States. Be sure to pack port-of-entry documentation in your carry-on luggage!

  • Valid passport
  • Valid U.S. visa (exceptions)
  • Original DS-2019 issued for CU Boulder scholar program
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • CU Boulder invitation letter
  • Financial support documentation (e.g., CU Boulder offer letter, bank statement, affidavit of support) 
  • ISSS phone number (303-492-8057)

Additional documentation may be required—e.g., resume, local address in Colorado etc.

Port of Entry Procedure

It can take a considerable amount of time to clear customs so be sure to book a flight that allows ample time for you complete the entry process and transfer to your next flight.

The CBP official will review your documents and may ask you questions about the purpose of your travel to the United States. The CBP official will determine if you are admissible. CBP will create an electronic record of your arrival (I-94). Your I-94 will indicate your visa status (J1); expiration date of your status in the U.S. (D/S), and the date and port of entry.

Arriving On-Campus

Transportation To and Around Boulder

Scholar Check-In

Immigration regulations require the host university to validate the arrival of J-1 exchange visitors in the United States within 30 days of the program start date indicated on their DS-2019.  

To meet this requirement, scholars must complete the following e-forms (available in your MyISSS portal in the J-1 Scholar Services section):

  • Immigration Check-In (e-form group with 3 required e-forms)
    • Must be completed after arrival in the U.S. in J-1 status or transfer to CU Boulder 
  • Exchange Visitor Scholar Orientation & Quiz (e-form)
    • Can be completed prior to the DS-2019 start date and prior to arrival in the United States in J-1 status.

If you will arrive in the U.S. later than your DS-2019 start date, please the ISSS advisor assigned to your department as your SEVIS record may need to be updated. 

Failure to complete the immigration check-in process with ISSS will result in the cancelation of your SEVIS record and J-1 status in the United States.

Accessing the MyISSS Portal

In order to log into the MyISSS Portal to access the e-forms required for checking in with ISSS, you must activate your IdentiKey.

  • If you do not have a social security number or it has not yet been entered in CU Boulder’s system, please contact IT Service Center at 303-735-4357 or to request a pin to activate your IdentiKey.

IdentiKey Resources

Immigration Check-In E-Forms

Complete the Immigration Check-In e-form group (comprised of the required Immigration Check-In, Insurance Compliance, and Emergency Contact Information e-forms) is available in your MyISSS portal in the J-1 Scholar Services section as soon as possible after arriving in the United States.

The Immigration Check In (Scholar) e-form group consists of three required e-forms:

  • Immigration Check-In
  • Insurance Compliance (Check-In)
  • Emergency Contact Information (Check-In)
  • Scholar's with dependent(s) who accompanied them in J-2 status must also complete the J-2 dependent I-94 Arrival record Submission (Check-In); a separate e-form must be submitted for each dependent in J-2 status who has arrived in the U.S.

Completing the Immigration Check-In E-Forms

To complete the e-forms, you must have the following information:

  • Your residential address in Colorado
  • The following documents that you will upload in the e-form:
    • DS-2019 marked by a consular or immigration officer (if applicable)
    • I-94,  
    • J-1 visa (if applicable)
  • Your health insurance and Medical evacuation insurance coverage details
  •  U.S emergency contact and non-U.S. emergency contact

If dependents accompanied you in J-2 status:  

  •     Complete a J-2 Dependent I-94 Submission e-form for each dependent who entered the U.S. with you in J-2 status
    • Upload your J-2 dependent(s) I-94

Online J-1 Exchange Visitor Scholar Orientation

As part of the immigration check-in process, exchange visitors scholars in J-1 status must complete an online Exchange Visitor Scholar Orientation (available in your MyISSS portal in the J-1 Scholar Services section) to complete their check-in reporting with ISSS.

The entire immigration check-in process must be completed with ISSS no later than 30 days after the DS-2019 program start date. Failure to complete the immigration check-in process within these 30 days will result in the automatic cancelation of your SEVIS record and J-1 status in the United States.