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International Student & Scholar Services

International Student & Scholar Services

Pre-Arrival Checklist

This checklist will help you prepare before arrival

Step 1: Your documents

Read documents in your Welcome packet from UC Denver: Read all immigration documents carefully to ensure that all the information related to you and your family members is correct.  If not, please contact an International Scholar Advisor.  The packet includes information about arrival, visa status, and your first few days in Colorado.

Step 2: Visa appointment

Make a visa appointment with a US Consulate or Embassy:  Please check with the nearest US consulates for required forms, fee payment and procedures, and visa processing times at

Step 3: Book flight

Book a flight The main airport in Colorado is Denver International Airport (DEN).  Upon arrival there are several ground transportation options to choose from.  For more information about DIA, please visit  

Step 4: Driver’s license

Obtain a driver’s license in your home country or a temporary international driver’s license:  Your home country’s driver’s license should be recognized for one year in the state of Colorado.  You will need an English translation or an international driver’s license which will serve as a translation.  This will provide you the ability to drive your first few weeks or months as you apply for your Colorado driver’s license.

Step 5: What to bring

What to bring with you for your arrival in Denver:

  • Valid passport
  • SEVIS I-901 fee receipt for J-1 scholars
  • Valid visa, if applicable
  • Original Letter of Invitation or Letter of Offer
  • Original I-797 approval notice, if applicable
  • Financial documents, if you are not being sponsored by UC Denver, in case they are requested at the Port-Of-Entry (POE)
  • Phone numbers and addresses of important contacts in the USA
  • Phone numbers and address of your UC Denver sponsoring department
  • Emergency contact information for others to reference
  • Medicines
  • Home country or International driver’s license
  • Basic toiletries
  • Credit card
  • Traveler’s checks: Bring most of your money in traveler’s checks so you can easily replace if they are lost or stolen.
  • US currency: Bring some cash- about $100 -$200 in small bills ($10 and $20 bills) and several dollars in coins (especially “quarters” worth $0.25)

Note: It is best to keep your cash and traveler’s checks separate and secured.  That way, if your wallet or purse is stolen, you have not lost everything.  You should bring money for initial expenses with you at least $1,000 - $1,500(USD), even if you will UC Denver funding.  You will need this money to pay for temporary housing, moving-in expenses for long term housing, food, transportation, supplies and other necessary items during your first few weeks in Denver. 

J-1 Scholars

Check In for new and transferring in J-1 Scholars:  Upon your arrival in Denver, please contact your department administrator to set up a department orientation as well as your immigration check in with an international scholar advisor.  Please bring your DS-2019, passport with visa and I-94 Arrival/Departure card that you will receive when you enter the USA as well as proof of insurance.

H-1, O-1, E-3 Scholars

Check In for new H-1, TN, O-1, & E-3 Scholars: If you are entering the USA the first time in your applicable status, please send a scanned copy of your passport, visa, I-94 Arrival/Departure card to an international scholar advisor so we can document your arrival.   For porting scholars, please feel free to contact an international scholar advisor upon your arrival at UC Denver.

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