All new international students in F-1 or J-1 status will need to review this pre-arrival information.
Paying I-901 SEVIS Fee
Students applying for F-1 or J-1 visas for initial attendance at a university must first pay the I-901 SEVIS fee of $200 for F-1 students and $180 for J-1s. We recommend that you pay the fee on-line. This fee should be paid prior to making a visa appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate. F-2 and J-2 spouses and dependent children DO NOT have to pay this fee.
You must take your fee receipt for proof of payment to your visa appointment. Payments can be made on-line by using a credit card, by mail or by Western Union. If paying by Western Union or mail, please keep in mind that it will take several weeks to get a receipt; please pay this fee early to avoid delays. Please visit www.fmjfee.com to pay the fee and complete an I-901 form.
Hints for filling out the I-901:
- Read the FAQ (frequently asked questions)
- Double-check that the information on the I-20 or DS-2019 is correct.
- If it is not, do NOT pay the fee and contact UC Denver’s International Student & Scholar Services to correct the I-20 or DS-2019.
- The school code is DEN214F00301000 (for F-1s) or P-1-03858 (for J-1s).
- Your SEVIS number is in the top, right-hand corner and begins with N000.
- Print at least two copies – one to take to the Embassy or Consulate and one for your records.
If you have applied to more than one school, you must decide which school you will attend and pay the SEVIS fee using that school’s information. If you are denied a visa, you cannot get a refund of your SEVIS fee. If you decide to reapply for a visa within the next 12 months, you will not have to pay the fee again.
Student Visa Application at U.S. Consulate
You should also make an appointment as soon as possible with the US Consulate where you will be applying for your student visa. You must enter the country BEFORE the reporting date on your I-20 or DS-2019. In fact, you can enter the US up to 30 days before the reporting date. Arriving early will allow you time to settle into the Denver area before the start of school. You can go to the Department of State website to see the estimated wait time for the Embassy or Consulater nearest you. The visa can be issued up to 120 days before the reporting date on your documents.
Be prepared for the visa interview. The officer must assume that each prospective student is planning on staying in the US. It is your job to prove otherwise. Any ties to your country – family, jobs, land ownership, etc – will help show that you do plan to return to your home country after you are finished with school. Take any documents that you think will help your case including your original financial documents or letter of sponsorship, but don’t be surprised if the officer does not ask to see anything. The officer will probably spend less than a few minutes with you as well.
You should take:
- Proof of having paid the SEVIS fee
- Evidence of financial resources
- Evidence of English ability
- Evidence that you intend to depart the US upon completion of your studies
- Form DS-160 or Forms DS-156 and DS-158 (Check with the embassy you are applying to)
- Form DS-157, if applicable
- Passport-sized photographs
- Proof of payment of Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee
- Visa reciprocity fee (if applicable)
- Transcripts, test scores (GRE, TOEFL, etc)
You can find specific information about the consulate, appointment process, application forms, and visa fee at the Department of State website.
Arrivaling at the US Port of Entry
After you receive your visa, you may enter the USA up to 30-days before the reporting date listed on their immigration document. Make sure that you pack all your important documents in your carry-on luggage. This should include:
- Evidence of financial resources
- Evidence of student status, such as recent tuition receipts, transcripts or proof of registration
- Paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797
- Name and contact information for your Designated School Official
You can also read more about what will happen at the Port of Entry at the ICE website.
Coming to Denver
Denver International Airport (DIA) is located about one hour from downtown Denver. To get to campus from the airport, you have a few options:
- Contact your student group for pick-up possibilities. UC Denver does not offer pick up services, but some of the student groups may. You can visit http://ucdenver.orgsync.com/findaclub.
- Shuttle services (about $20 per person to downtown; cash or credit)
- Taxi ($54 flat rate to downtown; cash only)
- Metro taxi: 303-333-3333
- Yellow Cab: 303-777-7777
- Zone Cab: 303-444-8888
- RTD bus ($8 one way; exact change – cash only) The bus will drop you off at the Market Street Station (Market and 16th), just a few blocks from campus.
More information is available on Level 5 (ground transportation and baggage claim). Please see www.flydenver.com for information on DIA and services provided. You can also call 303-342-4059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housing Options at UC Denver
All first-time freshmen, single, undergraduate international students will be required to live in Campus Village, our student housing. Basic information about student housing, available options, costs, and exemptions can be found on-line at the UC Denver Housing site. First-year international students wanting to apply for an exemption to the live-in requirement may do so by filling out the Special Exemption Form on-line. If you feel your situation warrants an exemption we urge you to apply for an exemption so that your individual situation can be reviewed. Exemptions will be authorized on a case by case basis. Graduate international students are NOT required to live in Campus Village, but they do have the option of staying at the Campus Village.
Graduate students, married students or students with children here can visit the UC Denver Housing Website for assistance with finding off-campus housing in the Denver metropolitan area.
Please note: UC Denver does not offer a homestay program nor do we keep such information.
Upon Arriving at UC Denver
Check-in & Essentials Sessions
All new international students in F or J visa classification, including any transfers from other institutions within the US, are required to attend a mandatory Check-In & Essentials Session. For more information and to sign up for a session now visit the Check-In & Essentials page.
You will have a second hold, a college advising hold, on your account as well. This will be released when you “meet” with your academic advisor. You can “meet” with your academic advisor by email, phone or in person. Your academic advisor in your department can ensure that you register for the right classes to stay on schedule. Part of the visa requirements is to make progress towards your degree. Starting off “on the right foot” makes it much easier.
Activate your University email account
To activate your UC Denver email account, go the Student Portal and follow the instructions on how to activate your account (new user). You will need to do this before you can register for classes. All official University correspondence will be sent to your UC Denver email address. Please check your email account at least three times a week. If you choose to, you can forward your official account to your personal account, but turn off the SPAM filter in your personal email account.
You must pay your $200 registration deposit to activate your account. After that, you will be able to register for classes. If you are a sponsored student, you may need to pay this, and ask your sponsor for reimbursement later. Payments can be made by credit card, mail and electronic bank withdrawal. You will also need to take your financial guarantee letter, if you are a sponsored student.
Update your Mailing (local) Address and/or Permanent (Home) Address
Update your information on the Portal system. It is a requirement of your visa that you always maintain accurate addresses in the system. You must always have an address in your home country and your address in Denver listed in the student portal.
Get your Student ID card
In the Tivoli Student Union, you can get your Student ID card. You will need your passport or another photo ID, $10 or a voucher from the Bursar’s Office and proof that you have registered for classes.
Pay your bill
For further enrollment, billing, and payment details, go to www.ucdenver.edu/bursar. NOTE: The amount of tuition listed on Form I-20 is for the minimum required courseload. If you register for additional classes, your tuition may be more. Furthermore, some departments charge additional fees for certain classes. Students are responsible for making arrangements to cover any additional expenses. For additional information, please visit the Bursar’s website: www.ucdenver.edu/bursar.
Wire Transfer Information
Bank Name: Wells Fargo/ San Francisco, CA; Routing Number: 12100024; Swift Number: WFBIUS6S; Depositor Name: Regents of University of Colorado at Denver; Depositor Number: 1018145260. Please be sure that your name and student ID number are included on all wire transfers.
Traveling to the US with a Sufficient Amount of Money
When you travel to the US, be prepared with enough of US currency to pay for your first meals, transportation, and incidentals. A credit card that you can us in the United States will also be helpful. Study the US exchange rates prior to your trip to the US so you are prepared to handle your travel and settling expenses.
Since medical care is so expensive in the United States, UCD provides a health insurance policy specifically for international students. For more information, you are encouraged to review the Health Insurance website for specific information for international students.