On behalf of the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) unit within the Office of International Affairs (OIA), we are excited to have you join us. You will soon become part of an international community that includes nearly 1,700 international students and scholars from nearly 100 different countries.

We trust you will find your time here rewarding and complimentary to your personal and professional goals. In order to ensure a successful start at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, you will find detailed information regarding next steps as you prepare for departure to the U.S. and upon arrival in the U.S.

The broad purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange, in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Exchange programs exist in a variety of formats and permit visitors to come to this country for a wide range of activities. This university’s Exchange Visitor Program provides opportunities for study and research.

Many participants in the J-1 Program are subject to a requirement that they return home for a minimum of two years upon completion of their program. The purpose of the requirement is to allow the home country to benefit from the Exchange Visitor's experience in the United States. The terms of this requirement are specified on the DS-2019 form. If you have questions about the requirements and whether or not they apply to you, please raise them with the Consular Officer when you apply for your visa.

You will find information about various topics, such as the visa application process, arrival at the U.S. port of entry, housing, health insurance, and transportation. Review the steps below to avoid any delays upon your arrival to the U.S. and the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus.

First Steps

SEVIS Fee

As a new J-1 Exchange Visitor, you will pay a SEVIS fee of USD $220 prior to obtaining your J-1 visa. The fee is not charged to those transferring from one program to another, unless you are moving from a government J program to a non-government J program. Family members accompanying the principal Exchange Visitor and entering as J-2 dependents are not required to pay this fee. All SEVIS fee payments must be accompanied by Form I-901 and a receipt notice will be issued to you when the fee is processed.

For more information about paying this fee and to access Form I-901, Visit the I-901 Fee Processing Website.

You will need to have the University of Colorado Denver’s Exchange Visitor Program Number, which is P-1-03858. You will also need your SEVIS ID number, found at the top right hand corner of your form DS-2019, beginning with “N” followed by 10 numbers. You must pay the SEVIS fee far enough in advance to allow consular verification of the fee payment before your J-1 visa can be issued. If you have paid the fee via credit card over the Internet, you can print a receipt as proof of payment. Once you have paid the SEVIS fee, you will need to take your receipt notice, Form DS-2019, and your passport with you to your appointment for the visa.

Form DS-2019

In accepting a visa based on the Form DS-2019, you obligate yourself to comply with the terms and conditions stated on the Form DS-2019, and you will be admitted to the United States for the sole purpose of carrying out the program stated in Item 4 on the form. Please read the entire certificate carefully to be sure that you understand all of the conditions. Please pay special attention to page 2, item 1(a) and 1(c). Item 1(a) explains the two-year home country residence requirement, which applies to some exchange visitors. Item 1(c) states the time limitations which are placed on the various categories of exchange visitors. These time limitations are strictly enforced.

If you have questions about these or other matters, discuss them with the consular officer when you apply for your visa. Once your visa is issued, the consular officer will return the original DS-2019 form to you. You should present it again to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at your port of entry to the United States. That officer will return the original DS-2019 form. Keep form DS-2019 with your passport. Keep all copies of form DS-2019 permanently.

General Visa Information

Please be aware that the forms and documents required for your visa appointment will differ depending on the consulate where you apply for your visa. Please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website and search for the website of the U.S. Consulate where you will be applying for your visa. There you will find additional information on specific requirements of that consulate. You will also need to make an appointment for a visa interview, following the instructions given at that link. In general, you should be prepared to present the following items to the consular official:

Items Generally Required for J-1 Visa applicant

  • Passport, valid for travel to the U.S. with a validity date at least 6 months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S.
  • Form DS-2019 from CU Denver
  • Letter of Invitation
  • Proof of financial support, if from a source other than CU Denver
  • Proof of proficiency in the English language
  • Form DS-160, “Nonimmigrant Electronic Visa Application,” which must be completed on-line
  • Two photos, 37x37mm (1 and ½ inches square) for each applicant showing full face, without head covering, with a neutral (non-smiling) expression, against a light background
  • Machine Readable Visa (MRV) surcharge fee (currently $160 for J visas)
  • Check to see if Visa reciprocity fee is applicable.
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS Fee, if applicable. (I-901 Fee)

Items Generally Required for J-1 Student Intern Visa applicant

  • Passport, valid for travel to the U.S. with a validity date at least 6 months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S.
  • Form DS-2019 from CU Denver
  • Form DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan
  • Proof of financial support, if from a source other than CU Denver
  • Proof of proficiency in the English language
  • Form DS-160, “Nonimmigrant Electronic Visa Application,” which must be completed on-line
  • Two photos, 37x37mm (1 and ½ inches square) for each applicant showing full face, without head covering, with a neutral (non-smiling) expression, against a light background
  • Machine Readable Visa (MRV) surcharge fee (currently $160 for J visas)
  • Visa reciprocity fee, if applicable (refer to your country of citizenship at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/reciprocity-whats-new-2019.html)
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS Fee. For additional information, please refer to https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/faq

Canadian Citizens are not required to obtain a J-1 Visa in Passport

When you enter the U.S. for the first time in J-1 status, please be prepared to present the following items to the border official:

  • Passport, valid for travel to the U.S. with a validity date at least 6 months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S.
  • Form DS-2019 from CU Denver
  • Letter of Invitation
  • Proof of financial support, if from a source other than CU Denver
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS Fee, if applicable. (I-901 Fee)

Additional Items for Dependents Requesting J-2 Status

If applying at the same time as the J-1:

  • Valid passport for each family member requesting J-2 status
  • Form DS-2019 from CU Denver
  • Proof of familial relationship, i.e. marriage certificate and/or birth certificate(s) translated into English
  • Form DS-160, “Nonimmigrant Electronic Visa Application,” which must be completed on-line.
  • Two photos, 37x37mm (1 and ½ inches square) for each applicant showing full face, without head covering, with a neutral (non-smiling) expression, against a light background
  • Machine Readable Visa (MRV) surcharge fee (currently $140)
  • Check to see if Visa reciprocity fee is applicable.

If applying separately from J-1:

  • All of the items listed above.
  • Copy of principal applicant’s letter of invitation (CU Denver letter to spouse or parent)
  • Copy of proof of principal applicant’s financial support, if from a source other than CU Denver.
  • Copy of principal applicant’s visa and I-94.

Canadian Citizens Items for Dependents Requesting J-2 Status

If applying at the same time as the J-1:

  • Valid passport for each family member requesting J-2 status
  • Form DS-2019 from CU Denver
  • Proof of familial relationship, i.e. marriage certificate and/or birth certificate(s) translated into English

If applying separately from J-1:

  • All of the items listed above.
  • Copy of principal applicant’s letter of invitation (CU Denver letter to spouse or parent).
  • Copy of proof of principal applicant’s financial support, if from a source other than CU Denver.

All J-1 scholars: Potential Issues & Check-In Appointment

Delayed Arrival: Please inform your department administrator and International Student Scholar Services, if you will arrive later than expected. The International Services Specialists may need to amend your program start date. Please note: Your Form DS-2019 will be cancelled by SEVIS after 30 days from the start date listed on the form, unless we amend the date.

Not Coming At All: Please notify your department administrator and International Student and Scholar Services immediately so we can cancel your paperwork.

Check-In Appointment: Upon arrival, please work with your department administrator to schedule a check-in appointment with an International Services Specialist. The check-in serves to assist you with understanding U.S. immigration requirements and allows the International Services Specialist to accurately report your arrival at the institution and local address. Please bring your passport, DS-2019, electronic I-94, and evidence of insurance with you so we can complete our file on you.

Downtown Campus J-1s:

Set a J-1 Check-In Appointment

Anschutz Medical Campus J-1s:

Register for Group Check-In Appointment

More Pre-Arrival Information