3. Immigration Documents
Plan to arrive at KU by your new student arrival date listed below. Prepare your finances and make your housing arrangements early as spaces may fill up. Meet with your doctor and complete the required health forms before you leave home and learn about the health insurance requirements at KU.
New Student Arrival Dates
ISS is currently planning the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 orientations for you and we are excited for your arrival. As you make your travel plans, please be aware that COVID-19 prevention practices around the world may affect how early you should plan to arrive.
*You should arrive at KU by this date. If you will be in F-1 or J-1 status, you can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before this date, which should be the same as your "Program Start Date" on your I-20 or DS-2019.
|Admitted Term||Recommended Arrival Dates
in the US for in-person classes
KU Classes Begin
|Summer 2021||All Students: June 1, 2021*||See information here||June 8, 2021|
Graduate Students: August 2, 2021*
Graduate Students with an assistantship: Review the Graduate Assistantship page for important details
Undergraduate Students: August 9, 2021*
|See information here||August 23, 2021|
How Early Can I Arrive?
If you are in F-1 or J-1 status, you can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date (also listed on your I-20 or DS-2019).
How Late Can I Arrive?
For F-1/J-1 students, check the program start date on your I-20 ("Program of Study" section) / DS-2019 (item 3). You must arrive in the U.S. by this date.
You may have questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and beginning your studies at KU. KU is excited for you to enroll with us! This page will be updated as the situation evolves.
If you are currently in the US in F-1 status and planning to attend KU as an F-1 student, please follow the instructions on the SEVIS Transfer Webpage.
If you are currently planning to change your immigration status, please refer to the Change of Status Webpage and contact an ISS immigration advisor as you consider your options.
If you are not going to stay in the US, consider the following before travelling:
- Ability to get a return flight
- Many airlines have significantly reduced flight options, especially internationally. You may have trouble getting a return flight.
- Travel Restrictions to Enter the U.S. or Leave Country In
- Not only may your destination country have restrictions prohibiting you from leaving, the U.S. may prevent you from re-entering. Do diligent research. We are including a few government websites for starters.
- CDC’s List of Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States
- Note: Some Embassies seem to be classifying students as a National Interest Exception and exempt from the Presidential Proclamation
- F-1 Students traveling from the China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland do not need to apply for an individual national interest exemption. If you already have a valid F-1 visa stamp, you can enter the United States. If you do not have an F-1 visa stamp and apply for a visa stamp and receive it, you will not need to apply for national interest exemption. Department of State News Alert on National Interest Exemption
- US/Canada Restrictions: US Government Info and Canadian Government Info
- Quarantine Upon Return
- Expired visa
- If your visa is expired, you will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Significant delays are expected.
- “U.S. Embassies and Consulates that process nonimmigrant visa applications are prioritizing travelers with urgent needs, foreign diplomats, mission-critical categories of travelers (such as those coming to assist with the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and workers who are essential to the American food supply), followed by students, exchange visitors, and some temporary employment visas.”
- CDC Order Requiring all Passengers on U.S. -Bound Flights to Have COVID-19 Viral Test
- Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger. This order was signed by the CDC Director on January 12, 2021 and became effective on January 26, 2021.
Any late arrivals must be approved by ISS. Since the summer semester is a shortened term, it is not ideal to arrive late for summer. The current options we see possible at this time are as follows:
- Take Classes Online fully from abroad: You may decide that arriving for in-person classes is not possible for you, but you'd like to start your studies online. For any reason, you may decide to take classes completely online for your first semester. You would then plan to arrive on campus for the beginning of the next term.
How do I let KU know that I've decided to take all online classes?Complete the eForm, "Your Plans for Studying at KU" in your ISS Check-In eForms in your iHawk accountWhat about my I-20? Will I need a new one?Yes. You will receive an I-20 for the semester you plan to start in-person classes. You will not be able to use any previous I-20s to enter the US. We will create a new I-20 for you and deliver it to you through the method you choose. We'll be in contact with you about the new I-20 processing once you've completed the "Your Plans for Studying at KU" eForm.How do I get enrolled?New International Student Orientation will be required for you. This will be held completely online. During this orientation, we will assist you with getting all of your holds removed so you can enroll in classes. We'll also assist you in getting enrolled for the semester. You will receive an email in May with information allowing you to start this process.
- Arrive Late: Late arrival must be approved by ISS. Late arrivals are limited during the summer term.
How late can I arrive?All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please report your plans in the "Your Plans for Studying at KU" eForm and we will reach out to you if more details are required.What about my I-20? Will I need a new one to arrive late?Yes. We will need to update your I-20 if you must arrive after the Program Start Date listed on your current I-20. Once you have received your visa and have booked your flight to Kansas, you must report your arrival plans in iHawk. We'll review your request and if the late arrival is approved, we'll update your I-20 and provide you with a digital copy. We can only update your I-20 after you've received your visa and planned your flight. This prevents creation of multiple copies of your document.
- Admission Deferral: You may choose to defer your admission to another semester. In most cases, you are allowed to defer your admission up to one year. If you decide to defer your admission, please contact email@example.com and let them know. If you receive the iHawk eForms, please report your intent to defer within iHawk as well. You will receive an I-20 for the term you choose to defer to.
- Late Arrival: If your program/department allows it, you may choose to start classes online from abroad and plan to arrive on campus late. If you plan to do this, you would need to enroll in in-person classes so that your in-person requirement for the I-20 is satisfied and arrive on campus as early as you can. We will assist you in enrolling during your online orientation sessions.
How late can I arrive?You need to check with your department for permission to arrive late. You must have both your department's and ISS's permission to arrive late and the I-20 must be updated. All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please report your plans in the "Your Plans for Studying at KU" eForm and we will reach out to you if more details are required.What about my I-20? Will I need a new one to arrive late?Yes. We will need to update your I-20 if you must arrive after the Program Start Date listed on your current I-20. Once you have received your visa and have booked your flight to Kansas, you must report your arrival plans by completing the “Your Plans for Studying at KU” eForm in iHawk. We'll review your request and if late arrival is approved, we'll update your I-20 and will provide you with a digital copy. We can only update your I-20 after you've received your visa and planned your flight. This prevents creation of multiple copies of your document.What about my Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantship or other departmental funding?If you were offered an assistantship or other departmental funding, it is very important that you talk with your department before making any decisions. Your department will likely give you a late arrival deadline or encourage you to defer your admission and/or your assistantship. Most funding offers cannot be given to students who are studying from abroad, but you may be able to defer them. Please inform yourself of your options before making a decision.
- Admission Deferral: You may choose to defer your admission to another semester. In most cases, you are allowed to defer your admission up to one year. If you decide to defer your admission, please contact your department and let them know. If you receive the iHawk eForms, please also report your intent to defer within iHawk. You will receive an I-20 for the term you choose to defer to once your department has processed your deferral.
What about my Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantship or other department funding?If you were offered an assistantship or other departmental funding, it is very important that you talk with your department before making any decisions. You may be permitted to also defer your assistantship/funding offer, but this is dependent on availability and your department. Please inform yourself of your options before making a decision.
- Take Classes Online fully from abroad: If your program/department and enrollment availability allows it, you may decide that arriving this term is not possible for you. With approval from your department, you may decide to take classes completely online for your first semester. You would then plan to arrive on campus for the beginning of the term in which you plan to start in-person classes. Please note that this option is not possible for all programs and/or all classes, which is why you should contact your department directly.
How do I let KU know that I've decided to take all online classes?Complete the eForm “Your Plans for Studying at KU” within the ISS Check-In eForms in iHawkWhat about my I-20? Will I need a new one?Yes. You will receive an I-20 for the term you plan to arrive in person. You will not be able to use any previous I-20s to enter the US. We will create a new I-20 for you and deliver it to you through the method you choose. We'll be in contact with you about the new I-20 processing once you've completed the "Your Plans for Studying at KU" eForm in iHawk.How do I get enrolled?You should discuss enrollment with your department. New International Student Orientation will be required for you and will be held completely online. During this orientation, we will assist you with getting all of your holds removed so you can get enrolled. We'll assist you in getting enrolled for the semester, but you should also coordinate this with your department. You will receive an email in May with information allowing you to start this process.What about my Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantship or other departmental funding?If you were offered an assistantship or other departmental funding, it is very important that you talk with your department before making any decisions. Most funding offers cannot be given to students who are studying from abroad. Please inform yourself of your options before making a decision.
This page was updated May 4, 2021.
Before you arrive in Lawrence you should set up your living arrangements. As a student at the University of Kansas, there are a few options to choose from. Choose what is best for you based on your needs and preferences. Whether you plan to live on campus or off campus, it is your responsibility to make housing arrangements. The International Support Services office does not make housing arrangements for you. We encourage you to set up your housing early, as options may become less available as the semester approaches.
The KU Department of Student Housing offers a variety of on-campus living options, including residence halls, private room with bath, suite with semi-private bath, scholarship halls, or on-campus apartments. If you plan to live on campus, please work directly with the Department of Student Housing. It is important to make your on-campus living arrangements early because availability may fill up quickly. Apply as early as possible for the best chance to get on-campus housing. To find the best on-campus living arrangement for your needs and to learn more about on-campus housing, please visit the KU Housing website.
NOTE: All on-campus housing options should be understood to be for the student only; there is no on-campus family housing for students.
KU intends to provide in-person classes in Fall 2021. If you choose to live off-campus, it is your responsibility to find off-campus accomodations. We would suggest doing this once you know for sure that you are able to travel to Kansas. Click here for tips on searching for off-campus housing.
There are no official temporary housing options during the Summer LWP.
Information about permanent on-campus housing options for the summer academic term can be found here. Additional information about KU Student Housing is included in Module 5 of the ISO Canvas course.
For information about off-campus housing options, look here. Additional information is included in Module 5 of the ISO Canvas course.
If you need temporary housing before or during the LWP or before you can move into your residence hall, apartment, or house, Lawrence has a wide variety of hotels and motels available for short periods. Rates may vary greatly. Browse hotel options on the Unmistakably Lawrence website. When booking a hotel, mention that you are a new KU international student—you may receive a discount!
Super 8 (+1-785-842-5100)
801 Iowa St, Lawrence, KS 66049
Econo Lodge (+1-785-841-8410)
2525 W. 6th Street, Lawrence, KS 66049
*Rates subject to change
**You must identify yourself as a new student coming for orientation in order to receive the discount.
All international students are required to complete a Watkins Health Services Check-In after their arrival to Lawrence. Please prepare your Immunization History Form before your arrival and bring the completed form with you to KU. It can be downloaded in PDF form. It must be completed in English and signed by your doctor.
Watkins Health Services (WHS) is located on campus, and provides high quality, affordable medical care to KU students through a team of dedicated professionals. WHS providers are experienced in the healthcare needs of international students. Learn more about KU’s Watkins Health Services.
A general health fee is added to your tuition to cover a variety of health services at Watkins Health Services. Special care may require additional charges, but the costs are usually lower than those charged by off-campus health services. Learn more about KU’s Watkins Health Services.
Health Insurance coverage is mandatory for all international students who are in:
- F-1 or F-2 status and enrolled in classes; or
- J-1 or J-2 dependent status (regardless of enrollment) for the duration of their program
F-1, F-2, and J-1 students enrolling in classes receive the UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR) insurance coverage automatically, regardless of their course load. The charge for insurance is added to the student tuition and fees bill.
The KU UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR) insurance coverage for students is a competitively-priced health insurance plan that meets the coverage requirements. You will be automatically billed for this coverage with your tuition. See below about the benefits of the KU Insurance, covering dependents, and possible waivers. Please read the requirements carefully before leaving your country.
NOTE: Because all J-1 Visitors are required to have health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents for the duration of their stay, regardless of enrollment, J-2s who enroll in KU classes are not automatically billed for the insurance.
All F-1s and J-1s are allowed to add the KU health insurance for their dependents by contacting the International Insurance Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dependents must be added to the insurance within 30 days of arriving, but it is safest to have insurance in place before they arrive.
Most international students take the automatic KU insurance, but students who have an alternative insurance plan may request a waiver of the KU plan if their insurance documentation shows it meets or exceeds the Kansas Board of Regents Requirements. If the waiver is denied, the student will be required to take the KU insurance.
Insurance purchased elsewhere may or may not have the same benefits when used at KU Watkins Health Services Center, or pay for the required Check-In Clinic. Insurance waivers are due the first day of classes in fall and spring (summer deadline may be earlier).
More information about the Insurance Waiver can be found here
Benefits of using the KU UnitedHealthcare StudentResources insurance at KU Watkins Health Services Center:
- There is no cost for your Check-in Clinic, required immunizations, or Tuberculosis (TB) test 1. For more information about the TB test, email email@example.com.
- KU Watkins Health Services is a UHCSR Network Provider.
- There is no extra cost for seeing a doctor or nurse practitioner.
- Lab testing, x-rays, and generic prescription medicine are $5.
- 100% coverage for sickness and injury.
- See insurance policy for other costs and costs associated with off-campus providers.
For more information about KU insurance
Planning Finances & Bringing Money into the U.S.
Before you leave your country, you should plan for your finances. After you arrive to the U.S., you should set up a local bank account. Plan to electronically transfer funds from your home bank to your American bank account. It is very difficult to exchange money from your currency to United States dollars while in the U.S. and, even if it is possible, there may be a large fee. You should arrange to have enough money to cover at least your first month’s expenses AND your first semester of tuition, books, insurance, and housing.
- DO NOT underestimate the amount of money needed.
- DO NOT carry a large amount of cash with you.
- KU cannot accept cash payment for tuition and fees.
- Information on tuition payment can be found in the "Orientation" section of our website.
Bring your money to the United States in these forms:
- U.S. dollar traveler's checks.
- Have it electronically wired to your new American bank account.
- Get a bank card from your home bank to withdraw cash from your account through an automatic teller machine (ATM).
- KU now accepts VISA, with an additional charge of 2.85%.
- Find more information regarding payment plans and options.
ATMs are very common in Lawrence and are even located throughout campus. If you access your bank account through an ATM card, we recommend the tips below:
- Make sure to contact your bank about any special procedures such as an international PIN number to access your account. Also notify them you will be using your card in the U.S.
- ATM cards should be tied to a checking (not savings) account.
- It is a good idea to give a family member access to your account at home in case of access problems or to add money to your home account.