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3. Immigration Documents

4. Plan

5. Register

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 2020 and Fall 2020 orientations for you and we are excited for your arrival. As you make your travel plans for your orientation, please be aware that COVID-19 prevention practices around the world may affect how early you should plan to arrive.

*You must 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    Important Notes Tentative Arrival Dates
in the US for in-person classes
Orientation Begins

KU Classes Begin

Summer 2020

Summer 2020 classes are online only. Plan to arrive for your first in-person semester at KU in Fall 2020.

Undergraduate Students: August 10, 2020

Graduate Students: August 2, 2020

You will receive information by email about a short online summer orientation. You will also be required to attend the in-person Fall 2020 orientation.

June 2, 2020

Fall 2020 Fall 2020 is tentatively planned to resume in-person classes.

Undergraduate Students: August 10, 2020

Graduate Students: August 2, 2020

Fall 2020 "You at KU - International" Orientation will be primarily online. Dates and more information will be announced in mid-June.

August 24, 2020

Spring 2021 To be announced

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.

Graduate Students not in F-1/J-1 Status (ex. H-1B, H-4, J-2, E-2)

Readmitted Students

Edwards Campus Students

You may have questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and beginning your studies at KU. KU is excited for you to enroll with us for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020. This page will be updated as the situation evolves.

KU-Online Orientation Begins:
KU Summer Online Classes Begin:
Tentative Arrival Date in the U.S. for your second semester at KU:
Mid to late May (exact date to be announced) June 2, 2020 Undergraduate Students: August 10, 2020 Graduate Students: August 2, 2020

All KU classes will be online for Summer 2020.

Even though KU is only offering online classes this summer, we encourage you to begin your program online from abroad, if possible, and make progress in your program until this COVID crisis is over and you can come to the KU campus in person. If you do not want to start your program online in summer, please defer your admission to fall 2020 by contacting your respective admissions office/deparment.

Undergraduate Students: Questions about starting online? Email world@ku.edu or visit their website for details as they become available.

Graduate Students: Questions about starting online? Contact your departments for more information.

What about my I-20?
ISS will no longer be issuing new students I-20s for summer because all coursework will be online.

If you already have an I-20 for Summer 2020, your summer I-20 is no longer valid and cannot be used. ISS will automatically update and mail you a new I-20 for the Fall 2020 semester with the hope we will have classes in person.

I’m already in the U.S. What do I do?

If you are currently in the U.S. in F-1 status, you can still transfer your SEVIS record to KU. You will need to check-in with ISS remotely before you start classes. Please see our Transfer-In Webpage for more details about transferring your SEVIS Record.

If you are currently in the US in any status other than F-1, please contact issdocs@ku.edu for your options.

Do I need a visa to study at KU online?
No. You can enroll in KU online courses from abroad for Summer 2020 without a visa. You will need to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. and attend in-person classes at the KU campus beginning in fall 2020.
What about Summer orientation?
ISS is excited to provide an abbreviated online orientation to help prepare you for taking classes online at KU. You will be required to attend the in-person orientation when you arrive on campus.
If Summer 2020 classes are online, what should I know about Fall 2020?
At this time, KU is planning for in-person classes to resume in the fall, but we are continuing to monitor the COVID situation. Therefore, the ISS office is proceeding as normal with the issuance of I-20s and DS-2019s for Fall 2020.

We encourage you to apply for a visa and attend a visa interview as early as possible. Review the tab ‘Getting a Visa & Entering the U.S.’ on this page.

Register for KU Orientation:
Tentative Arrival Date in the U.S. for your first semester at KU:
KU Orientation Begins:
KU Fall Classes Begin:
To be determined Undergraduate Students: August 10, 2020 Graduate Students: August 2, 2020 Undergraduate Students: August 11, 2020 Graduate Students: August 3, 2020 August 24, 2020
Will KU have in-person classes for the Fall 2020 semester because of COVID-19?
At this time, KU is planning for in-person classes to resume in the fall, but we are continuing to monitor the COVID situation.
Can I still get an I-20 or DS-2019 for the Fall 2020 semester?
Yes! ISS is still issuing I-20s and DS-2019s for Fall 2020 and we encourage you to apply for a visa and attend a visa interview as early as possible for you. Review the tab ‘Getting a Visa & Entering the U.S.’
I’m already in the U.S. What do I do?

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 and many travel restrictions have been implemented.
  • Expired visa
    • If your visa is expired, you will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. As of March 20 the U.S. Dept. of State suspended routine visa services at ALL U.S. Embassies. When the Embassies reopen, significant delays are expected.
  • Negative COVID-19 test results
    • We have heard some reports of negative tests results for COVID19 being required before travel is being allowed.
What about the Fall ‘You at KU-International’ orientation?
ISS will have an orientation for you. It is currently scheduled to begin in-person at the Lawrence campus on August 11th for undergraduate students and August 3rd for graduate students.
What if I am unable to arrive by my Arrival Date because of U.S. visas services being suspended or international travel restrictions?
We are continuing to evaluate the situation and are working on preparing options for you.

ISS is aware that the suspension of visa services around the world could prevent you from being able to secure a visa on time to arrive.

ISS is also aware different countries (including the U.S.) may enforce travel restrictions at any time that could prevent your arrival in the U.S. even if you have a valid I-20/DS-2019 and visa. Before you travel, make sure you know the travel restrictions in your region or country, in any region or country where you may have a connecting flight, and where you will land once in the U.S.

Visa Services Suspended at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates
The Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. This means that visa appointments will not be scheduled until further notice. It is not yet known when regular services will resume. Please contact your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate for the most updated information. NOTE: F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors should get priority appointments over tourists.

When should I apply for a visa?
All students who will need a visa in order to enter the U.S. to attend KU should monitor the U.S. Embassy where they will apply for a visa and secure an appointment as early as possible. We have reports that some students have been able to book appointments now for later in the summer.

Learn more about applying for visas.

What should I expect at the U.S. airport when I enter the U.S.?
Airport and airline health and safety screening practices may vary. Check the website for the airports and airlines that will be a part of your trip to the U.S. when to travel to learn what you might encounter at each location.

Learn about the general processes you can expect at the U.S. airport.

Will I be quarantined or put into self-isolation after I arrive in the U.S. or in Kansas?
It is quite possible. You may want to allow for a 14-day quarantine period before your arrival date.

This page was updated April 13, 2020.

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.

Summer: Online

It was announced April 2 that KU should plan for all courses to be presented in an online format for the summer session. While KU may make adjustments to this plan during the course of the summer, ISS will not be offering new students I-20s for summer and will presume all coursework will be online. Summer orientation for new international students will also be online.

Fall: Unknown

At this time, the International Support Services (ISS) office is hopeful classes will resume in person for the fall, but it is still unknown. Nonetheless, the ISS office is proceeding as normal with the hopes of having a fall 2020 intake in person. In the meantime we are constantly monitoring the situation and will make adjustments if needed.

Suspension of Routine U.S. Visas Worldwide:

On March 20, all U.S. Embassies and Consulates suspended routine visa services worldwide. It is unknown when visa services will resume and backlogs are anticipated. Note, F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors should get priority appointments over tourists.

Orientation Housing

During orientation, you may sign up for temporary housing. Up to date information about temporary housing accommodations available during your specific orientation will be given to you when you register for orientation.

Typical options for temporary orientation housing are povided below. NOTE: All on-campus housing options are listed for the student only; there is no on-campus family housing for students that is offered through the "YOU at KU - International" orientation.

Early Move In to On-Campus Housing: Some students who have already set up on-campus housing for their first semester might be able to move in early for an additional charge. This is available for some, but not all, orientations.

Temporary Housing at Naismith Hall: For students who do not plan to live on campus or who have not yet set up an on-campus housing option, temporary housing for orientation might be available at Naismith Hall (1800 Naismith Drive), an off-campus residence hall next to the KU campus for an extra fee. This is available for some, but not all, orientations.

No Orientation Housing: Students who would like to secure their own housing may do so. Keep in mind that orientation transportation is not provided for locations other than on-campus residence halls.

Please review and select your housing options during your Orientation Pre-Registration. More information will be provided during pre-registration, usually about 2-4 months before orientation.

Temporary Accommodation

If you need temporary housing before or during orientation or before you are able to move in to your residence hall, apartment, or home, Lawrence has a wide variety of hotels and motels available for short periods. Rates can vary greatly. Browse hotel options on the Unmistakably Lawrence webpage. When booking a hotel, mention that you are a new KU international student and you may receive a discount!

The hotel below has agreed to a special rate for Summer and Fall 2019 "YOU at KU - International" orientation participants.

Quality Inn (+001-785-842-5100)
801 Iowa St, Lawrence, KS 66049

  • Single Room: $54.95 + tax per night*
  • Shared Room (2 person max): $64.95 + tax per night*
  • You must identify yourself as an international student coming for orientation
*Rates subject to change
Required Health Documents

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 Center

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.

Student Health Services Fee

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.

Required Health Insurance

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.

KU UnitedHealthcare StudentResources Insurance Coverage

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 issinsurance@ku.edu. 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 health@ku.edu.
  • 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

Learn more about our insurance requirements, the cost and automatic billing process, and the KU health insurance plan; or email the ISS Insurance Coordinator at issinsurance@ku.edu.

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.

ATM Tips

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.

Steps to KU



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