Check that you have the following documents needed upon arrival at a U.S. port-of-entry.
- Certificate of Eligibility (COE) issued by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) - Form I-20 (for F-1 students) or Form DS-2019 (for J-1 students)
- Visa for F-1 or J-1 (Canadian citizens do not need a visa for entry.)
- SEVIS Fee receipt (payment to U. S. Department of Homeland Security for your F-1 or J-1 record). Transfer students normally are not asked for a SEVIS fee receipt because it is not their first entry on the F-1 record.
- You should also carry a copy of your admission letter and documents that show proof of funding for your program, such as scholarship or graduate assistantship letters, bank statements, etc. These may or may not be requested or inspected.
REMINDER FOR CANADIAN STUDENTS: Since Canadian student are not required to have a Visa for their F-1/J-1 program, it is IMPORTANT that you show your I-20/DS-2019 on entry to the U.S. This will make sure that you are entering on your F-1/J-1 program and not accidentally entering as a tourist.
REMINDER FOR ALL STUDENTS: If this is your first entry for a new program, the earliest that you may enter the U.S. is 30 days before the start date of your program, as shown on the COE. If you have not received a COE from UHM, please contact the Admissions Office related to your program:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
Tel: (808) 956-8975 | Fax: (808) 956-4148
Graduate Admissions Office, Graduate Division
Tel: (808) 956-8544 | Fax: (808) 956-4261
Visiting and Exchange Students
Mānoa International Exchange (MIX) Program
Tel: (808) 956-4728 | Fax: (808) 956-5076
Professional Schools and Special Programs
Students admitted into programs at the William S. Richardson School of Law, John A. Burns School of Medicine, or graduate programs in the Shidler College of Business, or special programs handled by specific departments, should contact the admissions offices or programs directly.
A UH Google Account is required to access several of your UH Student benefits.
- Go to the University of Hawaii's Check Status of UH Username page to activate your UH Account.
You will need your UH ID number provided to you on your admission letter.
Having your UH Google Account gives you your UH Username and UH email ending in hawaii.edu
You must complete the university's Health Clearance Form, showing proof of required vaccinations, and clear a tuberculosis (TB) test. The Health Clearance Form with proof of your vaccinations may be sent ahead of your arrival to University Health Services. You do not have to have a U.S. doctor sign the form before sending it in. University Health Services will review the vaccinations, and if considered clear, will sign the form for you. If there is an issue with a vaccination, they will tell you.
TB tests must be completed by a U.S. licensed physician. Because such physicians may not be available in your home country, you must to take the TB test once you arrive in the U.S. Such tests can be taken at the University Health Services clinic. Let University Health Services know that you are an international student and can only take the TB test once you arrive in the U.S. They may be able to adjust any registration holds and keep you from having your classes dropped.
Failure to complete the Health Clearance will prevent you from moving into student housing and attending classes, and you may have all of your registered classes dropped.
International students on F-1 and J-1 visas must prove that they have a minimum amount of insurance to cover the length of their program. The university sponsors its own Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), which is a fully comprehensive plan, which means it covers a wider range of situations and services. However, students may purchase other options, as long as they meet minimum requirements set by the university. Health insurance may be purchased before you arrive in the U.S. Go to the ISS Health Insurance page to read about insurance minimums and proof requirements.
***Please be aware that many inexpensive "travel" insurance plans may not offer the comprehensive benefits that you may need while you are studying in the U.S., and many healthcare providers, including the campus Health Clinic, may not accept these insurance plans. So, you may have to pay the full cost of your medical visits yourself and then deal with reimbursements with your health insurance company.
J-1 students must show proof of health insurance to the ISS Office. They must have their health insurance provider complete and sign the J-1 Health Insurance Provider Certification form. This form, once completed, should be included in the Visa Clearance document verification.
F-1 students must show proof of health insurance to the Student Health Insurance Office (SHIO). Go to their website and follow the instructions for clearance.
If you do not prove that you have adequate health insurance by the start of the semester, a hold will be activated on your registration and block you from adding or dropping courses.
On your UHM admission letter, it may show that you are required to take an English Language Placement Test through the English Language Institute (ELI).
The ELI Placement Test is given to new international students whose prior coursework and test scores indicate a possible need for additional English language instruction to succeed in a U.S. university. Based on your ELI placement test results, you may be exempted from ELI, or placed into a series of required ELI courses.
Students who are required to take the ELI test will have the “ELI hold” placed on their student record at the time of admission and will not be able to register for courses until the hold is removed. The ELI hold is removed when you register for any ELI Placement date, but will be reset if you fail to appear for the test.
By signing up early for an ELI Placement Test, you can avoid having the ELI hold stop your registration for courses.
Check the UH Manoa Registration Time Table to know when you can register for classes. For registration help, consult the Registration Step-by-Step Guide produced by the Registrar's Office. Make sure you cleared any holds on your registration. You can check for holds by going to MyUH and clicking on "View Holds."
As F-1 or J-1 students you are required to be classified as full-time status based on your status as international status, for more information on your enrollment requirements see the ISS page on Enrollment Requirements.
Check the payment deadlines to see when you have to pay. If you have not enrolled by the start of the semester, you will have to pay a late enrollment fee.
We strongly recommend you sign up for eRefund. If you have already set up a bank account, eRefund allows you to receive any refunds directly to your bank account.
The ISS Visa Clearance process should be the final step to confirming your F-1/J-1 status and submitting your documents for ISS records as well as verifying you have all of your documents with you after your arrival in the U.S.
Failure to complete Visa Clearance will prevent the ISS office from "activating" your SEVIS Record which will result in the termination/cancellation of your F-1 or J-1 student visa and resulting in your need to leave the U.S.
Important Dates for Fall 2023
- Earliest Date you can enter the U.S.: 30 Days before your Program Start Date (see your I-20 or DS-2019)
- Payment Receipt Deadline: August 17, 2023
- Health Clearance Deadline: August 17, 2023 (For International Students Only)
- New Student Health Insurance Reporting Deadline: August 21, 2023
- Visa Clearance Deadline: August 25, 2023
- Last day to Add/Drop Class Normally: August 29, 2023