Arrival Checklist

The procedures on this page have been adjusted for global and local conditions, and federal and state policies related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before you make arrangements for travel, we recommend you check our Covid-19 Information page for the latest updates on travel conditions. Updated: 1/25/2021

Initial Entry

If you are entering the U.S. for the first time on a new SEVIS record, you will need:

  • Passport
  • F-1 or J-1 Student Visa
    (Canadians do not need a visa to study in the U.S., but must be admitted at the U.S. port-of-entry with either F-1 or J-1 student visa status.)
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) - Form I-20 (for F-1) or Form DS-2019 (for J-1)
  • SEVIS Fee receipt
  • 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 inspection.

Re-entry for Change of Educational Level

If you were admitted to a new program of study and received a "Change of Educational Level" I-20 from UH Manoa with the same SEVIS ID, and if you will be using this "Change of Educational Level" I-20 for the first time to re-enter for the U.S., you will  need:

  • Passport
  • F-1 Student Visa
    (Canadians do not need a visa to study in the U.S., but must be admitted at the U.S. port-of-entry with student visa status.)
  • COE - Form I-20

Re-entry for Transfer

If you are transferring from another U.S. school and received a "Transfer-In" I-20 form from UH Manoa with the same SEVIS ID issued to you by your previous U.S. school, and you are using the new "Transfer-In" I-20 to re-enter the U.S., you will need:

  • Passport
  • F-1 Student Visa
    (Canadians do not need a visa to study in the U.S., but must be admitted at the U.S. port-of-entry with student visa status.)
  • COE - Form I-20

What can I do if I forget a required document?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will probably escort you to a holding room to conduct a secondary admission inspection, where you must wait until an officer is available to investigate your case. Generally, an officer will check your record and call the ISS office (business hours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:30 pm) to verify your visa status. You may receive a Form I-515A, which will allows you temporary entry to the U.S. If that happens, you must report to the ISS office as soon as possible with your Form I-515A.

Hawaiʻi Quarantine

All arrivals to Hawaii (resident and non-resident) are required to quarantine for at least 10 days in one place of lodging. Read and follow the directions on the Hawaii Department of Transportation website regarding Continental United States and International Travelers. Meals must be arranged to be delivered to your place of lodging, and you may not venture outside during this time. Failure to follow this quarantine may result in arrest and a fine. Students should take this into account when planning their arrival date.

To avoid quarantine, travelers may provide a state-approved negative test from a state-approved provider within 72 hours of departure on final leg of journey, or have proof of a Covid-19 vaccination completed within the U.S. only. See Safe Travels Hawaii Program website for details.


If you did not reserve an airport pick-up in advance (see Pre-arrival Checklist: Have you arranged transportation?), you can follow the signs to get a taxi via the Airport Taxi Stand.

Other options other than taxi:


Please visit our Orientation and Visa Clearance page to complete your requirements for check-in.

If you did not clear all of your registration holds before your arrival, you should do so before the start of the semester. Login to your MyUH account, and then check on "View Holds."

Some of the holds may not yet take effect. You should clear them before they do. Some holds might be from:

If you still need to take the tuberculosis (TB) test for your health clearance, you can visit the University Health Services clinic on campus for walk-in or online scheduled appointments. TB tests normally require 3 days (Day 1 to administer, Day 3 to read results), so it is recommended that you schedule no later than the Tuesday before the start of school.

If you have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Hawaii, you should plan your TB after this quarantine, and make sure you can arrive to do the TB test before the start of the semester.

For more information on the TB test, please contact University Health Services.


For those who may need to open a U.S. bank account, there are two banks on campus, the UH Federal Credit Union (located at Campus Center near the Campus Dining food court) and American Savings Bank (located at Hemenway Hall). Students are free to choose any bank, however, and there are several based off-campus.

International students do not need a Social Security Number to open a bank account, but will usually need to show a passport. Each bank may have different policies regarding opening an account.

Automated Teller Machines (ATM) for withdrawing cash are available at the Campus Center ground floor. Fees for withdrawal will vary.

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.

We strongly recommend you meet with your designated academic advisor to help you plan your class schedule. Most graduate students will have been assigned an advisor, and should try to meet with him/her. Undergraduate students may not have a specific advisor, but may seek out an advisor based on their major or school/college. A directory of advisors per department or school/college is available.

Specific advising centers include: