Incoming Students

Visa Requirements

Once admitted to UConn, prospective international exchange students must request a Form DS-2019, which they will need to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa and later on to enter and stay in the U.S. in legal J-1 status. Students are encouraged to apply soon after acceptance into the UConn exchange program. After submitting the required information and documents, the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will issue a Form DS-2019 and send it to your home institution exchange coordinator once all Form DS-2019s for your school have been issued. You will receive a separate email with pre-arrival instructions to help you prepare for your visa interview and other aspects of living in the U.S. as an international student. You can also refer to the ISSS pre-arrival information online:

Total visa costs, including a required SEVIS fee, can total a minimum of 340 USD. Citizens of some countries may be subject to extra visa reciprocity fees.

Proof of Financial Support
All exchange students must document that they can meet the estimated cost of living and fees at UConn in order to be eligible for the Form DS-2019 and exchange visitor visa. The estimated costs for 2016-2017 have been finalized and the information is available here.

Work Eligibility
J-1 students are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hrs per week during the semester and 40 hrs during the break periods when classes are not in session. This includes during winter intersession, thanksgiving and spring breaks, and summer term. J-1 students MUST receive employment authorization from ISSS BEFORE starting their on-campus job. You will be required to complete the J1 Student Employment Approval Request Form prior to engaging in the employment. If the request is approved, the International Advisor will provide you with an employment authorization approval letter. Failure to get proper authorization will result in a violation of your J-1 status and will be grounds for termination in SEVIS.

More information about On Campus Work Permission can be found on the ISSS website.

Travel Plans
You will be allowed to enter the U.S. with your UConn DS-2019 up to 30 days prior to your program start date. Please note that you should NOT travel to Canada before the start date on your DS-2019. This could potentially lead to significant problems with your J-1 status. You will also receive a 30-day grace period after the program end date on your Form DS-2019, during which you can get ready to go back home and travel within the U.S. if you would like to. Once you leave the country during the 30-day grace period, you will not be allowed to reenter the U.S. under J-1 status.

Travel to the U.S. prior to the start of the exchange date is highly discouraged. Students who have come to the U.S. prior to their exchange on a different visa have experienced problems trying to convert their visa status to J-1, despite the varying advice (which is often incorrect) given during the advisement period by other sources. These issues can sometimes result in a student having to depart the U.S. (at their own expense) and fly home in order to be able to re-enter the U.S. under the correct status. Students should not make travel plans to the U.S. before the program start date without consulting the International Student and Scholar Services office at UConn.

Enrollment Requirements
To maintain your J-1 status, you must enroll in a full-time course load:

12 credits for undergraduate students
9 credits for graduate students

Only classroom-based courses may count towards the minimum enrollment requirements for J-1 visa regulations. Distance learning, hybrid, and online courses cannot be used in calculating full-time status.

International Student and Scholar Services is responsible for all matters related to your J-1 student visa and status. Please visit the ISSS website for more information. Contact if you have questions about visa or immigration matters.

Health Insurance
Government regulations require all J-1 Exchange Visitors to carry medical insurance throughout the period of participation as a condition of maintaining legal status. Information regarding these requirements can be found on the ISSS website:

Exchange students have the option of enrolling in the UConn sponsored student health insurance plan. Please note that costs for health insurance increase each year.

Term Cost Coverage Period
Fall 2017 $1,292 8/15/17-12/31/17
Academic Year 2017 $2,565 8/15/17-5/31/18
Spring 2018 $1,393 1/1/18-5/31/18
Calendar Year 2018* $3,460* 1/1/18-12/31/18

*estimated - Calendar Year 2018 rates have not yet been set.

Due to high costs of medical services in the U.S., enrollment in the UConn health insurance plan is highly recommended. Before deciding whether you would like to opt out of the UConn Health Insurance plan, please review the information contained in the IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT MEDICAL INSURANCE document.

Important: If Fall or Academic Year students do not want to be enrolled in the UConn health insurance plan, it must be waived/declined by September  15, 2017 or students will be automatically enrolled and responsible for the cost.

If you have questions about health insurance, including waivers, please contact

Health History Form
All incoming exchange students are required to complete a Health History Form. The form needs to be completed and submitted to Student Health Services prior to the deadlines below:

Term Deadline to submit Health History Form
Spring 2018 & Calendar Year 2018 January 1, 2018
Fall 2018 and Academic Year 2018 July 1, 2018

Please note that if you do not complete and submit the Health History Form prior to your arrival at UConn, you will be subjected to a mandatory screening and associated fees for any services that are required in order to be compliant with university policies.