Pre-Arrival Information


Preparing for your Visa Interview

Once accepted to an academic program and a Form I-20 or a DS-2019 has been issued:

  • Review your UofL I-20 or DS-2019 for accuracy (name must be identical to your passport).
  • Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
  • Ensure your passport validity, passport should be valid at all times (six months into the future).
  • Make a Visa Appointment. Students from some countries are not required to obtain a visa. However, the SEVIS I-901 Fee must be paid and must travel with a valid Form I-20 or DS-2019, I-901 SEVIS receipt, and proof of financials). U.S. consular officers can now issue an F student visa up to 365 days in advance from your program start date. 
  • The cost for student and exchange visitor visas will increase to $185 and will take effect on May 30, 2023.
  • Prepare and go for the Student Visa Interview.

After the Visa Interview

  • Review your visa for accuracy (information must be identical to your passport and I-20 or DS-2019).
  • Make airline reservations and travel arrangements. Plan to arrive a week earlier than what is listed on your I-20 or DS-2019 in order to attend the getting connected and resource fair event and find suitable housing (You may arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date on your I-20 or DS-2019)

Make Housing Arrangements

With the increase in demand for on-campus housing, it is highly recommended that you reserve a room as early as possible.  

On-Campus Housing

    1. Help on applying for On-Campus housing can be found here.  
    2. It is recommended that all residents purchase renter’s insurance. For more information, please click here
      1. For Early Arrival Housing: Email  
      2. Move-In Week. You will have the opportunity to schedule your move-in day through the Housing Portal. For more information, visit the University Housing website.

      ***Off-Campus Housing***: While we encourage all international students to choose on-campus housing, if you decide to live off-campus, please understand that once you sign a lease, you are in a binding legal contract. Please DO NOT sign any lease or agreements until you are certain about leasing the property. Additionally, do not make more than one accommodation arrangement concurrently. If you choose to live off-campus, please highly consider an Affiliated Housing through UofL. 

      Please note that all first-year students at UofL are required to live on campus. For more information, please visit the following website.

      You can also consider the Global Village Themed LLC as an option for on-campus housing. To apply for the Global Village LLC, click here. Note that there is limited space for the Global Village LLC. So act fast!

      Airport Pick-Up Options 

      Louisville International Airport is approximately 8 miles/13 kilometers from campus. New international students arriving in Louisville, KY may request an airport pick-up to their on-campus Residence Hall. Click here to request airport arrival assistance. Additionally, there are options such as a taxi or a Uber ride from the airport to campus costing approximately $20. Click on the following website for more information on transportation from the airport to the University.

      * Note: If there are any changes to your flight and you arrive after business hours, you may call the following number of your RA or the Front Desk to obtain access to your on-campus housing. 

       If you need any other assistance with travel from the airport to campus, please email the ISSS service account. 

      Cardinal Card 

      Please visit the Cardinal Card website for instructions to obtain your student ID. 

      University Account (Ulink) 

      1. Go to Ulink (first-time users) to create a password to utilize all university systems (Email, ULink, Blackboard, Wi-Fi).  
      2. For any technical difficulties, please contact the Information Technology Services (ITS) Helpdesk. 

      Always Hand-Carry Your Important Documents!

      Keep the following documents with you at all times during travel to the US: passport, visa, Form I-20/Form DS-2019, I-901 fee payment, class schedule, if you have registered. Keep copies of your documents in a separate location. You should also pack a change of clothes in a carry-on in case your luggage is misplaced or even lost by the airlines. 


      It is recommended before departing for the United States, that you obtain your immunization records for BCG (if applicable), smallpox, tetanus/diphtheria, typhoid, measles, mumps, rubella, oral polio, and a history of any positive TB skin testing. This will help you if you need medical care while in the United States. You may also wish to bring copies of your medical records with you in case you are hospitalized or need medical treatment while you are in the United States. If you are on medication, be sure to bring an adequate supply with you. In order to provide a safe and healthy environment for your academic success, UofL has implemented a vaccination requirement for first-time undergraduate freshman. Upper-level undergraduate and Graduate students do not need to have immunizations to attend UofL. You can find more information at the following website.

      Pack for Warm and Cold Weather

      Louisville has a four-season climate. Bring appropriate winter clothing, as the temperature in Louisville can drop below 10 degrees Celsius, and summer temperatures average around 37 degrees Celsius. Dress for class is casual. However, you may want to bring a few formal outfits for special events or traditional clothes for international celebrations. 

      Upon Arrival

      Immigration SEVIS CHECK-IN Procedure

      As soon as you arrive at UofL, you must submit the following documents: Visa, I-94, and current local address. You may submit these documents to the ISSS office by email, in person, or through the website

      Registration and Enrollment 

      Undergraduate Students

      If you are an undergraduate student and you have not registered for courses, contact the appropriate advising center for your major (

      Graduate Students

      Graduate students should visit or contact their academic department and be aware of any other orientations or meetings they may need to attend.   

      • Available courses can be found here
      • Click on the following link for a step-by-step instruction to register for courses. 

      Pay Tuition and Fees

      Pay tuition and other fees by visiting the Bursar's Office website. Information about Online International Payments can be found here.

      Mandatory International Student Orientation

      Check your email for important dates and location or visit the following website.

      Visa Issues

      1. What if my visa is denied? 

      Please notify International Student & Scholar Services if your visa is denied or you have decided not to attend UofL. Regrettably, we are unable to reverse a visa denial. If you wish to defer admission, you must first get permission from your department.

      2. What if my visa arrives after my start date listed on my Form I-20 or DS-2019? 

      You must first receive permission from your department to arrive after the start of your program. The department will need to give you a letter to show to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for late arrival. 

      3. What if my visa expires after I enter the United States?

      A visa is only a permission to enter the United States. When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means, you may stay as long as you are a full-time student even if the visa in your passport expires while you are in the United States. An F-1 student must depart within 60 days of their program completion and a J-1 students must depart within 30 days of their program completion regardless of what is listed on your I-20/DS2019. Please maintain contact with the International Student and Scholar Services for questions or concerns.