Advising and Registration


Arata Pham

Arata Pham



Arata Pham was raised in Vietnam, and is fluent in English, French and Vietnamese. He came to Hawaii Pacific University to train for and pursue a career in software engineering.


Information for New International Students

Welcome to HPU!

The below information is to help you as you transition to Hawai'i Pacific University.

Visa Application Process
Visa Regulations
State Health Requirements
Health Insurance
Checking in
Tuition Payments & Wire Transfers
International Center
Studying English at HPU

Student Visa Application Process

When an international student is accepted into a master's degree or graduate certificate at HPU, the University sends the student the SEVIS Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. This form indicates your field of study, the length of your degree program, and the start and end dates of the program. The form I-20 allows a student to apply for an F-1 Student visa.

HPU encourages students to start the visa application process as soon they receive their I-20 form; however, please note that generally you must wait unitl 3 months or 90 days prior to the first day of classes. For most applicants, a personal appearance interview will be required as a standard part of visa processing. At the present time, additional screening requirements by the U.S. government may cause delays in the visa application process. The U.S. government recommends that individuals build in ample time before their planned travel date when seeking to obtain a visa.

Certain U.S. embassies and consulates experience a high number of visa applications and requests for interviews. Please make your appointment as soon as you receive your I-20 form for the University. In order to apply for the F-1 visa, the following documents must be brought to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country: your passport, the I-20 form, your admission (acceptance letter) and financial support documents. Students are advised to check with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country for additional requirements. 

Please note that the form I-20 does not guarantee receipt of an F-1 visa. The local Consular official makes the final decision on whether or not to issue a student visa upon review of your application.

If you have been officially accepted to a master's degree program at Hawai'i Pacific University, but you have not yet received your I-20 form, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 1-808-544-1417 or email to inquire about your status.

Please keep the Office of Graduate Admissions updated on your progress:

  • Contact us when you have scheduled your visa interview
  • Inform us when your visa has been issued
Other resources that may be helpful to you: 

New Visa Regulations

New visa regulations allow you to enter the USA up to 30 days before the first day of classes (the reporting date shown on your I-20). For example, Spring 2011 begins on January 24, 2011 therefore you are allowed to come into the country after December 24, 2010, and normally no later than January 24, 2011. If you attempt to enter the USA before December 24th, you will be denied entry at the airport immigration area. Please plan your flight itinerary with this important policy in mind.

State Health Requirements

International students must provide proof of measles (MMR) clearance and a tuberculosis test. Students may receive the measles (MMR) clearance in their own country (Must include 2 doses and a doctor's note with a certified English translation) or they may opt to take their measles shots upon arrival in the United States. Students are required to take the tuberculosis (T.B.) test in the U.S.A. Information on how and where to get tested is available online.

Health Insurance

At Hawai'i Pacific University, health insurance is mandatory for all international students. The U.S., unlike some other countries, does not offer a socialized health care program that automatically covers everyone. As a result, individuals must secure their own medical coverage. International students may purchase HPU's student medical plan or bring proof of acceptable coverage from their home country (in English).  For more information click here.

Checking in at Hawai'i Pacific University

After you arrive in Honolulu and have settled into your accommodations, you are REQUIRED to check-in and provide us with specific documentation.  We will be providing  International Check-in Sessions depending on if you are a Degree seeking student or Study Abroad/Exchange student. We will be offering the Check-in session for Degree Seeking students on Tuesday, August 27th and a Check-in session for Study Abroad and Exchange Students on Friday, August 23rd.  Please register to attend.

At the International Student Check-in session you will:
  • Learn about immigration regulations for international students;
  • Meet other new students;
  • Get your immigration documents verified and copied to process SEVIS registration. Please bring the following documents with you:
    • Passport
    • I-20 (All three pages, originals only) or your DS-2019 (both pages)

After the Student Check-in event, it is highly recommend that you visit the Registrar's office, located in the UB Building suite 216 (click here for a campus map for this location) to submit the following required documents/information:

  • Proof of Health Insurance
  • Immunization Records (MMR and TB shot)
  • Current Hawai'i address

Tuition Payment, Wire Transfers, and Tuition Management System

Credit card payments have a daily charge limit in a foreign country. International students may find it more convenient to electronically transfer the amount of the tuition to an account in their name at HPU two to three weeks prior to your arrival. For detailed information on HPU's wire transfer process, please contact the Business Office at 1- (808) 356-5272.

To help you afford education expenses, Hawai'i Pacific University is pleased to make the services of Tuition Management Systems available to you. Tuition Management System's Interest Free Monthly payment Option allows you to spread your education expenses over smaller monthly installments, which are paid over the course of the school year. Your only cost is a $40.00 enrollment fee for the semester or $55.00 for the year.

You may enroll on their website by visiting or by calling them toll-free at 1-888-356-8329. Once you enroll, Tuition Management Systems will bill you for monthly payments as they come due, or you may arrange to have payments automatically deducted from your bank account.

International Center

The International Center is also available to help international students adapt to their home-away-from-home. The International Center is located at 1164 Bishop Street, Ste. 1100 (UB 1100) on the downtown Honolulu campus.  The Center provides numerous services for enrolled international students and, most importantly, keep them informed about ever-changing immigration regulations. The International Center publishes an International Student Handbook which contains general information about the university, about adjusting to American life, and about living in Hawai'i. If you would like a copy, please stop by the Office of Graduate Admissions upon your arrival or e-mail to request a copy to be mailed to you.

Studying English at HPU

The ELS Language Center is located in Honolulu on the downtown campus. With the exception of the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program, HPU will offer Conditional Acceptance to students who complete the ELS Intensive English Program level 112 in place of the TOEFL or IELTS requirements.  Once completed, a certificate of completion of level 112 must be submitted to the Center for Graduate and Adult Services in order to matriculate into the graduate program.