Pre-Arrival Checklist

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Please refer to the New Student Checklist to fulfill the requirements of HPU students in addition to the immigration requirements listed below

ATTENTION ALL VISITING STUDENTS: You should apply for an F-1 visa type, NOT a J-1 visa. For more VISITING F-1 student information, please look at the VISITING STUDENT PROGRAM website. Thank you.


Exchange Students are: 

  1. From one of HPU's Exchange Partner Universities
  2. have been formally nominated by their home university to study at HPU. 

Visiting Students are:

  1. Not from an exchange partner university. 
  2. Want to attend 1-2 semesters at HPU. 
Submit the all requested documents in PDF format to Documents sent as a mobile phone image will be rejected.


Financial documents should not be older than 9 months from your semester start date.

  1. Statement of Financial Sponsorship (SFS) Form
  2. Bank statement, government funding letter, or other financial documents that verify your funding for at least one academic year (see SFS form for further details)
  3. A copy of the biographical page in your passport


If you are already in the U.S. on a F-1 student visa, please send us the following documents in addition to the documents listed above;

  1. Completed SEVIS Transfer In Form
  2. A copy of page 1 and 2 of the I-20 from your current institution
  3. U.S. visa page in your passport
  4. If you are on OPT: a copy of your EAD card (front and back) 

Processing time for the issuance of an I-20 DOCUMENT is 10 business days upon the receipt of all documents in the correct format


Work with your advisor in HPU's Study Abroad and International Exchange Programs department to submit the documents necessary to complete your application.

Scholars (J):

Your requested HPU hosting department will facilitate your scholar application. Please contact them directly regarding the documentation needed for your DS-2019.



Exchange Students are: 

  1. From one of HPU's Exchange Partner Universities
  2. have been formally nominated by their home university to study at HPU. 

Visiting Students are:

  1. Not from an exchange partner university. 
  2. Want to attend 1-2 semesters at HPU. 


If you are in the United States on a different visa type than a F-1, F-2, or J-1, then please refer to the information below. In addition to the information below, please notify our office immediately the visa type or status you are on. 


International Student Check-in

Check-ins are required for incoming international students. Other visa type students should check-in with our office with their passport, visa, and accommodation information to ensure we can assist or contact you easily. 


Health Insurance Waiver 

All international students (and any dependents) at HPU are required to have health insurance coverage that meets HPU standards. Students with dual-citizenship and other visa types than the F/J visa do not follow this requirement. However, it is highly recommended that all students and their dependents attain health insurance that meet the HPU standard. 

Students on other visa types may complete the Health Insurance Waiver Form and submit the completed form to our office for reference. 

For more information on health insurance, please visit the Student Health Care webpage. 

Please review the Visa Steps document for detailed instructions

Incoming Students: Please note that U.S. Embassy and Consulates abroad may have limited non-immigration visa appointments due to COVID-19 restrictions. Continue monitoring your nearest embassy or consulate for appointment scheduling.

 Apply for a visa appointment:

After receiving your Form I-20 (F) or DS-2019 (J), you must arrange entry into the U.S. by obtaining the appropriate visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Every U.S. Embassy and Consulate has different procedures for F or J visa applications. Therefore, you should visit the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you intend to interview at in order to learn about their specific application procedures.

  • Check here to find the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
    • Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category. You should plan accordingly and review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply for an F-1/J-1 visa.
  • You can learn more about news regarding the non-immigrant visas by visiting the Office of Visa Services here
  • You must ensure you are scheduling an appointment for the correct visa type
    • If you were issued a Form I-20 (example), you will apply for an F visa
    • If you were issued a Form DS-2019 (example), you will apply for a J visa 
  • Students should not apply for a B-1/B-2 (tourist) visa. B-1/B-2 visa holders are not permitted to study full-time in the U.S.
  • Students cannot apply for their F or J student visa more than 120 days before the program start date listed on their Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Students who receive an F or J visa will not be allowed to enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days before the start date of their program listed on their Form I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Students who are currently abroad must enter the U.S. with an active visa and a Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by HPU

You will receive a lot of important information in the months preceding your arrival and your immigration regulations are some of the most crucial. These regulations affect your ability to live and study in the United States, as well as any future U.S. related benefits or travel you intend to participate in. OISS has created an online Immigration Regulations course in order to help prepare you for life as an international student in the U.S.

Incoming degree-seeking students will have access to this online imigration regulations course once we have received your registration deposit and have issued your I-20. All incoming degree-seeking students should begin to have access in May for the Fall semester and in October for the Spring semester. If you are a degree-seeking student and are issued an I-20 after May or October, you will be added to the online immigration course within 2 weeks of issuance. 

Once you have been added to the course, you will receive a notification in both your personal and HPU student email accounts. You must complete the course by the given deadline in order to remove the International Student hold on your account. This "hold" blocks you from the ability to complete certain actions, therefore it is important that you complete the course before you arrive at HPU. Holds will be placed on your account once the immigration check in deadline has passed. 

Note: Visiting and Exchange students are NOT required to complete the online immigration course. However, if you are a visiting or exchange student interested in reviewing this information, please contact our office and we can review your request for access. 


How to access your online Immigration Regulations course:
  • Create and then log in using your HPU Student Portal login information (click here for instructions on setting up your login)
    • Students can access this course through your Portal account ( > the Blackboard icon > Organizations menu item


All international students (and their accompanying dependents) at HPU are required to have health insurance coverage that meets HPU standards. You are required to complete a health insurance waiver form to avoid receiving a $100 Medical Insurance Verification penalty fee on your account. In order for a waiver to be granted, your health insurance coverage must be proven to meet University standards and the form successfully completed before each semester. HEALTH INSURANCE IS NOT AN OPTION – IT IS A REQUIREMENT. Further details can be found under Student Health Care.

Form example/instructions 



Per the State of Hawaiʻi regulations, students studying in Hawaiʻi are required to demonstrate certain medical clearances in order to be enrolled in coursework. Please review the types of immunization records you must submit on the Registrar's website: State of Hawai'i Health Clearance Requirements

The HPU UniCard serves as the official photo identification for students, faculty, and staff and is required for several activities such as voting in student elections, utilizing the intercampus shuttle service, borrowing materials from the University libraries, entering the ATM Learning Commons, and receiving tutorial services on both campuses. It entitles the bearer to free or reduced-rate entrance to athletic events and other Student Activities-sponsored functions. Additionally, many merchants recognize the HPU UniCard for the purposes of providing discounts on various services and products. Eligible students will also use the UniCard as their Hawaii State bus pass.

The HPU UniCard contains a color photo, as well as a computer-generated identification number.  All students, faculty, and staff members need to be issued a UniCard as it is the official identification card of HPU.

Students can upload their own photo to use on the HPU UniCard! Click here for instructions.

Your first point of arrival in the U.S. is called your port of entry. You will need to go through an immigration inspection at your port of entry regardless of whether you have a layover or connection to another location within the U.S.

During the immigration inspection, you will need to present the following items to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official (please DO NOT put these items into your checkED baggage):

  • A valid passport – preferably valid for a minimum of 6 months to the date of entry
  • A valid U.S. visa (Canadians do not require a visa for entry into the U.S.)

  • An immigration document – Either an I-20 or DS-2019 issued by Hawaiʻi Pacific University
  • Financial Documents – preferably the same ones you submitted for your I-20/DS-2019 and visa interview

If you are arriving via air or sea, you are no longer required to complete a hard copy Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 or I-94W. CBP will gather your arrival/departure information automatically. You can retrieve your I-94 by visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. This will be available 24 hours after your arrival in the U.S.

Immigration laws allow you to enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20/DS-2019. We encourage you to arrange your travel schedules so that you can arrive at least one week before classes begin and attend the mandatory check-in and student orientation. Additionally, this will also give you time to find suitable housing, open a bank account, and become acquainted with your new surroundings.

Information on tuition and other fees is available via the business office. For more information, please click on the button below. 

Tuition and Fee Information


Check the policy of your chosen airline to see how many pieces of luggage you are allowed to bring and what the weight limits are. Prioritize what you absolutely need-- specifically items that you might not be able to get once you arrive. Remember, you can always purchase generic items from local or online stores.

Please also check the U.S. customs page for more information about prohibited and restricted items.

If you don’t already know, Hawaiʻi has a tropical weather climate. This means that our average temperatures range from 70˚-85˚ F (21˚-30˚ C) throughout the year. Bring clothing that would be comfortable for classes, for outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming, for special events, and for the rainy season. A light sweater would help as some mornings and later evenings may be chilly due to the wind. Bring an assortment of footwear for multiple occasions.


Your carry-on luggage will remain with you at all times during your travel. To learn about carry-on restrictions, please visit the TSA website. Keep all your important items in your carry-on luggage, including:

  • Your wallet and cell phone
  • Flight information and boarding passes
  • Immigration documents such as passport and your Form I-20 (F-1) or Form DS-2019 (J-1) 
Other Items for your Carry-on Luggage:
  • Snacks
  • Small bag of toiletries (must be approved for travel)
  • Any medications you may need
  • Valuables (laptops, jewelry, camera, cash, etc.)
  • Light jacket or cover-up in case you get cold during travel
  • Clothes for a couple of days (just in case your checked luggage gets lost or delayed)

This is the luggage that you give to the airline when you check in for your flight. This luggage is often sent to your final destination and you most likely won't have access to it during travel. Use your checked luggage to pack the majority of your clothes and accessories. Consider packing a set of sheets and a towel to help you get started at your accommodation. Do not keep your wallet, immigration documents, or boarding passes in your checked luggage.

Items such as towels, bed sheets, small electrical appliances, kitchen essentials, and school supplies can be purchased once you arrive. There are public transportation options to shopping malls or stores like Walmart or Target if you need to make any purchases. You can also shop online at stores like Amazon to have items delivered to your new address. If you have space in your luggage, you may bring a set of towels and sheets with you to help you get started.

If you plan on bringing your own electrical devices, please check that the voltage and outlet plugs are suitable. The U.S. uses 110V, 60Hz. 

Being away from home is hard and it's not unusual for students to feel a little homesick. Consider packing photographs or special mementos that will remind you of friends and family while you are away. You may place these items on your bedside table or study area to comfort you during times when you may miss them.



Students are able to choose to either live on-campus or off-campus. This choice depends on the student's life or personal circumstances, and experience. For on-campus housing, there are two options. Read more about on-campus housing on the Residence Life page.

For more information on off-campus housing, please contact Residence Life directly. They provide information on how to get around the island, housing search resources, and dining options. 


Some scholars who come to Hawaiʻi Pacific University may decide to bring their dependents along with them. Unfortunately, our on-campus housing option does not accommodate families. Hence, scholars would have to arrange for off-campus housing. For more information, please contact Residence Life