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Pre-Arrival Information

Before arriving at the University of Delaware, you must complete a few important tasks. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email

Obtain Your J-1 Visa

Use your passport and the enclosed SEVIS DS-2019 form (for J-1 visa) and schedule your visa appointment. Take all the previously mentioned documents along with your original admission letter, SEVIS fee receipt, and financial documentation (ex: Stipend letter from the department, financial support letter, sponsorship letter, current bank statement) to the US embassy or consulate in your country to apply for your visa. The following website provides links to all US embassies and consulates worldwide: Once approved, the visa is stamped in your passport. Canadian citizens are exempt from having to obtain a visa but must use their DS-2019s to enter the U.S. and must obtain a Form I-94 clearly indicating J-1 status. You are permitted to enter the US 30 days prior to the start date noted on your DS-2019 form for personal reasons. You are required to report to program sponsor (University of Delaware) designated on your visa stamp and DS-2019 form. For more information on obtaining a visa stamp, please visit the Department of State website (J-1).

Please note: You should have U.S. currency available for travel expenses and any emergency that might occur between arrival at port of entry and arrival in Newark, Delaware.

J-1 and J-2 Health Insurance

As an Exchange Visitor in the United States, you must carry health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program. Government regulations stipulate that if, you willfully fail to carry health insurance for yourself and your dependents, your J-1 sponsor (University of Delaware) must terminate your program, and report the termination to the Department of State (DOS) in Washington.

Visiting Scholars that are considered UD Employees must choose medical insurance when “On-boarding” with Payroll, Records Management located at 413 Academy St. on the 2nd Floor.   (  Please note: UD Employee health insurance does not cover medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. It must be bought separately for J-1 and J-2s.  Please see BETA Travel Assistance Plan for an example of additional evacuation/repatriation coverage

UD Postdoctoral Fellows eligible for the UD Student Health insurance Plan should purchase their plan through the UD student insurance:

If you are not eligible for the UD student or employee health insurance, you may buy any outside plan as long as it meets the requirements for the type and amounts of coverage you must carry if you hold J-1 or J-2 status:

For information on J-1 Health Insurance Requirements, please visit:

The policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of your home country government or the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements established by DOS (an A. M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-i" or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above).


Make your Travel Plans to the U.S

Most Visiting Scholars coming to the University of Delaware arrive in the United States at JFK Airport in New York or Newark, New Jersey or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We recommend that you arrive at Philadelphia International Airport (airport code: PHL). If you are flying into New York, you should purchase an add-on ticket to Philadelphia from New York at the time you purchase your ticket to the U.S. It is more convenient and less expensive.

The University of Delaware campus is located in Newark, Delaware. You will need to make additional arrangements to travel from the airport to campus when you arrive in the U.S. Philadelphia International Airport is less than one hour away from campus while JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark International Airports are two/four hours from UD’s campus. Please note that Newark International Airport is in Newark, New Jersey and NOT in Newark, Delaware.


If you are delayed

If your trip to the University of Delaware is delayed more than one week and you are unable to enter the US by the start date shown on your DS-2019 form, USCIS requires that you notify the Office for International Students and Scholars. 

Phone: 302-831-2115

We will electronically amend your start date in the SEVIS system and send you a new DS-2019 form if necessary.

If you decide not to attend

If you decide not to join the University of Delaware, please notify the OISS and your Host Department as soon as possible so that we may close out your file.  

Learn about Delaware and the US

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