First and foremost, congratulations on your acceptance! We are looking forward to welcoming you to campus. The information below includes helpful information to help you prepare for your visa application for your F-1 or J-1 visa.

Don’t forget to review the information in the Undergraduate Oredigger Checklist or Graduate Student Admissions materials you have received. For additional reference, the Mines Academic Calendar can be found here.

After Receiving Your I-20 or DS-2019
  • Review the information on your I-20 or DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for accuracy. Information should match the passport you intend to use to apply for the visa. If changes need to be made, please email isss@mines.edu.
  • Pay the mandatory SEVIS I-901 fee online. Once paid, you should print the receipt and keep it for your personal records as well as for the U.S. embassy appointment. 
  • Complete the form DS-160 through the U.S. Department of State website.
  • Schedule your visa appointment at the U.S. embassy nearest you and pay the U.S. embassy appointment fee. You will need the receipt/bar code from your DS-160 in order to secure an appointment.

Note: You are encouraged to wait to buy your travel arrangements until after you have been granted a U.S. visa.

I-901 SEVIS Fee

Please review the I-901 SEVIS Fee information for F-1 students or J-1 students as is applicable to your status. 

Preparing For Your Visa Application
  • Attend your scheduled visa interview with all compulsory documentation. Review the U.S. embassy website to ensure you have all required documentation necessary for the visa appointment. You will be told at the end of the appointment whether or not the visa has been granted.
    • If you are place into additional administrative processing or your visa is denied, please contact the International Office as soon as possible at isss@mines.edu.

An international student applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad will need to present the following during the visa interview:

  • Certificate of Eligibility Form (I-20 or DS-2019) provided by ISSS at Colorado School of Mines
  • Letter of admission provided by Colorado School of Mines
  • Financial support documents (Current proof of support that would meet expenses on Form I-20 or DS-2019 (i.e. bank statements, award letters or loan approval letters)
  • Passport valid for a minimum of six months into the future at the time of entry
  • Two photos (see requirements here)
  • Receipt for payment of SEVIS I-901 Fee

Visa reciprocity fee may be required by home country. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

IN ADDITION, you should review the website for the U.S. embassy/consulate in your home country where you are planning to apply for the visa for specific information on appointment wait times and additional F-1 or J-1 visa application requirements and procedures.

For Citizens of Canada: You are not required to apply for a visa. You can enter the US with a valid passport, your I-20 or DS-2019, financial documentation, and I-901 Fee payment confirmation.

After Your Visa Application
  • Complete sponsored student information, if applicable. Students who receive financial support from their home governments or a company/organization are required to complete the Bursar’s Sponsor form.  For questions on this form, contact the Mines Bursar at bursar@mines.edu.
  • Review your transportation options to get to the Mines campus from Denver International Airport (DEN). 
  • Identify any orientations you are required to attend on campus. This will help you plan your arrival.
  • Purchase your travel arrangements. Remember, you can arrive to the United States up to 30 days before the Program Start Date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019 document. You must enter the United States on your F-1 or J-1 visa in order to start studying.
Tips for Packing Your Luggage

You may wish to begin planning your packing list so you are the most prepared when you start to arrange your suitcases and travel to Colorado. There are many great packing lists online, but remember that Colorado has four seasons and temperatures can range from 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter or less to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more in the summer. You will have the opportunity to purchase additional clothing and/or items when you arrive to Mines.


Items to Pack into a Carry-On Luggage or Personal Item 

  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 for the Colorado School of Mines – you will need this when you enter the U.S.
  • A valid, unexpired passport with a valid, unexpired U.S. F-1 or J-1 visa (Canadians are not required to have a visa)
  • Your official admission letter from the Colorado School of Mines
  • Your financial support documentation
  • Your airplane ticket(s)
  • Cash, traveler’s checks, or any international bank card (ATM or debit card), along with $500-$1,000 in U.S. currency for travel emergencies and immediate expenses.
    • Be mindful of your flight connections and the amount of time you will have in each airport. You want to allow sufficient time to get to your connecting flight and/or get through immigration. Missing a flight can result in having to stay overnight in a hotel, added costs in meals and other expenses. 
  • Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of emergency contacts at home and in the United States
  • Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of contacts in Colorado and any contacts you have at the Colorado School of Mines
  • Prescriptions for medications you take and a fresh supply of prescription medicines in their original bottles

 Other Items to Pack

  • A copy of your marriage license (if applicable)
  • A copy of your academic transcript from your home institution
  • Documentation of medical treatment you have received for any chronic medical problems
  • An English translation of your medical history and documents
  • Medical records (including vaccinations records) for your accompanying spouse/children (if applicable)
  • Clothing appropriate for the season of your arrival in Colorado. 
  • Adapters for electrical appliances (U.S. standard outlets use 110 volts)
  • Favorite recipes and items for sharing your culture with others; music, video tapes, postcards, photographs, or traditional dress.
Arriving to Denver International Airport (DEN)

Denver International Airport is quite large.  You may find that after you have gotten off the plane, you need to follow the signs (and people) to board a train.  This train takes you to the main terminal, where you can then pick up your baggage.  If you are not sure where to catch the train, ask an airport attendant or your flight attendant.  Once the train has stopped at the main terminal, you will notice a row of monitors just outside of the train doors.  These monitors will let you know which carousel number to go to for your luggage.

Arriving to Golden and Mines

There are several shuttle services which can bring you directly to Golden and Colorado School of Mines. The shuttle may have limited service after the 11 p.m. Please research online in advance. Taxi service from DIA to Golden is much more expensive and not recommended unless you arrive after the shuttle service stops running. Once you have been dropped off in Golden, it is also customary to give the driver a tip (about $1 for each piece of luggage plus 10-15% of the overall cost for their time). A taxi ride can cost about $60 or more when you’re traveling late at night.


if you will arrive to campus before on-campus housing move-in date, you may want to arrange for temporary lodging accommodations, such as a hotel, AirBnB or bed-and-breakfast lodging. There are additional resources to help identify off campus housing options. Mines On-Campus Housing has specific move-in dates for on-campus housing.

Once you arrive at Mines, remember, you must do the following:

  • Check in through the International Portal to activate your immigration status
  • Check in at your department.  You may check in with your advisor, or the department administrative assistant.


Leaving your home and coming to a new country can be adventurous and fun, but we certainly recognize how big of a decision it is and the many factors that can impact your experience. You may be used to travelling and visiting new places, but if you are not, some of the following suggestions may help to diminish your fears:

  • Anticipation – Setting mini-goals and events for yourself to look forward to can make future events easier to work through and prepare for.
  • Contact with friends and family at home – Do your best to maintain relationships with people at home by keeping in contact, but don’t forget to get out and meet other students at Mines. You’re not the only new student and many others are looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you!
  • Language – Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Many native-English speakers make mistakes. Practicing your language skills, making errors, and meeting domestic and other international students will help you improve your language and create unforgettable memories.

The initial period of settling in often seems like an adventure. You will tend to look for and identify similarities between your home culture and the host culture. Some surprises always await you when you arrive in a new place. There are behaviors, customs, and physical characteristics you may find unusual and your environment and surroundings might seem strange.

The ISSS is a great resource for help with adjusting to campus life, life in the U.S., and learning about opportunities on campus  We conduct a new international student orientation so that you may ask questions, meet other new international students, and become familiar with other campus offices and personnel.  It is a relatively informal setting, which allows you to get to know us, and for us to get to know you.  Attending the international student orientation makes a huge difference in how you adjust to life in the U.S. and at Mines.

The information contained in this web site is provided as a service to the international students, faculty, staff, employees and administrators of the Colorado School of Mines, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax or any other matter. We aim to provide substantial and useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or sufficiency of the information contained in or linked from this web site or any external/associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the Colorado School of Mines nor the Office of Global Education is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.


International Student & Scholar Services
924 16th Street
Green Center, Suite 219
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401

Office Hours
Monday through Friday, 9:00a – 12:00p and 1:30p – 4:00p

Main Office Phone and Email
(303) 273-3210 / isss@mines.edu