Pre-Departure Checklist

All scholars

Review our information on obtaining a visa.

Make sure your passport is valid for yourself and for any accompanying dependents for at least six months after your anticipated start date.

Contact the U.S. consulate to schedule an appointment. Ask for additional information about requirements for your visa application. You will probably be able to complete some of the preliminary requirements online.

Review our tips for your consular interview.

Attend your consular interview. Follow their instructions on waiting for your visa.

Contact your department at Emory if you experience significant delays in visa issuance, and contact ISSS if you experience a delay longer than 30 days.

Make travel arrangements. Notify your department and ISSS that you have received your visa and let us know the date you expect to arrive. Note: H-1B and O-1 visa holders cannot enter the U.S. more than 10 days in advance of the start date on their I-797 approval notice.

Obtain copies of important medical and dental records, including immunizations and vaccinations, x-rays, and prescriptions written in generic terms for you and any accompanying dependents. (These will be required for any children enrolling in a U.S. school.)

Obtain copies of financial documents that show how you will be supported while you are at Emory. You may be asked for these at the border.

We recommend that you have ready access to $2,000-$2,500 USD to cover costs on the way to Emory and during your first month in the U.S. If you choose to purchase traveler's checks, remember to keep the receipt separate from the actual traveler's checks.

Read our survival guide for information on housing, banking, adjusting to a new culture, living in the United States, bringing your family, enrolling children in school, childcare, transportation, and other information.


J-1 scholars

In addition to the items above, J-1 visa holders should:

Check your DS-2019 form to ensure that your personal information is correct. If dependents are coming with you, each of them must have their own DS-2019 form.

Pay the SEVIS fee (if applicable) no later than three days prior to the consulate interview and keep the receipt. Make an extra copy for your records.

If you are financially sponsored by an organization other than Emory, notify the organization of your plans.

Make sure that you know what kind of health insurance you will have while in the U.S. Obtain a letter written in English to certify that you (and any dependents with you) have health insurance for your entire visit in the U.S. Learn more >>


H-1B and O-1 scholars

In addition to the items applicable to all international scholars, H-1B and O-1 visa holders should:

Review your Form I-797 to ensure that your personal information is accurate.

When making travel arrangements, bear in mind that you cannot enter the U.S. more than 10 days in advance of the start date on your I-797 approval notice.


TN scholars

In addition to the items applicable to all international scholars, TN scholars should:

Check on the current fee for the TN stamp.

Gather all required documentation, including:

Passport ID page evidencing Canadian or Mexican citizenship

Professional license or certification (if applicable)

Evidence of academic qualifications, e.g. diploma (copy and original)

Employment letter, which should include:

Exact job title and corresponding profession as listed on the approved list of TN professions

Detailed description of job duties

Rate of pay, including benefits and any potential bonuses

How long your services are required (not to exceed three years), with statement that employment is temporary

The number of hours per week you are expected to work (i.e. 40 hours per week)

Background establishing that Emory University is an existing institution, to include how long the institution has been in existence (since 1915), number of current employees (16,837), and projected yearly gross incoming ($2.1 billion).

Canadian citizens: Apply for TN status at the port of entry.

Mexican citizens: Attend the consulate interview. Follow their instructions for waiting for the visa.