The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the closest airport to USC. Remember to keep your immigration documents on you and not in your checked luggage. Upon entry to the U.S., Exchange Visitors must present their DS-2019, SEVIS fee receipt, and valid passport/ visa to officer at the port of entry. The officer will stamp the date of entry and return the DS-2019 to you. It’s always a good idea to double check the officer’s stamp for accuracy to ensure that you have entered the U.S. as a J-1.

Exchange Visitors are expected to arrive by the start date indicated in section #3 on page 1 of their DS-2019. There is a 30 day grace period before the start date to locate housing. Employment is not permitted during this time frame.

If you plan to arrive more than 15 days late from the start date listed on your DS-2019, please review our Delayed Arrivals and Cancelations section. Your sponsoring academic department will notify OIS that a correction request is needed to amend the start date of your DS-2019.

Transportation from LAX to USC

The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is approximately 30 minutes from campus. There are many options Exchange Visitors can use to get to either the University Park Campus (UPC) or the Health Sciences Campus (HSC). This page reviews your travel options such as airport shuttles and taxis, provides general tips, and directions to both campuses.

Immigration Status Verification (ISV or J-1 Check-In)

This webpage has important instructions for J-1 arrivals regarding the required Immigration Status Verification (ISV). Completing ISV allows OIS to validate (activate) the Exchange Visitor’s SEVIS record.

J-1 Non-Degree Student Orientation

OIS provides a virtual orientation for new arrivals, which covers a range of important J-1 regulations.

Social Security Information for J-1 Exchange Visitors

This section will provide you with an overview of the Social Security Number, application process, identify theft, credit history, and FICA taxes.

Living in L.A.

Living in L.A. webpage is designed to help Exchange Visitors get settled in the U.S. by providing information on banking and other money matters, transportation, and safety.

J-2 Dependents

This page is directed towards the needs of J-2 dependents. A DS-2019 may be issued for a dependent at any time. An overview of Travel, the 2 year home residency requirement and employment authorization are covered in this section.