DS-2019 Application for J-1 Non-Degree Students

The DS-2019 is the “certificate of eligibility” for J-1 status. All Exchange Visitors must have this document to receive a J-1 visa. J-1 degree-seeking students receive the DS-2019 from the Office of Admissions with their admission letter or shortly thereafter. J-1 Non-Degree Students are issued DS-2019s by the Office of International Services at the sponsoring academic department’s request.

Change of Status Note:  OIS does not process or support a change of status applications. If an applicant is already in the U.S. on another non-immigrant status other than J-1, they must exit the U.S., visit the U.S. Embassy, obtain a J-1 visa, and re-enter the U.S. on a J-1 status.

OIS Processing Time:
Individual applications10 business days (incomplete applications with missing items can take up to 1 month)
Group applications: 1 month

Initial applications: OIS requires Departments to select a start date two months from the date the application is submitted to OIS. This allows for adequate processing time with OIS (2-3 weeks), shipping the DS-2019 abroad, obtaining an appointment at the U.S. Embassy (3-4 weeks), receiving the J-1 visa (1 week), and travel to Los Angeles.

DS-2019 Maximum Duration Allotted: The maximum duration allotted for a non-degree student is DS-2019 is 2 years.

Application Criteria

  • Objective: Must be engaged in a full-time prescribed course of study in a non-degree academic program with a specific educational objective. May include classroom instruction, research projects, and/ or academic training.
  • Educational Requirement: All degree levels
  • Program Duration: 3 weeks to 2 years
  • Funding Requirement: Over 51% of funding must come from source other than personal funding (51% rule waived for direct exchange students with an MOU from foreign university)
  • Academic Training: Non-Degree Students may be given Academic Training for a period no longer than the time spent in the academic program. The periods of academic program and Academic Training may not exceed the 24-month maximum.
  • J-1 Bars: Not subject to 24-Month Bar
  • No Interns: USC does not offer the J-1 Intern Category

Application Requirements (Initial) 

  1. Internal Requisition for $250 (Initial requests) submitted via Workday
    • The ISP Name for OIS is ISP-SP-059 – Office of International Services
    • Business Purpose section of the system should identify Campus, Request Description: Name of Exchange Visitor, ISD-XXXXXX (i.e. UPC, Initial DS-2019 Request: Tommy Trojan, ISD-XXXXXX)
    • Each application must have its own ISD number, unless it is a Group application
  2. DS-2019 Request Form for Non-Degree Students
  3. Copy of Passport for Exchange Visitor & dependents
  4. Copy of the USC Invitation letter
  5. Proof of Funding for Exchange Visitor & dependents

Note: Workday Financial Management is the best resource for specific guidance on the new IR protocols. There’s helpful information on the Internal Requisitions Overview webpageas well as Workday support options here

Application Submission

  • The Department Facilitator submits a typed Application to OIS
  • Email all documents in a single email attachment to j1student@usc.edu
  • Please ensure that all required documents are submitted at the time of application. Incomplete application packets will not be processed.
  • Subject Line of email should identify Campus, Request Description: Name of Exchange Visitor, ISD-XXXXXX (i.e. UPC, Initial DS-2019 Request: Tommy Trojan, ISD-XXXXXX.
  • The Department Facilitator indicated on the application will be notified regarding missing application items and when the DS-2019 is available for shipment. Processing time is 10 business days but may take longer for incomplete applications.

DS-2019 Issuance

  • Department Contacts will receive notification when the DS-2019 has been processed. OIS asks that Departments share this information with their visitors in their onboarding materials. The visitor is responsible for scheduling their shipment through eShipGlobal and covering the expense to receive their DS-2019, also known as the “Certificate of Eligibility”. OIS will include a handout called “Information for J-1 Student/Scholars” with the DS-2019. Exchange Visitors are encouraged to review the J-1 Pre-Departure webpages.
  • The Exchange Visitor may request the SEVIS ID number on the DS-2019 to schedule a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy. The SEVIS ID number is located on the top right corner of the DS-2019 (starts with N00…) and can be emailed to the Exchange Visitor. Only the SEVIS number can be sent to the Exchange Visitor, OIS and academic departments are not permitted to send a scanned copy of the DS-2019 by email.

Group Application Instructions

Two or more applicants with the same program dates should be processed as a group. Application submission for groups is submitted to OIS through OneDrive.

Application Submission:

Step 1: With each NEW group, please email j1student@usc.edu to request that a Group Folder be established in the Department Administrator’s name.

  • Subject line of email should identify UPC, Group Application Request, ISD-XXXXXX.
  • Group Applications share one ISD number. (# of applications x $250 = ISD amount)
  • Processing Time: 5 additional business days to create a Group Folder within OneDrive.

Step 2: The Department Administrator will receive email notification that OIS has shared a folder in OneDrive. Department Administrator logs into One Drive with their Shibboleth account to access the group folder assigned in their name.

Step 3: Department Administrator places group applications in folder. Each application should be saved as a single PDF. File name should identify LAST NAME, First Name: School Name (i.e. TROJAN, Tommy: Marshall)

Step 3: Once processed, OIS will notify the Department Administrator regarding pick-up. Department is responsible for shipping group applications abroad.