J-1 Arrival

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 US, 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 US 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. A 30 day grace period before their 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 Cancellations 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.

J-1 Check-In & Orientation

This webpage has important instructions for J-1 arrivals and their Department Facilitators regarding the mandatory passport verification (Also known as PPV or check-in) and the orientation process. A completed passport verification allows OIS to validate (activate) the Exchange Visitors SEVIS record. OIS now hosts Orientation virtually for all new Exchange Visitors (Initial & Transfer). The orientation program provides an overview of important J-1 regulations.

Obtaining a USC ID Card & Other Services

This page provides instructions on how to obtain a USC ID card which allows you to access various services on-campus.

Social Security Information for J-1 Exchange Visitors

J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Research Scholar, Professor, and Short Term Scholar categories are eligible to receive a social security card regardless of their source of funding. This section will provide you with an overview of the Social Security Number, application process, identify theft, credit history, and FICA taxes.

Living in LA

Living in LA webpage is designed to help scholars get settled in the US 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, employment authorization and our English Language Program are covered in this section.