J-1 Check-In & Orientation

Check-In Instructions

OIS Processing Time: 4 business days

All J-1 Exchange Visitors (EV) must report to their sponsoring academic department immediately following their arrival for a mandatory check-in. The Department Facilitator is responsible for collecting the check-in documents from the EV and submitting them to the Office of International Services (OIS). OIS will then validate your EV’s SEVIS record. One must have a validated (active) SEVIS record to be in good standing, obtain a Social Security Card, and Driver’s License. Failure to check in may result in a loss of J-1 status.

Special Note for Dependents: J-2 dependents do NOT need to report their arrival through the check-in process.

Check-In Instructions for the Exchange Visitor

The Exchange Visitor should submit the items listed below to their Department Facilitator of their sponsoring academic department in a single email attachment.

  1. New Student/Scholar Information Form (Check-In Form)
  2. I-94 Admission Stamp (Inside Passport –“J-1 D/S”) or the I-94 Print-out
  3. Copy of your Passport Photo Page (J-1 Students Only)
  4. Copy of your Visa (Inside Passport)

Note about Local Contact Info: The New Student/Scholar Information Form requires a local US address and phone number which is used to validate the SEVIS record. Exchange Visitors with temporary accommodations (hotel or friend’s house) may use the temporary address for the purposes of filling out this form. However, following the J-1 Check-in, Exchange Visitors can update their residence address and US phone number by e-mailing: j1exchg@usc.edu. Immigration regulations require scholars to update their address in SEVIS within 10 days of moving.

Exchange Visitors are encouraged to keep copies of all documentation submitted to their sponsoring department in case the originals are lost or damaged. Dependents are also encouraged to keep copies of their documentation.

Check-In Instructions for Department Facilitators

Step 1: The Department Facilitator from the sponsoring academic department will collect a completed New Student/Scholar Information Form and review it for completeness. We must have an email, US address, and US phone number to validate the SEVIS record.

Step 2: The Department Facilitator will email a scanned copy of the check-in documents to the Office of International Services (OIS) at j1exchg@usc.edu.

Please send check-in documents in a single email attachment. The subject line should identify the campus (UPC or HSC), type of request, and name of the Exchange Visitor.

For example: UPC, Check-In: Tommy Trojan.

Step 3: OIS’s automated response email is the confirmation that the check-in has been received. Check-in will be processed within 4 business days.

OIS must receive the check-in documents and validate the scholar’s SEVIS record within 15 calendar days of the Program Start Date listed on the DS-2019. Failure to do so in a timely manner will cause the J-1 scholar to fall out of status.

If the Exchange Visitor does not arrive within 15 calendar days from the start date indicated on their DS-2019, a Correction Request is required.

Delayed Arrivals & Cancellations (Reporting Responsibilities)

Please visit the Delayed Arrivals section of our website for more information pertaining to late arrivals and cancellations.


The Office of International Services invites you to attend our mandatory virtual orientation for new J-1 scholars and transfers. Learn about maintaining J-1 status, health insurance requirements, travel signatures and other concerns you may have during your time at USC.

Exchange Visitors from all campuses are expected to attend: UPC, HSC, CHLA, ISI and ICT. The following J-1 categories should attend: Research Scholars, Professors, Short-term Scholars and Non-Degree Students conducting full-time research. If you are a J-1 non-degree or degree seeking student registered for classes, you are not required to attend this orientation.