J-1 Check-In & Orientation

Check-In Procedures

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 Transfers: The only time we will accept a check-in directly form the Exchange Visitor is if they are transferring their J-1 SEVIS record from another US institution to USC. Transfers will submit their check-in paperwork in person when meeting with a J-1 Advisor to obtain a transfer DS-2019.

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.

Special Note for Transfers: J-1 Transfers will complete the check-in process in person when they meet with a  J-1 adviser at OIS on the first day of their appointment. OIS will contact you by email to schedule an appointment once we receive your DS-2019 request. Please bring a completed check-in  to your appointment. Following your check-in you will receive a USC DS-2019.

  1. New Student/Scholar Information Form (Check-In Form)
  2. Copy of your DS-2019 “Certificate of Eligibility” (page 1 only) (Remember to sign the bottom of your DS-2019 in blue ink)
  3. I-94 Admission Stamp (Inside Passport –“J1 D/S”) or the I-94 Print-out
  4. Copy of your Passport Photo Page (J-1 Students Only)
  5. 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 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 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’s will be processed within 4 business days.

OIS must receive the check-in documents and validate the scholar’s SEVIS record within 15 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 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 offers Orientation on the second Thursday of every month at 10 am at two separate locations–the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus. This event is mandatory for all new J-1 research scholars/ post docs, professors, & short-term scholars. A light breakfast will be served. The orientation will be followed by a Meet & Greet to give our J-1 Exchange Visitor community the opportunity to meet each other and learn about the different research projects conducted at USC.

Topics covered:

Introductions to the J-1 Team
OIS Contact Information
Health Insurance
2-year Home Residency Requirement
24-month Bar
Social Security
Driver’s License
Off-Campus Employment
DS-2019 Extensions
Program Completion

Orientation Dates:

May 10, 2018
June 14, 2018
July 12, 2018
August 9, 2018
September 13, 2018
October 11, 2018
November 8, 2018
December 13, 2018

Time: 10:00am to 11:00am

  • For all new arrivals at UPC, ICT, and ISI, the J-1 Orientation will be held at The University Club on the University Park Campus.
  • For all new arrivals at HSC and CHLA, the J-1 Orientation will be held at The Soto II Building, Room 2102 on the Health Sciences Campus.
    • Please note: Soto Shuttles operate every 15 minutes, departing from San Pablo Street (east side, just north of Hospital Driveway). Please allow sufficient time to arrive at Soto II Building.

Who Should Attend:

The following J-1 categories are mandated to attend the J-1 orientation:

  • Research Scholars (Includes Post-Docs)
  • Professors
  • Short-term Scholars
  • Non-degree Students (Conducting full-time research)

Note: If you are a J-1 non-degree or degree student registered for USC classes, you are not required to attend this orientation.