Newly Admitted J-1 Students

Pre-Arrival Information

In accordance with the U.S. Department of State, newly admitted students who are not citizens or residents of the U.S. seeking J-1 (Student) Visa status must request for a UCLA Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status) and apply for a J-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before traveling to the U.S. to begin their degree program.

Please read below for instructions on how to obtain a UCLA DS-2019 and J-1 Visa.

Step 1: Obtain a DS-2019 from UCLA

J-1 Degree Students

To request for a UCLA DS-2019, you must first submit the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to confirm acceptance of your admission to UCLA. Once you have submitted your SIR,you will be emailed with instructions on how to request a UCLA DS-2019 online.

J-1 Exchange Students (e.g. EAP, IEO, LAW)

Once you have been officially registered with UCLA, you will be emailed with instructions on how to request a UCLA DS-2019 online. This email will be sent to you approximately 2-3 months prior to your program start date.

*Note: The Dashew Center provides support and services for international students who have received a DS-2019 AFTER their arrival to the U.S. The Dashew Center does not handle admissions matters.

Step 2: Pay the SEVIS Fee

After you receive your UCLA DS-2019, please remember to pay the mandatory, one-time SEVIS I-901 Fee online here. Print a copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt and have it with you when applying for your J-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate and when entering the U.S.

Step 3: Apply for a J-1 Visa from a U.S. Embassy/Consulate

If you are outside the U.S. and do not have a valid J-1 Visa, follow the steps below to apply for a J-1 Visa (Canadian citizens exempt*):

  • Fill out the DS-160 / MRV (visa application) fee and schedule your visa appointment with a U.S. Embassy/Consulate online at
  • Take your UCLA DS-2019, valid passport, SEVIS fee receipt, MRV (visa application) fee receipt, passport style photos (if applicable), evidence of strong ties to your home country, and financial documents to your visa interview appointment. The following are examples of strong ties: proof of close family ties in your home country; proof of ownership of real property including stocks & investments; proof of guaranteed employment in your country or any other document that supports your intent to return home at the conclusion of your activities in the U.S.

If you intend to apply for J-2 Visas for your spouse or children, you must provide evidence of their full names, relationship to you, residence, nationality, and DS-2019s. Allow enough time to apply for the visa because the issuance of visas to some individuals could take longer due to security clearances. For more information about the visa application process, please visit

** Canadian citizens are exempt from Step 3, but must present their valid passport, UCLA DS-2019, SEVIS fee payment receipt at the port of entry to the U.S., and will hold J-1 status in the U.S. during their program at UCLA.

Step 4: Arrival to the U.S.

You may only enter the U.S. with your J-1 Visa and UCLA DS-2019 up to (but no earlier) than 30 days before the start date indicated on your UCLA DS-2019.

*** Transfer Students are not subject to the 30 day arrival limitation.

Step 5: Complete iSTART@UCLA

iSTART@UCLA is a program that helps international students transition to their new life at UCLA and in the U.S. Required components of iSTART are the Visa Check-In and the DCISS Online Pre-Arrival Orientation which include the following modules: Getting Started in L.A., Cultural Adjustment, J-1 Visa Workshop, Academic Integrity Workshop, Legal Information for International Students, and DCISS programs.

J-1 students are required by the U.S. Department of State to complete a J-1 Visa Workshop and a Visa Check-In to validate their J-1 status in the U.S.

If you do not complete the mandatory components of iSTART, a Hold will be placed on your student record which will affect your course enrollment, eligibility to receive services from DCISS and University resources. Failure to timely complete your check-in requirement will also result in severe consequences for your visa status within the U.S.

Locate a U.S. Embassy/Consulate

LAX to UCLA Shuttle