Non-Degree J-1 Students

Non-degree students are engaged full-time in a non-degree objective course of study or a professional or certificate program. 

UCLA Exchange Students are expected to participate in the Exchange Visitor (J-1) Program under the J-1 Non-Degree Student category. DCISS will provide exchange students with a DS-2019 form. A DS-2019 form will be needed to apply for the J-1 visa stamp at a U.S. embassy or consulate.  

UCLA Certificate Students may be eligible for J-1 Non-Degree Student status only if they are primarily supported by organization or government funds in the form of a scholarship, fellowship, or a grant/award. 

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UCLA Exchange Programs

UCLA Exchange Students must review the NEWLY ADMITTED and CURRENTLY ENROLLED sections of the DCISS website for pre-arrival information, orientation requirements, and visa related services. 

Exchange Abroad Program (EAP)

The University of California (UC) hosts Reciprocity students from over 100 institutions in approximately 30 countries. If you are a registered student at one of UC's host universities, you may be eligible to participate. Reciprocal exchange students attend the University of California for up to one academic year on a no-fee-exchange, non-degree basis. Students on the Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) earn degrees at their home university though they are enrolled at a university abroad. 

Undergraduate and graduate reciprocity students are nominated by partner institutions under the provisions of specific contractual agreements. Contact your University's International or Study Abroad Office and ask for help in applying to the Education Abroad Program. More information is provided on the UCEAP website

The EAP advisors at the UCLA International Education Office (IEO) will be able to assist EAP students with academic related services such as course enrollment, housing matters, and academic training authorization. IEO is located at 1332 Murphy Hall. 

IEO Contact Info

General Campus and Departmental Exchange

These exchange programs function similarly to the EAP program, but are UCLA specific exchange programs and are overlooked by the UCLA International Education Office. 

Refer to the International Education Office website for more information.

LAW Exchange

UCLA School of Law has partnered with sixteen other leading academic institutions in Europe, Asia, Israel, Australia and South America to establish the Foreign Legal Study and Exchange Program (FLSEP). Under exchange agreements with these partner schools, UCLA School of Law will host the most highly qualified students from its partner schools, while similarly talented and committed UCLA law students may sample the intellectual and cultural riches that partner schools offer.

Refer to the School of Law website for more information. 

Certificate Students

Certificate programs are eligible for the Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa program if they are full-time programs and last for more than 3 weeks. DCISS does not offer J-1 visa support for UCLA Extension Programs.

J-1 Eligibility

Students admitted into main campus certificate programs may be eligible for J-1 Non-Degree Student status if they will be primarily supported by a grant, scholarship, fellowship, or award from a university or government institute.

Only students receiving university or government funds to support their UCLA program should be considering an application for J-1 Non-Degree Student status. DCISS does not assist students with finding financial sponsors.

DCISS will provide eligible students a DS-2019 form to apply for the J-1 Non-Degree Student visa at a U.S. embassy. The Academic Department will submit the DS-2019 request to DCISS on behalf of the student. 

Contact your Academic Department for DS-2019 request instructions. 

Mandatory Visa Check-in

The arrival of a certificate student must be updated in SEVIS. This process is called ‘validation’ and must be completed within 25 days of the starting date stated on Box #3 on the DS-2019 form. In order to do this, the student is required to check-in with DCISS upon arrival to UCLA. The designated check-in times differ with each program. Please refer to your DS-2019 cover letter for specific dates and times.

Failure to validate one’s arrival will result in automatic termination of their J-1 status in the SEVIS system. Students are required to bring the following documents to DCISS:

  • Copy of UCLA initial or transfer DS-2019

  • Copy of I-94 Admission Record*

  • Copy of J-1 Visa (except Canadian citizens)

  • Copy of Passport Photo Page

  • Copy of Proof of Medical Insurance**

  • Original Passport & DS-2019

Copies of the documents listed above must be made only AFTER arrival to the U.S. and before reporting to DCISS. DCISS does not provide access to a copy machine or printer.

*J-1 visitors can print their I-94 Admission Record at only after arrival to the U.S. This website will only be accessible after the EV’s arrival. If EV receives a paper I-94 card instead, they must make a copy of both front and back sides of the card.

**VSBP enrollment confirmation will be sent to the J-1 visitor by email. Visitor must print and bring for check-in. Those approved for the waiver, must bring their waiver confirmation and proof of medical insurance used to waive. J-1 visitors exempt from the VSISP plan must provide proof of their UCLA affiliated medical insurance. See Health Insurance Section.

Mandatory Address Update

HTML Icon Address and Contact Information Update Form

On-Campus Work Authorization

Students and non-degree students on J-1 status may work on campus part time (up to 20 hours per week) while the school is in session and full time during the quarter/semester breaks and summer vacation. In order to be employed, students must be in good academic standing and obtain on-campus work authorization from DCISS.

Work authorization is given for maximum one year. If you wish to continue employment after one year you can request an extension to your work authorization within a month of the end date. To receive employment authorization from DCISS, please fill out the following online form:

J-1 Student On-Campus Employment Authorization Form

If you change employment at any time, you must complete another request form. Allow 5 business days to process.

Academic Training

J-1 Non-degree Certificate students may have the opportunity to engage in paid or unpaid employment which is directly related to their field of study, provided certain requirements are met. Such employment is called ‘Academic Training’ and is authorized by a J-1 counselor at DCISS. Upon approval, the student is provided with an extended DS-2019 form and authorization letter from DCISS.

Academic Training Instructions for Certificate Students

Academic Training Request Form

Academic Training Evaluation Form

Visiting Graduate Researchers (VGR)

A Visiting Graduate Researcher (VGR) is an individual, domestic or international, who is: (1) enrolled as degree-seeking graduate student at his or her home institution and maintaining satisfactory advancement towards the completion of his or her academic degree, and (2) invited to conduct short-term doctoral research or participate in a "prescribed course of study" such as a mentored or independent research project or master’s research collaborations with a faculty member at UCLA.

Departments must contact UCLA Graduate Division for additional information including, but not limited to, fees, application procedures and supporting documents. Complete application instructions are available online.

DS-2019 Request

Visiting student researchers should refer to the SCHOLARS section of the DCISS website for information regarding the DS-2019 request process, pre-arrival procedures, visa check-in & orientation, and maintaining their Exchange Visitor (J-1) status.

Visiting Undergraduate Researchers

UCLA welcomes undergraduate students from other universities who wish to participate in research or other scholarly opportunities on campus so long as they have a faculty supervisor. Departments must contact the Undergraduate Research Center for additional information including, but not limited to, registration, fees, and supporting documents. Complete application instructions are available online.

DS-2019 Request

Visiting student researchers should refer to the SCHOLARS section of the DCISS website for information regarding the DS-2019 request process, pre-arrival procedures, visa check-in & orientation, and maintaining their Exchange Visitor (J-1) status.