Your USC DS-2019


The information on this page is applicable only to J-1 Students who have been admitted to a USC degree program and have received a DS-2019 from the central Office of Admission.

J-1 Scholars should instead seek assistance from the USC Office of International Services (OIS).


Print Your DS-2019

After receiving your DS-2019 PDF file, you must print a copy in order to apply for your J-1 visa and travel to the U.S.

Presenting your DS-2019 PDF on your phone, tablet, or laptop will not be acceptable for any official purpose. You must always use the printed copy. Do not leave your DS-2019 in your checked luggage.

Please carefully read the instructions on your DS-2019.


Pay the SEVIS fee

You will need to pay the SEVIS fee.

Print your payment receipt and keep it in a safe place. You will need this document for your visa interview and to enter the United States. Students are responsible for all SEVIS and visa fees.


Apply for the J-1 Visa

Visit the U.S. Department of State website to apply for your visa and schedule your interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Follow all instructions carefully.

Arrival in the U.S.

Students on J-1 visas may enter the United States as soon as 30 days prior to the start of their program as shown on the DS-2019. Check the “From” date in “Box 3: Form Covers Period.”

If you are unable to enter the U.S. by the start of classes listed on your I-20, please speak with the admission office of your degree program. At their discretion, they may provide a late arrival letter to allow you one extra week of flexibility to enter the U.S.

Entry is not guaranteed and is at the customs officer’s discretion at the port of entry. Students who may be more than one week late will need to work with their department to discuss other admission options.


USC Student Health

Please refer to the Student Health Requirements page for information on health insurance and vaccinations requirements.

Bring the following items with you to the U.S. Port of Entry when you arrive:

  1. Passport (must be valid for at least six months after your U.S. arrival date).
  2. DS-2019.
  3. Valid J-1 Visa.
  4. I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt.
  5. Passports, DS-2019, and J-2 visas for any dependents who are accompanying you.

Post Arrival

Complete Immigration Status Verification (ISV)

All newly admitted international students are required to complete Immigration Status Verification (ISV) with the USC Office of International Services (OIS). This will confirm your immigration status and ensure that you are eligible to start an academic program at USC. You will need to provide your DS-2019 and complete ISV before you can enroll in classes.

Once you successfully complete ISV, your registration hold (STU50 or STU60 or OIS70) will be removed.

Please visit the ISV section of the OIS website for detailed instructions on how to complete ISV.

Now that you have arrived at USC, the Office of International Services (OIS) will manage your immigration record moving forward. Please contact them if you need assistance.

Congratulations on embarking on your new academic program!