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UC Merced International

J-1 Pre-Arrival Information

Before the process to obtain a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa can begin, you must first be offered and accept a qualified position at UC Merced.  Typically, these are non-tenure track research or teaching positions at UC Merced. Once you have been offered and accepted a position at UC Merced, the process for obtaining the J-1 Visa typically proceeds as follows:

Request for J Visa Services: The UC Merced Academic School requests scholar to complete the J-1 Scholar Biographical Information Form using Adobe Reader. Submits the completed form back to the school.

Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status: This will be sent to you via FedEx accompanies by a "Pre-Arrival Information Packet." This packet contains detailed instructions and arrival information.
Pay the SEVIS Fee and obtain the J-1 Visa Stamp at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
Obtain health insurance that meets or exceeds the J-1 Health Insurance Requirements.
Make travel arrangements. You are allowed to arrive in the U.S. up to 30 days before your program begins. It is very important that you arrive in Merced in time to begin work on your start date. Any request to delay or change to the start date must be sent to
Research Life in Merced to find out important information about housing, banking, recreation, schools and more. The UC Merced Arrival Guide also provides helpful information.
Upon arrival in Merced, complete the Check-in Process.