Pre & Post Arrival Steps

People Walking On Campus

Welcome to UC Berkeley!  

If you are coming to UC Berkeley from within the U.S.:

Before your UC Berkeley start date, schedule an appointment with a Berkeley International Office adviser ( to discuss the transfer/change of status process.  Do NOT complete the steps below.

If You Are Coming From Outside the U.S.:

The instructions below include the steps to take after you have been invited by a UC Berkeley Department and Berkeley International Office has issued the Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for your J-1 program. If you have not yet been invited by a UC Berkeley Department or you have not yet received your Form DS-2019, please follow up with your hosting department and see the process overview for a review of the steps.

STEP 1: Review your Certificate of Eligibility for J Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019) for accuracy. If you find errors, email immediately.

STEP 2: Sign your Form DS-2019 immediately. Also sign any J-2 dependent documents for children under 16 years old. Dependents who are 16 years old or over should sign their own DS-2019s

STEP 3: Pay the$220 SEVIS I-901 Fee to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security at least 3 days before your visa appointment (Canadian citizens must pay at least 3 days before entering the U.S.). Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at:

STEP 4: Apply for your J-1 visa. Pay the U.S. Dept. of State visa application fee. Review the website as soon as possible to schedule your visa appointment (Canadian citizens do NOT need a visa).

STEP 5: Prepareyour documents for entering the U.S.:

  • Passport

  • J-1 visa (Canadian citizens are exempt) 

  • UC Berkeley Form DS-2019 (original)

  • Evidence of financial support for U.S. stay

  • I-901 SEVIS Fee payment receipt

  • Form DS-7002 (student intern category only)

STEP 6: Report your arrival and complete online orientation

Report your arrival and complete the mandatory Scholar Information Webinar within 9 days of your arrival.

**You may arrive up to 30 days before the start date on your Form DS-2019. If arriving more than 9 days later than initially planned, you may need an amended J-1 Form DS-2019 to avoid problems at the U.S. port-of-entry. Please email if you anticipate arriving more than 9 days after the start date on your Form DS-2019.

The information we provide in step six above is required by the U.S. government; it is important that it be completed accurately and as early as possible after arrival.