Please note that this list is not intended as a substitute for counseling. Any topics that are not covered here should be discussed with a counselor.
Email inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointments can be made through the online appointment system. At the moment, the Dashew Center is not taking in-person appointments.
Can I receive my initial DS-2019 electronically by email?
Yes, effective April 27, 2023, the U.S. Department of State will permit designated sponsors (including UCLA) to digitally sign and electronically transmit the DS-2019 form. Exchange Visitors will need to print, sign, and present the paper DS-2019 to the U.S. embassy for their visa application and to the U.S. port of entry. Any updated DS-2019s (e.g. extensions, amendments) will also be provided electronically to exchange visitors.
I want to come to UCLA as a J-1 researcher, how do I apply?
You must contact the UCLA Department you are interested in visiting. The sponsoring department will submit the DS-2019 request application to the Dashew Center. Upon approval from the Department of Homeland Security, the DS-2019 will be processed and mailed to you by your department. UCLA School of Medicine Visa and Licensing Office processes DS-2019 requests for visitors to the School of Medicine and other affiliated hospitals.
I am a student in my home country and want to come to UCLA as a researcher, how do I apply?
If you are a graduate student, your sponsoring UCLA department needs to contact the Graduate Division regarding the application, requirements, and fees. If you are an undergraduate student, your sponsoring UCLA department must contact the Undergraduate Research Center regarding the application and requirements. Once registered, your sponsoring UCLA department will need to contact DCISS to begin the J-1 DS-2019 application process.
In which country am I able to apply for the J-1 visa stamp?
The following information is provided on the U.S. Department of State website:
You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live.
After my arrival at UCLA, how soon must I complete the online visa check-in?
It is mandatory that you complete the post-arrival online visa check-in as soon as possible after your arrival, but no later than 25 days after the start date listed on your DS-2019. If you fail to complete the visa check-in within the 25-day time period, your DS-2019 form will be voided automatically by the US Homeland Security Department making your stay in the U.S. illegal.
How can I find housing?
Eligibility for university housing is dependent on your UCLA appointment title. Postdoctoral scholars and Visiting Graduate Researchers may apply for on-campus housing, but housing is not guaranteed. Please contact your UCLA academic department for more information.
The UCLA Community Housing Office can provide you with housing options off-campus.
How do I obtain a BruinCard (UCLA ID)?
Your academic department is responsible for assisting you with the BruinCard process. They will need to submit an online request form to BruinCard services. Bruincard eligibility will be dependent on your appointment title and program duration.
My spouse and children do not plan to come with me to the U.S. Can they join me later?
Your spouse and children can join you on J-2 visa status at any time during your stay in the U.S. You do not need to request a DS-2019 form at the same time you are getting one. They can request a DS-2019 form to apply for the J-2 visa when they are ready to visit you.
How do I make an appointment?
Appointments can be made through the online appointment system. At the moment, the Dashew Center is not taking in-person appointments.Please be aware that during peak periods, the waiting time for an appointment can be up to 2 weeks.
What services need an appointment?
Appointments with a counselor are required for the following: Any detailed questions regarding your visa status, home residency requirement, change of status, transfers, work authorization, or other out-of-the-ordinary requests.
What services do NOT need an appointment?
Requests for the following can be submitted online: Requests for a DS-2019 (new program or extension), travel validation, SSN support letters, J-2 dependent DS-2019s, or off-campus scholar employment applications.
I have some tax questions..
The Dashew Center is not able to assist with tax advice or filing in any way. However, each year – normally in the months of February, March and April – DCISS coordinates workshops with campus and outside tax professionals to assist UCLA scholars and students with the preparation of non-resident tax returns. Once available, the dates will be announced by email as well as on this website.
If you received taxable income (not from UCLA):
UCLA has teamed up with Sprintax to provide non-residents an easy-to-use tax preparation software to file tax forms. Sprintax is a web-based tax filing system designed exclusively for international students, scholars, and their dependents to guide in preparing U.S. federal and state income tax forms. To register, please visit: https://www.sprintax.com/uni-lp.html?utm_ref=uclalp&utm_content=prmc.
Contact information: email@example.com / 1-866-601-5695
If you have any questions after you have logged into Sprintax, please use the live chat function and Sprintax's customer service team will be happy to help.
Can I buy Health Insurance from a carrier in my country?
As long as the coverage meets J-1 visa regulations. Coverage requirements are listed at UCLA’s affiliated insurance agency website: http://www.garnett-powers.com/vs/ucla/. Through the waiver process, Garnett-Powers will review your purchased plan to determine if it meets the J-1 visa regulations.
Does the Dashew Center provide family invitation letters for visitor visas (B-1/B-2)?
The Dashew Center does not provide family invitation letters for visitor visas (B-1/B-2). The U.S. Department of State does not consider invitation letters when determining whether to issue or deny the visa:
"Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant's residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa. " - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html
Scholars who would like to write their own invitation letters for their family members can use the Sample Invitation Letter template here.