New J-1 Check In with the Center for Global Health

After arriving in Charleston, all new MUSC J-1 exchange visitors (including J-1 transfers) are required to check in with in the Center for Global Health in order to have their J-1 SEVIS record validated. New J-1 exchange visitors must have their J-1 SEVIS record validated within 30 days of the J-1 program start date on the Form DS-2019. J-1 exchange visitors whose J-1 SEVIS records are not validated in a timely manner will be automatically terminated in SEVIS and will no longer be permitted to remain in the United States in J-1 status.

We highly recommend that you complete the J-1 check in as soon as possible after arrival in the United States. Although you will not complete the check in process until after your arrival, you must begin planning for the J-1 check in process in advance, prior to your arrival.

Please note that your J-1 SEVIS record cannot be validated until you have completed the J-1 Insurance Verification request, New J-1 Initial Arrival request, and J-1 check in appointment.

STEP 1: Complete Insurance Verification request

This should be done prior to your arrival in the United States. You will log in to your Terra Dotta portal, navigate to the Requests tab and click Insurance Verification. Upload a copy of your insurance documents and fill in the required information. Refer to the insurance section of the J-1 Pre-Arrival Guide for more details on the insurance requirements.

STEP 2: Schedule J-1 check in appointment

As soon as you know the date you will arrive in the United States, you must schedule your J-1 check in appointment. Check in appointments are currently being conducted virtually. However, the date of the appointment must be after your arrival in the United States.

J-1 check in appointments must be scheduled in advance through Denise Smith's scheduling tool. In the subject field, enter “J-1 Check In Appointment.” Click the text that reads ‘Click to Request An Appointment,’ then select one of the available time slots. Once you have selected a time slot, click Send.

Once Denise receives your appointment request, she will email you details on how to access the virtual meeting. Contact Denise directly with any questions about the virtual meeting.

STEP 3: Complete required forms

After you schedule your appointment, Denise will send you several documents to read and forms that must be completed. You should make a note of any questions that you have while you go through the materials. You will have the opportunity to ask Denise these questions during your check in appointment.

STEP 4: Retrieve I-94 record and complete New J-1 Initial Arrival request

As soon as you arrive in the US, you must retrieve your I-94 record from the CBP website and save the record as a PDF file.

Then, you will log in to your Terra Dotta portal, navigate to the Requests tab and click New J-1 Initial Arrival. Read the instructions carefully. You will fill in the required information. You will also upload copies of your I-94 record, J-1 visa, passport biographic page, and signed Form DS-2019. If you have accompanying J-2 dependents, you will also upload copies of your dependents’ I-94 records, J-2 visas, J-2 passport biographic pages, and J-2 Forms DS-2019. All documents must be in PDF format and follow all guidelines provided in the instructions. 

STEP 5: Attend J-1 check in appointment

You will attend the virtual meeting at the previously scheduled time. Be sure that you are prepared with a computer with video capabilities and reliable internet access. During the appointment, Denise will review your J-1 documents and the requirements of J-1 status with you. You can also ask any questions during this meeting.

After the completion of the check in appointment, as well as the necessary forms and requests in Terra Dotta, we will validate your J-1 status SEVIS record. You will receive an email confirmation once your J-1 SEVIS record has been validated. J-1 SEVIS records are typically validated within a few days after your completion of the J-1 check in appointment.

STEP 6: Connect with CGH International Programs

Rebeca Mueller manages the International Programs within the Center for Global Health. Rebeca assists new international students and scholars with various aspects of adjusting to life in the United States and Charleston in particular. After attending your J-1 check in appointment, please contact Rebeca to introduce yourself as a new J-1 exchange visitor at MUSC.