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Initial Application

An initial application is a new J-1 or transfer-in request to UC San Diego. To complete this process, you will need the following: There are six basic steps to complete in this web-based application: 
  1. Create Scholar Record
  2. Invite the Scholar (ISD access)
  3. Submit Recharge Fee
  4. Review the Scholar Record and Input Department Information after Scholar Submission
  5. Upload Supporting Documentation
  6. Review and Submit to IFSO

Step 1: Create a Scholar Record

Creating a New Scholar Record

If a scholar already exists in the ISD system, please do not create a duplicate record. To see if a record already exists, you can select Search for Visitor on the left-side navigation bar.

TIP: To find the record, you may need to change the filters to All

Step 2: Invite the Scholar

Send Login Info to Scholar

Do not complete any information after record creation.

Click on the Tasks tab in the top left-hand corner of the horizontal navigation bar toward the top of the screen. Once there, click Invite Visitor.

Compose an email greeting to the scholar and hit Send. ISD will automatically send the URL to ISD, user name, and auto-generated password to the scholar. When the scholar receives the email, the login information will be automatically generated by the system and be located below your message.

Correct something or re-invite the scholar

If there is some issue where you need to correct something and/or re-invite the scholar, you will need to find the scholar’s record in ISD.

To find the record again, you can select Search for Visitor on the left-side navigation bar. You can search for the record on the following Search Visitor Screen. To find the record, you may need to change the filters to All.

Scholar records will appear on the bottom, you can click on the Last Name hyperlink to access and edit the specific scholar record.

From here, you can select the Task Tab again and edit the scholar’s login information or send a new invitation email to the scholar.

 TIP: Every time you send an invitation to the scholar, ISD will generate a new password which will replace the previous sent password.

See contacting the scholar for additional options.

ISD Status Invited or Pending Scholar Data Entry

ISD Processing Stages
  • Invited
    • Scholar/Faculty has been invited to sign into ISD via an email that contains their login information.  
  • Pending Scholar Data Entry
    • Faculty/Scholar needs to update/add information to ISD.

Step 3: Submit Recharge Fee

You do not need to include proof of recharge payment through ISD; it will be checked by IFSO. The form DS-2019 will not be issued until payment has been made.

Note: institutional policy requires that departments pay the service fee for all persons appointed in Postdoctoral appointments.

You can find instructions on IFSO’s website:

Step 4: Review the Scholar Record and Input Department Information After Scholar Submission

When the prospective scholar completes and submits their information and uploaded documentation, an email will be sent to the department administrator indicating that the record is ready for review. The departmental administrator reviews the data and documentation uploaded by the scholar for completeness.

The administrator will also input additional information and upload documentation from the department. To begin reviewing and completing this part of the process, click on the Horizontal Fields Navigation Bar to review the data in each Tab:

  • Biographical
  • Address
  • Appointment
  • Site of Activity
  • Funding
  • Other
    • Position in Home Country
    • Passport and Visa
    • Education
    • Dependent-Specific
    • Dependent-General
    • J-1 Student Intern T/IPP, only visible if Student Intern category selected

Finding an Existing Scholar Record

To find a scholar, follow the instructions noted in the Finding an Existing Scholar Record section.

If you are unable find the record, contact IFSO at

Locking Scholar Access

To prevent the scholar from making changes to their record while it is being processed by you and IFSO, we recommend you change the scholar’s permissions to View only at some point in your process. 

If you request the scholar to update their record directly, however, you will need to change their permissions back to Read/Write.

We leave it up to you to decide where in your process you choose to lock the scholar’s access to their record. To change permissions, select the Tasks Tab button and click on Edit Visitor Login and Permissions:

Adding Notes

If you have special notes for this record that you would like to make, select the Notes Tab on the Horizontal Fields Navigation Bar and click on Add Note. 

The notes section is a great way to let IFSO know anything pertinent to the case.

Initial request
Any information that may be helpful for IFSO’s processing of the request.


Transfer In request

Include the current (non-UC San Diego) Immigration advisors contact information; full name and email address. This information will be used by IFSO to coordinate the transferring of the DS-2019 to UC San Diego.


These notes will be visible to Department Administrators with ISD access under your specific department and to IFSO advisors but not to the scholar.

Contact Scholar to Verify Information

If you need to contact the scholar to verify certain information, you can select Compose Email in the top right side of the screen. This will generate an email to the scholar.

TIP: This will send the email you compose. However, it will not treat the email as an initial invitation and thus will not overwrite the scholar’s current password.

Biographical Section

Please verity that the scholar completed this information.

For records in the VC Health Sciences area administered by ARC, add the ARC number.  

Address Section

The scholar will have added their permanent address in their home country.

Tip: please note that we advise the scholar to never use the mailing address option.

Appointment Section

  • Employer Name: UC San Diego
  • Start Date: Enter the preferred start date of the appointment
  • End Date: Enter the preferred end date of the appointment
  • Job Title: Select a job title from the drop-down menu
  • Other or Additional Job Title and Level: Enter the job title if not listed in the Job Title Section.
    • Add an additional job title if there are multiple.
    • If the job title is a staff appointment under Career Tracks, indicate the level here; for example, "P3" or "S2" or "M1".
    • If Clinical, enter the PGY level.
  • Faculty Sponsor: Identify the faculty sponsor
  • Is position Full Time: Indicate yes or no for staff positions; leave blank for academic positions
  • Number of Hours Per Week: If staff position is not full time, indicate number of hours per week
  • Is the Position Tenure Track: Indicate yes or no
  • J Visitors Only Section:
    • Indicate if the appointment is for under six months with or without the possibility of extension
    • Select the J visitor category from the drop-down menu. Please note that only four of the options are allowed at UC San Diego, described below. Read the descriptions below as there are different regulations for each J-1 category.
      • Research Scholar – For scholars here for up to 5 years. Will be subject to the 24-month bar prohibiting repeat participation in a new J-1 Research Scholar/Professor program
      • Professor – If the scholar will be primarily teaching. Can be used up to 5 years and will be subject to the 24-month bar prohibiting repeat participation in a new J-1 Research Scholar/Professor program
      • Short-Term Scholar – For scholars here for 6 months or less; will not be subject to the 24 month bar
      • Student Intern – For visiting undergraduate students that will be returning to their home country’s undergraduate program after UCSD
  • In Description of Scholar Activity at UCSD, add information about what the scholar will be researching and/or teaching.
    • Please be descriptive, such as “teaching courses and research in mathematics,” or “Clinical observation in radiology.”
    • For scholars with a medical degree, input either “NO ELEMENT OF PATIENT CONTACT” or “INCIDENTAL PATIENT CONTACT” as appropriate after program description.
  • Is this a unionized position: Indicate whether this position is in a union (Collective Bargaining Unit).
  • RUSH Request: Indicate “Yes” or “No.” RUSH requests entail paying the RUSH fee (for online payments, see:
    • Note that J-1 requests require a start date of 45 days from request submission to IFSO; any shorter time would require the RUSH fee or else IFSO will adjust the start date to 45 days from submission. This policy reflects the processing time of our federal agencies, which include lengthy background checks required by the U.S. Dept of State for visa applications.

Site of Activity Section


Federal regulations require that all sites of activity for the Exchange Visitor be reported.  A Site of Activity is one at which the scholar will be regularly working; for example, where federal agents on an unannounced site visit would expect to find the scholar. If a scholar is only irregularly working at a particular location, do not include it as a site of activity.
    • Click on Add New button to add the site(s) of activity. 
      • Skip this step for “Student Intern” category records; you will enter it later 
    • Select the primary site of activity from the drop-down menu under Prefill SOA; if it is not listed, enter the site's individual address components in the fields.
      • For SIO, please use the UCSD main campus address
    • Add any additional sites of activity as needed.
      • There should only be one Primary Site, at which the scholar will spend most of the time.
    • Review the Site of Activity list to make sure all site of activities you added are included. 

Funding Section


Funding should be entered without any spaces, dashes or dollar signs. Do not include cents. Please note that you will be able to save the information with spaces, dashes, dollar signs, or cents but when you try to submit the case with IFSO you will receive an error. Round the amount to the nearest dollar.  Corresponding funding proof/documentation must be uploaded in the documents tab. Proof/documentation cannot be more than 6 months old. If funds are listed in foreign currency include a currency converter. Any document in a foreign language must include a translation of the key information such as source, amount, time, and date. Translation does not need to be issued by official translating company.

The Funding Section in ISD must be completed for all J-1 requests. Add funding sources that will be used by the scholar during their program. 

Overall funding amount must meet minimum monthly requirement of:
  • $2400/month for scholar plus additional
  • $800/month for spouse
  • $400/month for each child 

TIP: Funding should be entered without any spaces, dashes, periods, or dollar signs. Do not include cents. Please note that you will be able to save the information with spaces, dashes, dollar signs, or cents but when you try to submit the case with IFSO you will receive an error.

Don’t forget to use the help bubbles, summary/reminders:

  • Program Sponsor Funds
    • Funding being distributed by UC San Diego; UC San Diego issues a check or direct deposit to scholar, regardless of the granting source.
    • Typically, Postdoc appointments 3252 or 3253
    • Please note that a Postdoc 3254 is NOT Program Sponsored Funds as the outside organization is paying the postdoc directly. For Postdoc 3254:
      • If it's a home country ministry, it would be government funding
      • If it's NATO, it would be an international organization
      • It its home country academic institution, it would be other organization
    • Documentation:
      • UC San Diego appointment/offer letter 
  • U.S. Government Org Funds
    • Funding is only considered U.S. government funding if it is paid directly to the J-1 Exchange Visitor and/or is intended specifically for international exchange. NIH or other federal agency grants to PIs to fund their research projects would not be considered "U.S. government funding" for purposes of international exchange.
    • This option would rarely be used.
  • International Org. Funds
    • If unsure if funding is from an International Organization, input funding in "Other Organization Funding" data field.
    • This option would rarely be used.
  • Government Funds
    • Funding the scholar will be receiving from their Home Country Government
    • If unsure if funding is from Home Country Government, input funding in "Other Organization Funding" data field.
  • Other Organization Funds
    • A company/academic institution/employer/government agency, not an individual person
    • Entity distributes funds directly to Scholar
    • Use if unsure of funding source or if the funding source does not match any of the other fields.
    • Examples:
      • A foreign employer is paying the Scholar while they are on leave from their job, such as a sabbatical
      • Scholar received a scholarship that is distributing funds directly to them
      • Scholar has fellowship from their home country’s government or the U.S. government
    • Documentation:
      • Funding organization/scholarship letter indicating amount of funds and disbursement period
      • Employer letter stating the salary and that they will continue to be paid for the date range of the program at UC San Diego. The letter should state funding amount, frequency, and that they will continue to pay this amount while the scholar is at UC San Diego, in the U.S., on sabbatical, etc. 
        • Please note: a pay statement cannot be used as proof of funding.
  • Personal Funds
    • Funds from scholar or a sponsor
    • Personal funds should only be listed/used/included after all other sources of funding are provided. Personal funds should be supplemental to any other funding sources.
    • If only personal funds are included, this is an indication to IFSO that there are no additional funding sources. Please note that excluding any additional funding sources could be seen as a misrepresentation of program funding source.
    • Examples:
      • J-1 has sufficient money in a personal bank account
      • J-1 is getting money from a friend or family member who has enough money in bank
    • Documentation:
      • Bank statement showing personal funds of scholar or sponsor. 
      • Funding documentation from a sponsor (spouse, friend, family, etc.) must also include an affidavit of support, indicating the sponsor will support the scholar and the amount of funding that will be provided for the date range of the program.
      • Evidence must show currently existing liquid funds
        • Not acceptable: stocks, bonds, mutual funds


  • Do not forget to complete by selecting yes or no.
  • This field has replaced Form C
  • This will allow IFSO to confirm health insurance has been obtained (Gallagher/Garnett Powers, Waived, or UCSD insurance) directly with the scholar 

Other Section

These are sections that should have been completed by the incoming J-1 scholar. Please go through them to verify that they have been completed.

  • Position In Home Country
    • Must be completed for all J-1 requests.
  • Passport and Visa
    • Must be completed for all requests as it contains immigration history as well as alerts IFSO if this is a transfer in.
  • Education Section
    • If the scholar indicated they have a Medical Degree, section 3 of the J-1 submission form will need to be completed and uploaded to ISD.
  • Dependent-Specific and Dependent-General
    • If the scholar indicated they will have dependents (spouse/children) with them in the U.S. that require a dependent status (J-2) they MUST include their information. All fields must be completed.


J-1 Student Intern T/IPP Section

If the scholar will be coming in the J-1 Student Intern category, make sure to complete the section titled T/IPP Information. This can be found under Other section. Please note that the T/IPP Information section will not appear if the J Visitor category is not listed as Student Intern in the Appointment Tab.

See our instructions regarding how to complete the T/IPP section.

Step 5: Attach Supporting Documentation

Click on the Documents Tab on the top of the Horizontal Fields Navigation Bar towards the top of the screen in order to upload the required documents from the list below. For more detailed instructions regarding how to upload documents to ISD, view our Upload/Attach Documents in ISD instructions.

TIP: Do not use any symbols when naming a document.

IFSO Request Form

Initial J-1 Submission Form
The sponsoring department uses this form-fillable pdf to authorize IFSO to issue the DS-2019 for the prospective Exchange Visitor. 

English Language Proficiency

Federal regulations require documentation showing that the J-1 scholar is proficient in English. This documentation could include test scores, certification by an academic organization, or interview. 

Verify that the scholar uploaded documentation; if these are not available, make sure to complete Section 2 of the “Initial J-1 Submission Form.”

  • Test score results
    • IELTS band 6 or higher, OR
    • TOEFL, OR
      • 61 (IBT)
      • 73 (computer-based)
      • 500 (paper based)
    • PETS, OR
      • level 5 or higher
    • Not accepted: TOEIC and TOEFL ITP
  • Institutional or English language school certification
    • On letterhead in English and issued within past six months, verifying the Exchange Visitor possesses English proficiency high enough to function daily at UCSD and in the local community, with a school official's signature.
  • Diploma with Scholar's name
    • For graduates of U.S. schools or international schools that teach in the English language (e.g., schools in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc.)
  • Statement from Department Sponsor
    • This can be completed with J-1 Request Form Section 2, documenting the interview, to include date, duration, interviewer, method of interview, and signed statement.

Appointment letter

An appointment letter is necessary for all appointments.
  • Visiting Graduate Student Appointment (Graduate Division in VGSAS)
  • Visiting Scholar or Postdoctoral Appointment (Office of Postdoctoral & Visiting Scholars Affairs in RSAS)
  • Other Academic Appointments (Offer letter or appointment letter from Dean's Office)
  • Other Salaried Appointments and Non-Salaried Appointments

5-Point Statement

If the scholar has an MD or equivalent and incidental patient contact will be a component of the program activity, then we will need the five-point statement outlined in Section 3 of the Initial J-1 Submission Form printed on letterhead and uploaded with the Medical School Dean’s or Dean’s Designee’s signature.

Please note that the five-point statement does not require Roark Miller's signature.

How to prepare your statement

Please include the following statement on departmental letterhead with the signature as indicated below; upload the completed statement to ISD.

The government-prescribed wording must be followed exactly:

A. The program in which the [insert scholar name] will participate is predominantly involved with observation, consultation, teaching or research.

B. Any incidental patient contact involving the alien physician will be under the direct supervision of a senior faculty physician who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien and who is licensed to practice medicine in the State of California.

C. The alien physician will not be given final responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

D. Any activities of the alien physician will conform fully with the California licensing requirements and regulations for medical and health care professionals in California.

E. Any experience gained in this program will not be creditable towards any clinical requirements for medical specialty board certification.


______________________________________________________                   _________________________

Dr. Robert Ross, Health Sciences Asst Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs                                                            Date

Dean's Designee for UC San Diego School of Medicine


If non-UCSD funding, verify that scholar has uploaded funding documentation that meets the minimum monthly requirements for the entire duration of the program.

  • Scholar only: $2400/month
  • Accompanying J-2 spouse: $800/month
  • Accompanying J-2 children: $400/month per child

Corresponding proof/documentation cannot be more than 6 months old. If funds are listed in foreign currency include a currency converter.

FedEx Shipping Label

If the department would like to pay for shipping the Form DS-2019 to the scholar, please upload a FedEx shipping label; otherwise the scholar may pay for shipping through eShipGlobal.

Note that departments must pay shipping for postdoctoral appointments.

Step 6: Review and Submit to IFSO

Click on the Tasks tab on the left-hand side of the top Horizontal Fields Navigation Bar and click on Review and Submit Visitor's Information.

Review Information

Click on the Tasks tab on the left-hand side of the top Horizontal Fields Navigation Bar and click on Review and Submit Visitor's Information.

The screen will show a list of all fields lacking information that need to be completed and submission will not be allowed until the fields are complete. 

Rush Fee

Before you proceed to submit the case to IFSO, review the rush request field in the Appointment Information horizontal navigation bar option. By the time you are ready to submit the case, the rush processing fee may now be required.

Submit to IFSO

After all required fields are completed, select:
  • Profile Status: SEVIS - Pending
    • Status remains as pending until the scholar registers with IFSO.
  • Profile Type: J-1 Exchange Visitor
  • Profile Subtype: Scholar
  • Profile Subtype If Other: leave blank

Click Submit button toward the left-hand top of the screen. This action forwards the complete record to IFSO staff to review.

Tip: to update any missing information you must go to the Horizontal Fields Navigation Bar then return to Review and Submit to Department section.

After the request is submitted, it should show that the record was “sent to ISSM.” You can also see when a request was submitted to IFSO by going to the History tab, this will show as a line item event that says Data Submission by Department with description Department submitted information to the international office.

IFSO Receives Request and Issues DS-2019

Please allow 10 business days for IFSO processing. Once the DS-2019 is issued, it will be shipped out using the label that was provided to IFSO. Anything less than 10 days will require a rush processing fee.

The department and scholar will receive an email from IFSO confirming that the DS-2019 has been mailed out and the processing stage in ISD will be changed from “Submitted to International Office” to a Clear/Blank processing stage. The department user will be updated to ISD, IFSO.